Have you heard about 'Kickstarter'? I have and I think it's a GREAT thing. It's a crowd funding website for independent projects.  Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, ranging from indie films, music, stage shows and comics to journalism, video games and food-related projects.

I've had a number of requests from Facebook friends trying to fund independent movies to children's books to several wanting to do album releases. Sioux Falls own Jukebox Zeroes used Kickstarter as a vehicle to help fund their double CD release this year called In Gratia.

Just today, I saw on Facebook one of the rising stars in the Blues music world, Trampled Under Foot, had started a Kickstarter campaign. TUF is a family band out of Kansas City that has won a number of awards in their relatively young career from the International Blues Challenge in 2008 to awards for Band of the Year.They were one of the headliners at this past summer's Hillbilly's Blues Fest in Alcester, SD as well.

I guess I was surprised to see a national band looking to fund a project, so I dug a little deeper. I know many of the record labels aren't in the business of developing young talented musicians, instead going for the quick 'hit music' fix or working with established artists. Heck, bands like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac don't even have a label.

Since Kickstarter's launch on April 28, 2009, over $350 million has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects

Today, Trampled Under Foot posted this statement with the following video: "TUF wants to record and release our new album independently. No label, just our fans and us. It’s been 2 years since we recorded our last album and so much has happened to us since then. Through it all, the one thing that has remained constant is the amazing support from you, our friends and fans, so we thought it would be fun to get you more involved in the creation of our new record. Our Kickstarter campaign gives us the chance to show our appreciation for your support in a personal way."

Watch the first video to find out about TUF, their Kickstarter campaign and what perks they're offering for backers (a fishing trip with the band? dinner with the band cooked by Danielle the fantastic bass player/singer?? a private show???) Then watch a couple of the videos from one of my favorite Blues bands: Trampled Under Foot.

If you're interested in learning how you can help or make a pledge, click here.