Every band likes to claim that they give back to their fans. But, unlike most bands, the Dirty Guv'nahs are putting their money where their mouths are.
In appreciation of their fan's support of their third studio album, "Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies," The Dirty Guvs will not be playing just one free concert for their fans, but two.
This may seem like an overly-generous move by the band, but considering the lengths that fans went to in their Kickstarter campaign, the Dirty Guvs are just paying back their kindness.
For those who don't know, Kickstarter is a website that allows for people with upstart business or artistic ideas to receive funding for their projects through donations over the Internet. For each donation, compensation is given by the group which people are donating to. For the Dirty Guvs, their third album was funded solely by fan donations to their online campaign.
"We put together a short video that explained that we wanted to make a new album, and instead of partnering with a major record label, and having them own it," said James Trimble, the frontman for the Dirty Guv'nahs, "we instead asked our fans, 'Would you front the money?'... And we have a great fan base and they chipped in and raised that money in a very short time."
The Guvs' asking price was $20,000, a hefty fee, that the fans met in only three days. In fact, the entire campaign even earned a mention in "Billboard." But despite its rapid success, the band wasn't convinced as to just how well their endeavor would turn out.
"I remember the day we set up the site and set the goal at $20,000," Trimble said. "And with Kickstarter, if you don't meet your goal, you don't get any money... We were thinking it would just be so embarrassing if we didn't raise a lot of money. But we made it... It was proof that this music and this art that we were creating has really connected with people."
To show appreciation for the fan support, the Dirty Guv'nahs have slated two appearances within a week of one another in Knoxville. The first will be Tuesday, August 14, at 6 p.m. at the Disc Exchange on Chapman Highway. The event is not only a free concert with catered food and drinks, but also the band's release party for the album that the fan support created.
While the Disc Exchange event is certain to draw a large crowd, it is the band's second free performance that is sure to be the highlight of their two concert stay in town, as on Friday, August 17, the band will play a free show at Market Square.
"The free show at Market Square is us saying 'Thank you,'" Trimble said. "I believe that it was around 65 percent of all the money raised during the Kickstarter campaign was raised here in East Tennessee. So instead of us throwing another show at the Bijou or the Tennessee Theatre, we just thought that we wanted to do a free show to say thanks... It's going to be fun, we got some great opening bands."
These two stops in town are the first local shows for the band since a two-night stand at the Bijou Theatre in February.
For fans of the Guvs, especially those that donated to the campaign, these concerts are a well-deserved thank you.
"I think they're a great local band," said Kathleen Carlson, junior in history. "... I wish I wasn't going to be out of town.
But if I was in town, I wouldn't miss them for the world."
For the band, it is fan support like this that has made their own dreams of music careers possible.
"Our fans are all we have," Trimble said. "We don't have some big budget machine running behind us. We don't have some major record label pumping money in. We have who our fans are, and without that we don't have a career. We're just extremely thankful for each and every one of them."