Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The Sapsuckers are recording a second album and going on the road with old-time country tunes and songs--most of them new originals.
87 backers pledged $5,021 to help bring this project to life.

About

Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers Album & Tour to St. Louis +++ project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$5,021

87

The band

We are Joe Hart and Nikki Grossman--the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers!! (www.sapsuckersmusic.com). We play old-time fiddle-tunes, sing country harmonies, play square and contra dances--and generally consider ourselves to be professional fun-havers. We have a baker's dozen of new tunes and songs to share with you on our latest album, and we're hoping for your support to pull it off.

The Sapsuckers (Photo: Richard Bock)
The Sapsuckers (Photo: Richard Bock)

The project

We play a lot of dances and concerts--as many as we can schedule. But we've also found time to write a bunch of new music. We're excited to share it with you.

During the first week of December, we'll be recording an album with the help of Tom Herbers. Tom is a Minneapolis-based producer and engineer who is as pro as they come. We are fortunate to be able to work with him on this project. We are convinced he will get our music to sound exactly the way we want it to--like real life, but slightly better!

The songs

For those of you who have heard us play, and/or purchased our debut album, you know we do a lot of traditional folk tunes and vintage covers. It has been our delight to excavate and dust off forgotten gems and old favorites, making them our own in the process. We are, however, song writers, and we’ve been writing away busily as our band grows and develops. We look forward to sharing the ones that have made the cut! With your kind help, we’ll be able to do that. Look forward to:

-a ballad about a couple of Nikki’s ancestors who were killed in a bizarre, tragic train wreck!

-Our own personal polka-ized goodbye song!

-A caRaaaaaZy love song!

-A swing-y jazz hit!

-A close-harmony ode to our beautiful home-place, complete with yodeling!

-…and much, much more!

Recording our last album. (Photo: Phil Parhamovich)
Recording our last album. (Photo: Phil Parhamovich)

The location

Viroqua, Wisconsin, population 4,362, is our home base--and it’s not just your typical rural farm town. Since the 1850s, farmers, hucksters, homesteaders, and vaudevillians have made it their destination--and today is no different. It remains a haven for oddballs, free-spirits, and not a few urban expats. It boasts, among other things, a fast-growing community of artists creating marvels of all descriptions. Nothing represents the coming together of the old and new better than the Ark Arts Center.

The Ark is a community-based arts organization, housed in Viroqua’s oldest (former) church. It is home to classes, workshops, performances, art exhibitions, and concerts. We have hosted our monthly live radio show, the Kickapoo Barn Dance, in the chapel there for three years.

Anyone performing or listening to acoustic music in that space is in for a treat. The room is peculiarly shaped, with a domed ceiling and a bowl-shaped floor. It warms and amplifies acoustic sounds while allowing a natural reverb that is just right. To us, it seems the obvious location to record our upcoming album.

At Dave's Pizza in Viroqua. (Photo: Jim Luhning)
At Dave's Pizza in Viroqua. (Photo: Jim Luhning)

The tour

Why the urgency to fund and record this new album?

Starting in January, we'll be heading out on the road to perform a series of dances and concerts, starting in St. Louis, our special home-away-from-home, and eventually ending up in Minneapolis. We'll be joined on some legs of the tour by our good friends Jack Grelle and Ryan Koenig from St. Louis, and by Jack Klatt from Minneapolis (who is also recording with Tom at the Ark at the same time we are).

The rig

The Sapsuckers tour in the air-cooled (or air-heated, as the case may be) comfort of a 1997, copper-colored black-topped Lincoln Town Car, which is not only more stylish and comfortable than a minivan, but also gets better gas mileage. Alas, it sits collecting dust at our friend Derek's shop--in need of timing chains and valves. As trusty as our old Dodge Dakota pickup is, it just ain’t tour-worthy. Any money collected here that's left over after recording expenses will go to restoring Mr. Lincoln to road-worthiness.

The dollars

The money we raise from pre-orders and other Kickstarter rewards will go to cover Tom’s cost for producing and engineering the record, renting the space at the Ark, paying a couple musicians to back us up in places, and printing and publicity costs associated with the new CD. Anything left, as we mentioned, will go to our tour-mobile.

Thanks so much for your support. We are counting on you! And we’re excited to share the fruits of our labors with you.

"Help! I'm a Lincoln and I can't run!"
"Help! I'm a Lincoln and I can't run!"

Risks and challenges

What, you mean besides coming up with the money?! Well, we have a very tight timeline to complete this project. But that was also true of our first album. We are rehearsing like crazy so that when we get into the studio, we'll be ready to work hard and capture good material.

