Las Cruces Musician Uses Kickstarter to Fund New CD
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Local musician Randy Granger is turning to a unique method of funding his new album project. The idea is called Kickstarter and is quickly becoming a very popular way of raising money for projects as varied as recording or releasing a CD to films, inventions and books. Kickstarter, created in 2008, is what is now called “crowd funding” where the general public, or backers, contribute money towards at different levels in exchange for rewards. Rewards could be a copy of the finished CD, their name in the liner notes or a house concert.
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects based on the beliefs that: A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide. A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement. Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. If the financial goal set by the project creator is not met within the project’s time frame it receives no money. Conversely if it exceeds the goal then it goes to the project. Kickstarter keeps a 5% fee and Amazon, who processes the donations, applies a credit card fee. Project creators spend an average two weeks tweaking their campaigns, making a video, becoming verified with Amazon and submitting their project for review by the Kickstarter staff. Once approved it is set to launch.
Granger, an independent artist, was forced to take over a year off of touring, promoting and performing his music to care for his partner, the late poet Wayne Crawford, in 2010 after a devastating diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer. He was primary caregiver and steward during the illness which included many trips to MD Anderson in Houston, buying and moving into a smaller home, chemotherapy and eventually home Hospice. Crawford passed away at home March 12, 2011. The consummate professional, Granger missed a scheduled performance that day at the New Mexico Cowboy Days in Las Cruces, but showed up to perform the next day at his scheduled time much to the shock of the organizers.
Throughout the experience he made mental musical notes knowing he would have to transform the experience of the personal into the universal. He sees this both as a way to work through his own grief and to comfort other people going through the experience of loss or grief. His Kickstarter campaign’s tagline reads, “Pre-order “Strong Medicine” the cathartically joyous new CD.” Strong Medicine being the album title. He says the new songs are not morbid but joyous in the sense you come away from an experience like this humbled yet renewed in the compassion and generosity of people who help you along the way. Since the death he has resumed performing as much as possible though is finding taking time away can make it a challenge to re-interest promoters and festivals. The past year has been consumed in part with listing Crawford’s house and settling his estate.
One song on the new album was inspired by talking to his friend poet Pam Speer who lost her husband, poet “Beatlick” Joe Speer just months before to the same pancreatic cancer. As the two sat in Granger’s kitchen over coffee Speer said, “I just want to know where he went. Where did he go?” A thought he shared and has come to find many newly grieving do as well. Thus was born the song “Where did you go” where Granger writes,
“Where did you go
Where are you now
Are you the gooseflesh on my neck
The whisper in my ear
The cloud that looks like an angel”
Granger is raising funds to pay for the duplication and manufacturing of the new CD. His backer rewards include a “thank you” on the CD, a signed copy, a 30-minute Native American flute lesson via Skype and even a Red Chile Enchilada dinner and performance in the backer’s home. He is known for his cooking skills by his fans and friends alike.
To learn more about Kickstarter visit www.kickstarter.com. To find Granger’s campaign go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/randygranger.
Granger is an award-winning musician, composer, songwriter and performer who lives in Las Cruces, NM where he volunteers his music at Hospice and performs locally at special events and festivals when not on the road. www.randygranger.net.