Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Big Head Blues Club, Guthrie Trapp, Front Country
Crowdfunding campaign sites like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic have changed the landscape of the music business, allowing independent artists to bypass the traditional label system and secure funding for a new album or tour directly from the fans. As the album sales market continues to shrink, it has also become a popular way for established acts to bring in additional revenue by offering exclusive merchandise or rewards. But with so many new campaigns started each week, how to find the one that's best for your limited entertainment dollar? That's where I come in. Each week, I will browse the listing of new crowdfunding campaigns and bring you the three roots-oriented ones that look to be most interesting, either through quality of music or unique reward offerings.
Colorado-based alt rockers Big Head Todd and the Monsters might on the surface seem like an odd choice of crowdfunding campaign for a roots-based column. But not so much when the band transforms, as it does every few years, into Big Head Blues Club. They first formed Big Head Blues Club in 2011 to celebrate Robert Johnson's 100th birthday and tapped legends like B.B. King and Honeyboy Edwards to help out. Now Big Head Blues Club is back to pay tribute to another legend of the genre, Willie Dixon. Backer rewards include a signed “super bundle”, which includes both vinyl and cd copies of the new album, a bonus track, a t-shirt, and a deck of playing cards. Other backer rewards include a custom Christmas ornament, a postcard from a tour stop, and a personalized voicemail greeting.
Credit to my friend and fellow No Depression contributor Amos Perrine for providing a heads-up to this Kickstarter campaign by California-based folksters Front Country. The band promises that this new album will be a much more originals-heavy affair than their debut, having only one traditional and one cover among its thirteeen tracks. Front Country is working with producer Wes Corbett, who fans might know as a founding member of the sadly defunct Americana powerhouse Joy Kills Sorrow. Backer rewards for the campaign include a Front Country trucker hat, a “country claus” holiday bundle that includes holiday sweets made by the band and a custom seasons greetings, and signed sheet music.
Guthrie Trapp is best known to many Americana fans as an in-demand studio and sideman, having worked with the likes of Trigger Hippy, Patty Loveless, and Kellie Pickler. But Trapp is also an accomplished solo artist and he is currently running a funding campaign on PledgeMusic for his forthcoming new album. The album will be his first in four years. Backer rewards include a chance to guest on Trapp's weekly Acme Radio show, a signed guitar, and a chance to shadow Trapp for a day in the studio.