SHEPHERDSTOWN – Shepherdstown musicians Chelsea McBee has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise more $3,000 to complete their latest work, The Whiskey Album.
McBee, a Shepherdstown native, performs at regional fairs, festivals and special events throughout the four-state area and beyond. She describes her music as “whiskey-infused, bluegrass folk.”
Kickstarter is an online crowd-sourcing platform that connects independent artists with people who support projects by providing monetary donations. Funds raised will be used to help cover recording and mastering expenses, album art, reproduction and a public relations campaign.
“It’s really important to us to support the local economy,” McBee said. “Our music is our passion. By supporting this Kickstarter campaign, we will be able to hire local, talented professionals to master the songs, design the album art, produce the final product and to promote it,”
Individuals who pledge money toward the creation of “The Whiskey Album” receive rewards based on the amount of the pledge. These include digital downloads, physical copies of the CD, hand-embroidered tote bags and T-shirts. Individuals who provide larger pledges could get a personal concert or a full day to spend with McBee.
McBee’s music is influenced by old-time West Virginia banjo tunes as well as artists such as Gillian Welch, Anais Mitchell Feist and Bonnie Rait.
McBee began playing the claw-hammer banjo in 2005 and her backup band, The Random Assortment, was formed in 2011. She is joined by Ben Witman on mandolin, Jeremy Rodgers on upright bass and occasionally her mother, Teresa McBee, and sister, Melody Massimino. Her music is often classified as folk, Americana, bluegrass, newgrass and jazzgrass.
The new album will feature cover songs in addition to original tunes. “All the band members share a love of rye whiskey and writing music, which has resulted in an album with an underlying whiskey theme, which is why we called it ‘The Whiskey Album,’” McBee said. “It’s a great collection of songs and a great album. We can’t wait to share with the world.”
Upcoming shows include the Shepherdstown Farm Market on Sunday; Taste of Highland Dinner on Aug. 16 in Monterey, Va.; Cross Keys Vineyard on Aug. 18 in Crawford, Va.; and the Winchester Book Gallery on Aug. 23 in Winchester, Va.
Those who want to support the campaign, go to kickstarter.com or find out about the musicians at ChelseaMcBee.com.