One of S.C.'s best bluesmen needs your help.
Camden's Jeff Norwood, a frequent visitor to the Grand Strand, is using a new web startup to help produce and market his new project, an album full of North Mississippi-style blues. The site, called Kickstarter, is a service which helps artists gather funding for creative projects in music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing.
Tentatively titled "Push Pilin'", the album was recorded over three days in mid October at Delta Recording Service, in Como, Miss., with two of North Mississippi's finest: Jimbo Mathus and Justin Showah producing, engineering and playing along with Norwood.
But despite having already layed down the tracks, Norwood still needs funds to print and market the album.
He had this to say about his decision to use the site in his project description:
"My 2009 release, 'Awendaw', was a a solo, stripped-down Blues record that was original and fresh but stayed in the traditional realm of acoustic style Delta Blues.
I was fortunate enough to have a backer for the production end. I did the promotion on my own with virtually no resources, yet still managed to receive international airplay and critical acclaim.
This time around, I really felt the need to move in a different direction."
By using Kickstarter he went in a very different direction, using the service to set his sights on a goal of $1,000 to put toward the project.
How the site works is that artists ask people to contribute money through Kickstarter to fund their projects. Users come and contribute whatever amount they'd like and at the end of a period of time if the assigned goal has been reached then the money is contributed to the artist — minus a 5% cut for the site.
If the goal is not met, no money changes hands on either side, a concept which Kickstarter says "protects everyone involved so that creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk."
In exchange for their contribution, the artists supply a bevy of unique and creative rewards are that are given out to users. For instance, Norwood is offering up everything from an add to his mailing list and a free download of a single track (for a $1 contribution) to a 1932 National Resonator Style 'O' guitar from Jeff's personal collection (for a $3,500 contribution).
With 14 different levels of contribution, other items Norwood is offering include a concert at your home, credit in the liner notes of the album, North Mississippi Bottlecap Tamborine handmade by Norwood and advance copies of the CD signed by the artist.
With 16 days left until his pledge period ends, Norwood has already raised more than half of his goal, with $515 being contributed from 13 different users.
According to his project description, if the goal is met he plans to have the album printed in time for the International Blues Challenge Feb.1-5, 2011, in Memphis, Tenn., where he will compete in the Solo/Dou category.
From the artist
Each project on Kickstarter is accompanied by a video which the artist uses as personal plea to potential contributors, here's what Norwood — and his dog Buddy — had to say: