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The Long Road to Salvation: Allen Thompson Band and the community that's building them

East Nashville folk-rock group, Allen Thompson Band, launches Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of their collaborative album, "Salvation in the Ground".

 
 
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PRLog - April 20, 2012 - NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Take a look at Allen Thompson’s record collection, and you’ll see names like the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, the Black Crowes, and the Band - groups that feel more like musical communities than straightforward rock bands.

That same sense of community is the foundation of the indie folk/rock group, Allen Thompson Band, and Allen has set out to make sure this album would be a collaborative effort.   Thompson eventually rounded out an electric six-piece lineup in early 2011, and the group has become a vital part of the East Nashville artistic community. The band began fleshing out Allen’s songs, which samples equally from country, roots-rock, southern soul, and Appalachian folk music.  "Salvation in the Ground" acts as the cornerstone for laying down the brickwork to build their own community, as well as a legacy career.

Allen states, "My goal with the Allen Thompson Band: to write our soundtrack. This music is family music. There are husbands and wives in the band, and we’re part of a larger community of husband-and-wife bands. We’re creating our soundtrack together. I spent a lot of time not trying to do that -- trying to be a certain type of artist instead -- and the music didn’t sound as good as it should have... It became increasingly evident that the harder I tried to be a solo artist, the harder it was to do the songs justice. I wasn’t standing out. I wasn’t really standing at all... Since I’ve started creating music in this family environment, the response has changed. And the songs are better. You should follow the muse, not force it to follow you."

In December of 2011, Allen and band headed to East Nashville’s famous Bomb Shelter Recording Studio with engineer Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Buffalo Clover, Caitlin Rose) to make a very special record – the first with the Allen Thompson Band.  In just 2 weeks, the band, along with some very special members of the ATB family, tracked 9 songs live to tape and mixed the new album.  The record consists of Allen's best songs to date, and is very reminiscent of his biggest influences like Levon Helm, Black Crowes, and the Grateful Dead, songs that are folk at their core but amplified with that Laurel Canyon stacked sound.

Preview a new track from the record called "Purple Rose and Black Balloon" at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/allenthompson/salvati...

Now, the band is at a crossroads: The album has been recorded, but they still have miles to go before this project comes to fruition with the release of the record.  They're asking for $7,000 to complete this project. That amount will go towards paying for artwork, album pressing, and promotion of the album (radio, press, and touring).  In reality, it costs far more than that to see a project like this through from its inception to its end.  However, setting an attainable goal was more important.  You see, Kickstarter has very strict 100% funding guidelines. This means that if the band do not meet their goal of $7000, they get no funding, and the contributors are not charged a thing.  Unfortunately, no funding means the project will be suspended indefinitely. This is not going to be easy.

Prior to this project, Allen has released every album on his own and with his own money. In spending the time, energy, and funds on those releases, he has learned a great deal about what goes into a project like this.  While funding for this project is certainly a concern, it is not the only factor that has encouraged him to use Kickstarter to help this project see the light of day.  Since its inception, "Salvation In The Ground" has been an entirely collaborative effort.  They could not think of a better way to continue this collaboration to the project's end than to share it with the fans every step of the way.  Their community is just as much of a part of this project as the actual members of the band.  And they want you to feel that way.

Living in Nashville and working in the music industry in this day and age, you probably see a lot of links for artists’ Kickstarter pages come across our computer screens. Typically, the pages consist of a very expensive, very well-directed short film featuring an artist talking about the beauty of their project and their artistic vision.   You're left questioning their authenticity.  Allen Thompson was raised to believe the only way to get what you want out of life was to work as hard as you can.  He was raised to believe that no matter how hard you try, there is still a good chance you might fail.   So he has a hard time understanding his generation’s sense of entitlement.  Now he has joined the millions of artists who have turned to their fans in this economy by using the Kickstarter platform.  Does he feel funny about doing it? Yes.  Does he feel it’s a necessity? Yes.

However, these songs they’ve recorded are among Allen's favorites to sing and play.  He says, "When I’m onstage with this band playing these songs, I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. I feel like I’m 12 years old learning Nirvana songs in my bedroom.  And when I see the way the crowd reacts to these songs, I know they are special.  And when you’re doing something that is this fun and feels this right, you have to share it with everyone.  I decided to use the Kickstarter platform because I want to share this experience with all of you. The good vibes of love and support you guys send our way both onstage and off sometimes borders on being overwhelming. I couldn’t imagine just packaging a disc to sell to you at shows. I want to make this project as special for all of us as it already feels to me."

One really wonderful thing about Kickstarter is that it encourages fans to participate in this project from its humble beginnings all the way through until the end.  In return for your generosity, you have the opportunity to receive gifts from the band such as autographed handwritten lyrics from the songs on this album, the album itself, and invitations to parties and shows celebrating the album's release.  

Allen goes on to say, "We (the extended family of Allen Thompson Band, our manager Nancy Rosenblatt of Trail of Crumbs Music, and label team at Palaver Records) are all really excited about this record, assembling our team, and getting this project off the ground together! Thank you for being a part of our family. We are continually humbled by your love and generosity."

Take some time and look at their Kickstarter page (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/allenthompson/salvation-in-the-ground)
and share it with your friends.  Don’t worry about the big ticket items.  If enough people mobilize and throw in a couple bucks here and there, they’ll make their goal by the 14th of May with ease. If you can’t contribute, please help to spread the word.

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Source:Trail of Crumbs Music
Location:Nashville - Tennessee - United States
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Tags:Allen Thompson Band, Salvation in the Ground, kickstarter, East Nashville, Folk, levon helm, Community
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