How It’s New York: The Guggenheim Grotto guys are living in Brooklyn now.  They’re playing the New York Irish Center November 5 (a makeup for the date lost to Hurricane Irene!  Really, they’re locals now.

How It’s Irish: The folk-rock duo Kevin May and Mick Lynch are from Co. Mayo and Wexford.

I’m a big fan of the whole grassroots thing that lets fans actively contribute to artists getting their work done.  Susan McKeown got her last album Singing in the Dark funded that way on Kickstarter and so did Shannon Heaton with her latest album  Blue Dress.

Guggenheim Grotto are using a different program, PledgeMusic, which seems beautifully and somewhat weirdly specific. I dig it.  For $20 they’ll send you mp3s of ALL the songs they were considering for the album; for $10 you can get the 12 on the album now.  For $200 you can choose a set list (there’s 1 left!).   Somebody’s already bought the ipod shuffle mix tape from Kevin for $125! They had the ukelele from the tour for sale for $450– and it’s gone!   You could commission a hidden track on the album for $2,000– and that’s gone!

Really, I should try this.  For $20, I’ll include you in a blog post, with your name in bold.  For $30 I’ll write an anecdote about you full of humor and wry insight.  For $100 I’ll send you an unedited interview of someone famous.  It could even be Kevin May!  (hear the edited version, with some of the music, on this podcast).  For $500, you can get co-publisher credit.  I don’t have a ukelele for sale but I’m open to suggestions.  Copies of emails?  check.  outtakes from articles?  Could I, like them, charge for a pool game and beers?  (doubt it, but, I am broke…)

 Listen to Kevin May, and hear some of  The Universe Is Laughing, on our podcast.  Meanwhile, here’s what they have on their site:

Since day one we’ve been an independent band… true believers in the DIY approach to making music. We’ve played producer, engineer and performer on each of our 3 albums.

For album number 4, we want to do it a little bit differently. We want more people to get involved.

Here in Brooklyn we have met a group of supremely talented musicians who are psyched to play with us. We have also got a brilliant producer/engineer (Chris Kuffner) to come onboard and work his magic on our music. To make it all happen, we also need you. Once our target is reached, 5% of any subsequent money received will go to The Samaritans.

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.