This is no lemonade stand. Local band, Chelsea McBee and the Random Assortment are learning crowd-sourcing 101, as they embark on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their first full-length album.
A humble group of ordinary folks, the Random Assortment is comprised of longtime Shepherdstown- based singer-songwriter, Chelsea McBee, Ben Witman on mandolin, Jeremy Rodgers on upright bass, and McBee's own kin, her mother, Teresa McBee, and sister, Melody Massimino, who join occasionally on vocals.
McBee described the band's sound as "bluegrass folk" or "jazz- folk" music, explaining that though the band uses traditional bluegrass instruments, their sound is more eclectic.
Prior to recording "The Whiskey Album," McBee, has released two joint records with local musicians, The Fox Hunt and Bob Keel, before releasing her first solo album in 2011.
McBee said shes funded each offering all on her own, until now.
"I first heard about Kickstarter online when artist, Amanda Palmer raised over 1 million dollars toward her latest album. I certainly don't expect to raise that much, but the way she speaks about crowd-funding makes great sense. There are lots of folks that want to support the arts and this is an easy way for them to support projects that they are really interested in," she said.
The Random Assortment's goal is to reach $3,300 by Aug. 30 according to McBee.
In return for donations, those who give funds receive swag gifts like digital downloads, a physical copy of "The Whiskey Album," CD, hand-embroidered tote bags, t-shirts and more.
McBee said that funds raised will be used to help pay for things like recording and mastering expenses, album art, and distribution.
The band had raised approximately 68 percent of the goal, or $2,200 at press time.
"Most of our pledges have come from our fans and some from family and friends as well," McBee said.
"I'm humbled by the response from all our fans. Each pledge tells us that they believe in our music and they want us to succeed," she went on to say.
McBee said getting "The Whiskey Album," released will mark a turning point for the band.
"We all want to tour. It's tricky right now to do much more traveling than we already do, just because of financing the trips. Who knows, maybe we will be able to tour the world one day soon," she said.
McBee said she eventually aspires to be able to make music her life and her livelihood.
"My personal goal for this group is to be able to make enough money playing music that none of us need to work day jobs. I hope that this album will help us gain momentum toward that goal."
Find out more information about Chelesa and the Random Assortment by visiting ChelseaMcbee.com.
To donate, visit www.kickstarter.com and search "Chelsea McBee" or "The Whiskey Album."