Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: The Sweet Sorrows, Davy Knowles, and Mairead Nesbitt
While it’s easy to think of Americana and roots music as a strictly American institution, the core of roots music traces directly back to England, Ireland, and Wales, with many a popular Appalachian traditional taking root from a similar song brought over by immigrants and adapted to new surroundings. Today, the link runs both ways. Artists from Ireland and the UK often find inspiration in American roots musicians like Emmylou Harris while many an American songwriter has discovered inspiration in the ancient sounds of Celtic music. This week’s three crowdfunding campaigns all feature artists from Ireland or the UK who are exploring those dual roots in new ways.
The UK has a long history of digging the blues. From Sonny Boy Williamson’s famous 1960s tours with The Yardbirds and The Animals to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin’s exploration of the blues on their albums. Hailing from the Isle of Man, Davy Knowles knows a thing or two about the blues guitar. The former guitarist for Back Door Slam has gotten acclaim from guitar legends like Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, and Bernie Marsden. Now he’s preparing to release his new album of blues called Three Miles from Avalon. Backer rewards include a handwritten lyrics sheet, a vinyl test print, and even a signed Telecaster.
While Mairead Nesbitt is a name a lot of people may not recognize, she is a face that most people will. For over a decade she was the violinist for touring sensation Celtic Woman, who sold out theaters around the world and were fixtures on practically every PBS pledge drive week. Now Nesbitt has struck out on her own and continues to explore the traditional Celtic folk roots of the violin with a classical ear. Her new album is called Hibernia and is available for pre-order via PledgeMusic. Backer rewards include a screen printed journal of a custom design for the album, printed by Nashville’s own Grand Palace, a Skype violin lesson with Nesbitt, and a signed violin and bow.
The link between Celtic and Americana music is so strong that a new term has begun to pop up to define it, Celticana. The husband and wife team of Sammy and Kylie Horner, known collectively as The Sweet Sorrows, have not only taken up that moniker to describe their music, they made it the title of their new album. Working with famed producer Phil Madeira, who knows a thing or two about connecting the international Americana dots through his work with Norwegian act Humming People, The Sweet Sorrows will record their album in Wexford, Ireland, and Nashville, ensuring a truly international feel. Backer rewards include a fiddle shaped USB stick full of The Sweet Sorrows’ music, personalized postcards from the band at every country they stop in on their upcoming tour, and Celtic artwork from Mary Fleeson.