In the mean time, we have negotiated time at the Ark, confirmed schedules with Tom Herbers and the Jack Klatt trio, and are booking dates for our January tour.

It is your support, right here on Kickstarter, that will make all of this possible!

Please feel free to post questions here, if you have any.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Digital pre-order. We'll link you to an MP3 download of the new album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    16 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    CD pre-order. We'll mail you the new CD with a handwritten thank-you. Add $10 more, and we'll send you our first CD too!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    31 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    **NEW REWARD** Pledge at this new $20 level and we will send a limited, signed, pre-release advance copy of the new CD the very second that we have the masters in our hot little hands! This will not be the commercial package—it will be a hand-burned and signed advance copy in a home-made kraft-paper sleeve. Imagine waking up to that in your stocking?! You can choose this for yourself, or make it a gift for someone you love. (While we expect to have these ready to go in time for Xmas, we can’t 100 percent guarantee delivery by 12/25—there are too many variables out of our control.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    **NEW CATEGORY** in support of the Gays Mills Folk Fest. (gaysmillsfolkfest.org)
    If 10 people pledge support in this category, the Sapsuckers will donate a house concert ($300 value) to the Gays Mills Folk Fest silent auction table. Plus you’ll get a digital download of the new CD. ALSO AVAILABLE AS AN UPGRADE!! Add $15 to your pledge in any other category, and we’ll count your name among the 10. Just send us a message by clicking the “contact me” button at the top of this column.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Vinyl + pre-order. When the vinyl is ready, we'll mail a signed album. In the mean time, enjoy an MP3 download. (Note that vinyl is not due to release until Summer/Fall, 2015.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    *NEW CATEGORY* in support of photographer Jim Luhning.
    Choose this category to receive a signed, 8x10 print of your choice by photographer Jim Luhning. Jim is a true friend who has documented the local and national music scene, as well as scenes of the Driftless. (For samples of his work, follow this link: http://ow.ly/EWlgU). Plus you’ll get the digital download. Through no fault of his own, Jim suffered damage to his auto and photo equipment. Choose this reward to help him out. NOTE: SHIPPING WILL BE CALCULATED AND CHARGED PER LOCATION.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    Guest list. At this level, we'll put you on the guest list at one of our shows. We expect to visit St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, Ashville, and also Minneapolis and other locations TBD. Also comes with the digital download.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Mix tape. Between the two of us, we have an impressive collection of vinyl, 78s, cassette tapes, and more. Give us a subject, genre, or prompt (Psychedelic freak out? Lady guitarists? Songs about dying?), and we will put together a mix tape (or download, or CD) just for you! Plus a digital download of the new album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Sapsucker covers. Choose a song, we will record a cover of it. We'll take all the songs from this reward, burn them on a CD, and mail it out to you. Be patient--it'll take us a few months. And this will be a strictly low-fi, recorded-in-our-living-room affair. Air Supply? AC/DC? Charlie Poole? We're ready for anything! Plus a digital download of the new album.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Everything but the kitchen sink. "Benjamin" backers will receive a digital download, a copy of the CD, a thank-you note, a mix tape, a cover and a copy of our covers CD, and free admission to one of our shows. In other words, everything but the vinyl.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 135 or more About US$ 135

    Everything AND the kitchen sink. For an extra $35, we'll throw in the vinyl release with everything you'd get in the $100 category. You know you can't resist!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Push back the furniture, 'cause it's a house party featuring the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers! We will reward your generosity by serenading you and your guests in the comfort of your home. You can even charge admission if you want. If you are in a far, distant land, we may have to work out time and travel kinks, but don't let that stop you. We'll bring the party AND the polish.
    Oh -- and all the other stuff you'd get as a $135 backer.

    (If you'd like to pledge at this level but have an event in mind other than a house party, we can definitely work something out with you. Drop us a line and we'll talk turkey.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Our Dickensian benefactors!
    You get it all, plus any or all of the following:

    **A fiddle tune written in your honor (and a recording of it), with the title and time signature of your choice. How about the "We Owe Ya Big Time Hoedown"? **A hand-stitched lap quilt made by Nikki. **Free copies of all our past, current and future musical releases and bric-a-brac. **The upgrade to the house concert of a workshop, classroom appearance, jam, private lesson, or dance (we'll bring the caller!) **A guided tour of our favorite places in Southwestern Wisconsin's Kickapoo region...nature walks, flea markets, scenic byways, rustic taverns...accompanied by a home-cooked meal at our farmhouse. Yes, we're good cooks! **...and a chicken, dead or alive.

    And any other reasonable favor or whim you can dream up.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (17 days)