Long a boon to independent artists looking to skip the label system, crowdfunding and direct-to-fan campaigns have become increasingly popular among more mainstream artists as a way to shore up the declining physical media market with add-on rewards like signed merchandise and limited edition vinyl. In this week’s edition of Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week, I have pulled from both sides of the crowdfunding stream, with a pre-order from some classic rock luminarie and a campaign from one of Nashville’s most beloved independent Americana duos.
If you have attended Americanafest in the past few years, you have likely seen Wild Ponies live. Both as a group themselves and as guest for other artists, Doug and Telisha Williams are a popular and frequent draw. The roster of talent they have assembled for their new album Galax proves that popularity. Recording in a shed in Galax, Virginia, Wild Ponies brought along a quartet of Nashville’s finest in Will Kimbrough, Fats Kaplin, Neilson Hubbard, and Audrey Spillman. They also brought in some old-time players from the Galax area (Snake Smith, Kyle Dean Smith, and Kilby Spencer). Backer rewards include signed copies of the album in both CD an vinyl, Wild Ponies’ own “Born With a Broken Heart” bitters for mixing into your favorite beverage, a wooden Gambetty Farm postcard, and a hand decorated horseshoe.
One of the downsides to a sagging album market is that many classic rockers don’t even bother releasing new material, finding it more profitable to just tour their hits every summer. Fortunately, Cheap Trick isn’t among those bands. Sure, these road warriors can be found in your local amphitheatre every year pleasing fans with songs like “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me’, but they’re also continuing to record and release new material. Taken from a crowd favorite refrain from “Surrender”, We’re All Alright will be released in June and is available for pre-order now through PledgeMusic. Backer rewards include signed CD and vinyl bundles, which include a t-shirt, guitar picks, and socks, a signed setlist from their upcoming tour, and a used Cheap Trick road case.