CROWDFUNDING RADAR: Black Water County, The Garcia Project, and a New Service from Bandcamp
Black Water County
They say adversity creates opportunity, and that appears to be true in the world of crowdfunding. With the hopefully temporary implosion of PledgeMusic, there are few crowdfunding sites purely dedicated to music. Enter Bandcamp. Already a proven site for back-end marketing, providing direct-to-fans digital music and merchandise, Bandcamp is piloting a vinyl pressing service that could make it a go-to stop for crowdfunding artists. Vinyl has long made up one of the biggest sources of revenue for crowdfunding artists, and now Bandcamp is offering artists a chance to not only create pledge campaigns for new vinyl, but also to release their back catalog on vinyl as well. Currently they only have four artists piloting the process but are hoping to roll it out wide later in the year. For now, crowdfunding fans have to look to existing sites for their needs, and this week I’m spotlighting two campaigns from across the pond and a tribute to some of Jerry Garcia’s less-known works with some big names to help.
Black Water County – new album in 2019 (click here to view project)
The crossover between punk and roots music is well documented, from the Americana side projects of punk icons like Exene Cervenka and Cheetah Chrome to roots-punk oriented acts like Skinny Lister and Devil Makes Three. One fast rising act in the UK is Black Water County. The six-piece group has already toured in support of big names like Flogging Molly and Less Than Jake and are now hoping to take their banjo-driven punk ferocity to the next level with a follow up to 2017’s Taking Chances. The band has some of the most uniquely hilarious backer rewards for their Indiegogo campaign, including the band’s logo and slogan “Folk Sh*t Up” on not only T-shirts but also underwear for fans who, as the band says, “like Black Water County as close to your disco parts as they’ll ever be”; a disposable camera full of “extreme close-ups, bad angles, and the potential sneaky nut”; and a Risque Band Wall Calendar, which they promise is “calendar girls meets hot hunks, with added beer bellies and love rugs.”
The Garcia Project – Spirit (click here to view project)
You don’t have to look very far to find a tribute album to The Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia, so what’s the point in another one? The Garcia Project, a nationally touring Garcia tribute act, has managed to answer that question by homing in on a little-celebrated part of Garcia’s work: his gospel, spiritual, and inspirational songs. To help them pay tribute to this side of Jerry Garcia, they’ve enlisted some people who knew him very well, including longtime collaborators David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Buzz Buchanan, and, serving as producer, folk icon and Garcia touring partner Maria Muldaur. Rewards for their Indiegogo project include the album on digital and CD, the latter also available signed by Muldaur; a 12×18 poster; two tickets to any Garcia Project live performance; and an opportunity to have your business listed as a signature sponsor.
Saskia Griffiths-Moore – Baez, Dylan, and Me (click here to view project)
Londoner Saskia Griffiths-Moore has only been a folk artist for a few years, after a career spent as a therapist and volunteer at an alcohol and drug center, but she’s making up for lost time and making her mark on the UK music scene. Now she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to record an album of covers from two of her favorite inspirations, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. And where better to do it than at the home base of another group of musical legends, Abbey Road Studios? She has a sponsor to help her get into the studio, but is raising funds for the album’s release and PR push. Backer rewards include the album on digital, CD, or vinyl; signed copies of her back catalog; VIP tickets to one of her shows in the UK or US; and signed Polaroids from either each night of the album’s tour or her time spent in Abbey Road studios.