A collaboration among artists on Kickstarter


BRATTLEBORO — This year, when Brattleboro native GennaRose Nethercott wasn't sitting on a street corner writing poems on-demand, she was writing a collection of narrative ballads working with an incredible lineup of folk/Americana musicians to set the ballads to music for the album, "Modern Ballads." Each of the eight tracks is a collaboration between Nethercott and a different band, each one offering up a different voice and sound, adding diversity while maintaining a cohesiveness throughout with artists who knew each other, many having performed together.

Nethercott said, "I'm excited for people to hear this album. My favorite part is collaborating with these musicians that I have listened to for years."

She came up with this concept as a unique way to showcase her ballads. With a $1,800 Iguana Grant from Cambridge's famous music venue, Club Passim to start things off, she worked with Brattleboro favorites Lissa Schneckenburger (of Low Lily) and Corey DiMario (of Crooked Still), plus Peter Mulvey, Lonely Heartstring Band, Lula Wiles, Jefferson Hamer, Dietrich Strause, Rose Polenzani, and Arc Iris.

She now has her sights set on a crowdfunding campaign to raise a total of $8,000 on Kickstarter to bring the album to life. At the time of this printing, $2,805 has been raised, with 17 days to go until the deadline. The challenge in reaching that goal is that with Kickstarter, it is all or nothing. If the $8,000 goal isn't met, no money exchanges hands and the CD won't be made. Putting that thought aside, plans are to be recording in a Boston studio in late October, releasing the album in January.

Nethercott began writing poetry before she could read and write. At 4 years old she would dictate her words to her dad, playwright and author Michael Nethercott, (best known for his mystery novels "The S ance Society" and "Haunting Ballad"), who put on paper her folklore tales of monsters and fairies. As an adult she is still passionate about folklore, having acquired a degree in poetry from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., of which supernatural folklore was a component. Her book, "Poems for Strangers," (Honeybee Press, 2015) anthologized a number of spontaneous compositions, and a collaborative book with Brattleboro artist Susan Osgood, entitled "A Ghost of Water," is due out this fall.

Ballads have been a way of remembering stories to share for hundreds of years. Nethercott took these traditional structures of storytelling and applied them to lyrics of modern yet timeless tales of humanity. The eight songs on this recording are English and Scottish ballads co-written with the individual bands for a full-length anthology album of beautiful music, telling good stories steeped in folklore.

Funds raised will go toward studio rental, recording, engineer, mixing and master, album art, etc. Backers can pledge any amount they wish, and in exchange receive a range of rewards — from $15 for a high quality prereleased download of the album sent to your email, to a $50 backing for a CD, plus download, plus a limited edition, hand-bound lyric book of all eight ballads, to $100 that includes the CD, download and a limited edition poster excerpting "The Ballad of Sedna," illustrated by Wooly Mar, printed on an antique letterpress. The rewards continue upward to a $1,000 or more donation and receive the CD download and a new, original poem every month for a full year on the topic of your choice, composed specifically for you and typed on Nethercott's 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter. There are numerous rewards in between. Check out the campaign visit  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/modernballads/modern-ballads-an-album and become part of the family creating music.

For questions, email genna.nethercott@gmail.com. Follow the Modern Ballads album on twitter at @grnethercott, and learn more about GennaRose Nethercott at gennarosenethercott.com.

Nethercott said, "It is going to be a good bunch of stories by amazing musicians, a couple are Brattleboro based. I am excited to share these stories."

Cicely M. Eastman may be reached at 802-254-2311, ext 261


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