(Aaron Wood photo by Jason Sandford of Ashvegas)
Call him Woody or call him Aaron, the Asheville guitarist Aaron "Woody" Wood (Blue Rags, Hollywood Red, Custard Pie) is generally regarded by local musicians and music fans alike as one of our city's most talented rock guitarists.
I lucked into a copy of his outstanding new solo EP, and it turns out he can sing AND write great songs as well as tear up an electric guitar.
Aaron Wood bio quote: "The skinny white boy from the mountains Western North Carolina carries around more soul in his restless bones and battered guitar than most of us ever dream of." Word.
Check his soulful new self-titled EP out online here: enter the site and click on music to hear the whole thing streamed.
Turns out Wood made some musical connections at HATCHfest, found a new manager and is on the road to recording a new CD. He's doing it in a way I find completely fascinating: he's using kickstarter, a website that calls itself "a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, explorers."
Kickstarter lets fans pledge money towards a pre-stated goal. If the goal is met, the work goes forward. If it's not met, everyone keeps their money. From Wood's blog:
That’s the great thing about the site, you aren’t just asking people to give you money, you create different tiers of what you as an artist will give to them for a certain dollar amount. So, someone can support you for as little as say, $6 and get a download of songs, or they can get something for $25, up to a private show for say, $1000. Here’s the kicker though…It’s all or nothing. You set the budget, the time frame, and the different incentives you’ll give for the different level of money but if you don’t raise your goal by the end of your time then you don’t get any of it.
I don't yet know how much Wood needs to raise, but I listened in to his radio interview this week on WNCW and heard him mention private concerts, recording a cover of a fan-selected song, some neat stuff. He really seems to plan a fan-centric effort with real interactivity with fans of his music -- "You hold my hand, I'll hold yours," he said.
I've been a fan of Wood's since seeing him play the first time and wondering who the hell it was that was shredding the guitar like that. I think I'm gonna pony up.
The kickstarter effort starts this month, and I'll link to it when it goes live. There should be a press release soon for Wood's recording efforts. I'll post it here when I get it.
I work tangentially in the music business as a social media marketer for a local company that provides art and designs to musicians. It's brought me in contact with some new music models that fascinate me utterly: Amanda Palmer and OK Go mindfully and intentionally leaving their labels, Sxip Shirey financing his own CD on kickstarter... OK Go now sells content-filled custom USB drives at concerts, and Amanda Palmer and band have fans cook them meals on the road.
Over at Ashvegas blog, local musician Ami Worthen commented that her own band, Mad Tea Party, did something very similar to Kickstarter with PayPal back in 2006 for their release "Big Top Soda Pop." It's looks like Wood is traveling down the same road.
I'm on board for the ride and I hope it takes him all the places he deserves to go.
Aaron "Woody" Wood on Facebook
Aaron "Woody" Wood blog
Aaron Wood Music website
Great June 22 Ashvegas post on how Wood is using kickstarter to fund his CD