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Crowdfunding Campaigns of the Week: Robert Earl Keen and Charmas

Robert Earl Keen. Photo by Nick Wetegrove/Creative Commons Licence

As the holidays approach, people are looking for unique gifts for their friends and loved ones. While pledging to a crowdfunding campaign in their name might seem like an odd gift, it's actually a great one for a music lover, as it now only allows them to get new songs from their favorite artists but also to snag some one of a kind extras. Every week, I comb through the major crowdfunding sites to find some of the best roots-oriented campaigns to feature in this space. Think your band deserves a feature? Send me an e-mail with a link to your campaign and some of your music to sample and I'll pick my favorites for inclusion in a future edition.

Robert Earl Keen- Live Dinner Reunion

There aren't many artists in the roots community with more respect than Robert Earl Keen. This is evidenced not only by the number of artists who have covered his work but also who have collaborated with him over the years. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Keen's No. 2 Live Dinner album, he's doing a PledgeMusic campaign for Live Dinner Reunion, a double album of hits and buddy collaborations, recorded at Texas' John T. Floore Country Store. Collaborators include Joe Ely, Cory Morrow, Cody Canada, and Lyle Lovett. All early backers will receive three instant downloads from the album. Other backer rewards include a limited edition Robert Earl Keen Epiphone banjo, a Live Dinner Reunion shirt, and a double vinyl edition of the album.

Charmas- Songs of the Sea LP

When you're writing a column about roots music, you can't get any more “roots” than sea shanties. The original folk song, sea shanties have long been celebrated for introducing the musical culture of a people to other parts of the world via traveling seamen. Charmas has been one of the leading bands in bringing these ancient folk songs back to life for a modern audience. Their EP Songs of the Sea was so well received that they've decided to go back into the studio and flesh it out into a full-length album. Focusing on sea shanties with Celtic and African-Caribbean origins, Songs of the Sea promises to be a musical melting pot. Backer rewards include a signed copy of the album, a “singing telegram” via Skype from vocalist Aaron Clegg and a chance to have Elise Ferrell perform live bagpipes at your event.