CROWDFUNDING RADAR: The Gift of Supporting Independent Music
Traditional Irish band FourWinds is raising money for its second album, and they're offering "gift tokens" for supporters who want to donate as a gift for someone else.
It’s the holiday season and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve left your gift buying to the last minute. Never fear. You won’t have to mine the gas station on Christmas Day this year. Crowdfunding makes a great gift. In many ways, crowdfunding an album is two gifts in one. You’re giving music, and sometimes merchandise, to your giftee and also gifting the artist running the campaign a chance to make new music. This month, I’m highlighting campaigns from an award-winning Celtic band, an experienced drummer making his solo debut, and a New Mexico-based trio funding their first album.
FourWinds – Second Album (Click here to view campaign)
FourWinds is a band of award-winning traditional Irish musicians formed in 2013. The quartet released one album in 2015 and have continued to push the boundaries of Celtic traditions since. Now, after touring the world, they’re ready to go for album #2. To that end, they’ve launched a $16,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund it. Knowing that some may want to use campaign rewards, which won’t ship until well after the holiday season, as gifts, the band has introduced printable “gift tokens” to stuff that stocking until the merchandise arrives. Backer perks for this campaign include the album in digital, CD, or vinyl formats. You can also get a limited-edition print of the album’s artwork, a custom song, and a professional quality tin whistle including two lessons from band member Tom Delaney.
Brendan Michael Smith – ‘Til the Wheels Fall Off (Click here to view campaign)
After over a decade as a drummer for numerous bands, playing festivals like DelFest and Burning Man and “enough dive bars to make Charles Bukowski wince,” Brendan Michael Smith has moved out from behind the kit and is prepping his solo debut album, ‘Til the Wheels Fall Off. Smith’s songs meld country, rock, and funk to tell tales that borrow heavily from his blue-collar roots. He’s running a $11,000 Kickstarter campaign to get his project off the ground. In addition to the album in digital and CD formats, you can get a social media shout-out, your name in the album’s liner notes, a house concert, and even dinner for two at Smith’s house as backer perks.
Audra Rodgers and the Sweethearts – Beautiful Mess (Click here to view campaign)
Taos, New Mexico-based Audra Rodgers and the Sweethearts joke in their campaign bio that “we like to make people cry,” and what more could you want from a roots music band, really? With a sound that blends classic country and folk, the trio has made a name for themselves on the regional scene, as evidenced by the fact that they passed the halfway point of their $20,000 Kickstarter campaign with three weeks left to go. But the $20,000 is really just a minimum. They’re trying to reach a stretch goal of $25,000 to pay their guest musicians more and to hire a publicist to get the songs out into the world properly. Backer perks for this campaign include the album in digital and CD formats, a custom written haiku, framed handwritten lyrics, and a house concert.