Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Mike Farris, Lera Lynn, Janis Ian Tribute

Lera Lynn at the 2015 Americana Music Festival. Photo by Chris Griffy

Every year, thousands of musicians turn to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic to get money for their latest album, tour, or piece of merchandise directly from the fans, bypassing the traditional label model. But with all of those choices, it's sometimes hard to find the artist you want to back from among the pile. Each week, I will highlight three roots-oriented crowdfunding projects that might be worth your backer dollars. This week's batch includes an Americana gospel staple, one of the fastest rising stars in the genre, and a jazz reworking of one of folk music's legends.


Bright Lights and Promises: Sarah Partridge Sings Janis Ian

Janis Ian was one of the brightest stars of the second generation of folk-rockers. Her hits like “At Seventeen” and “Society's Child” were lauded by critics and proved that Ian had as keen an eye for social justice as any folk singer going. Now, Ian is getting a jazz makeover by singer Sarah Partridge. Partridge's Kickstarter campaign to fund the album Bright Lights and Promises: Sarah Partridge Sings Janis Ian is a little over halfway funded with 12 days to go and got a recent boost when Ian herself shared it on her social media accounts. Backers can get rewards from both Partridge and Ian, including a signed copy of the cd from both artists, a signed copy of Ian's autobiography, and dinner with renowned publicist Michael Levine.


Lera Lynn- Resistor

Lera Lynn has been turning heads on the Americana scene since her 2011 debut, but has found an even bigger audience in the last two years due to her work on the soundtrack for HBO's hit crime drama True Detective. Now Lynn has formed her own record label, Resistor Records, and is making her new album Resistor its first release, which can be pre-ordered now on PledgeMusic. Backer rewards include lyrics sheets from Lynn's first album Have You Met Lera Lynn, an engraved capo, and a custom birthday song written and performed by Lynn.


Mike Farris- Untitled New Album

Once upon a time, Mike Farris was the frontman of Southern rockers Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, but has been a solo artist since 2001 and has launched a successful career as a gospel artist. Farris has developed a strong following in the roots community for his high energy live shows and gospel albums that blend the best elements from the classic country gospel recordings of The Carter Family with the black gospel energy of The Fairfield Four and a huge shot of Rolling Stones-style rock and roll swagger. Now Farris has just launched a campaign on PledgeMusic to fund his as yet untitled new album. Farris will co-produce the album with Vance Powell, who has worked with the likes of The White Stripes, Chris Stapleton, and Arctic Monkeys. Backers can get rewards like a signed set list, a VIP Christmas concert experience, and a chance to spend a day in the studio with Mike as he records his new album.


Does your band have a crowdfunding campaign that you think should be featured? If so, send me an e-mail with a link to your campaign and a place to hear some of your music and I'll pick my favorites to feature each week.