More and more independent blues artists, it seems, are looking to fund some of the costs of their next (or first) albums through Kickstarter, a crowd funding website for all types of creative projects. One example of a successful blues project currently on Kickstarter is that of rock guitarist Gary Hoey (“Hocus Pocus”), who is in the process of raising money for an album of original blues songs titled Deja Blues. Just past the halfway point in his 30-day drive, Hoey has already surpassed his $15,000 goal, with a promise to include two additional bonus tracks if he receives pledges totaling twice the original goal.
Also currently on Kickstarter, with just a week remaining, is a project from Atlanta-based bluesman Roger “Hurricane” Wilson called Live Blues Protected by Smith & Wilson, with the Smith in this case being legendary Muddy Waters band drummer and harmonica player/singer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Recorded during a December 2009 show in Harrisburg, PA, this may be one of, if not the, last chance we’ll have to hear a full album from Smith, having passed in September of last year, just months after receiving a Grammy Award for his Joined at the Hip album with longtime friend Pinetop Perkins.
As Wilson points out on his Kickstarter page: “This is not just another CD, but an actual piece of Blues musical history.” And, with a goal of just $6,000 (to assist with the mastering, manufacturing, artwork, advertising, and radio promotion of the disc), it would be a real shame if this project doesn’t see the light of day or is further delayed by inadequate funds, particularly with more than a quarter of the goal already achieved.
We’ll be doing our part to help make this project a reality; how about you?