Images by Studio Blu Photography

The Americana band that are friends first, music group second look forward to celebrating their new album release March 22 at the Orpheum Theatre.

“There were lots of late nights for sure,” said Josh Rieck, mandolin, guitar and vocalist for The Union Grove Pickers in Sioux Falls.

UGP have been bursting with material since their 2010 inception, but procrastination was their Achilles’ heel for putting together a studio album.

“The album had been in the works for a while,” explained Rieck. “We had the material, it just became a matter of when and where.”

The fire wasn’t lit under them until artist Fiddler Nelson invited them to play at the Orpheum Theatre March 22.

“We thought, wouldn’t that be a great CD-release show?” said Travis Jamison, who plays bass and fiddle.

A deadline was officially set and the insane scramble to put together an album had begun.

To raise the funds they needed to produce the CD, UGP took to Kickstarter in hopes of getting $2,500 pledged.  Ranging from $5-$1,000+ donations, backers received stickers and “positive vibrations,” a copy of the album and a “tip of the hat,” a show poster, a limited edition t-shirt and much more. One lucky backer received a private performance from the band.

“We’re going to Aberdeen to do a show for that,” laughed Rieck. “One of my good friends donated. He got married a couple years ago and never had a reception, so we’re going to basically do their wedding reception a couple years after the fact.”

UGP decided early on that if they doubled their funds raised, they would also produce a vinyl version. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

“It became clear about halfway through that [doubling our goal] was probably going to happen,” said Rieck. “Then it was like, oh crap, now we have to think about that, and the problem with pressing vinyl is it takes six to eight weeks.”

“So two months [out] instead of two weeks,” said Jamison of their timeline for sending in the finished product.

With 69 backers, $5,665 was pledged to the project.

The deadline was now a really hard deadline to ensure the albums would make the show, but challenge only proved to be more motivation. UGP recorded in their make-shift studio in Rieck’s living room.

“It’s just commitment to what we’re trying to do,” said Jamison. “Just go hard for a couple weeks—10 days of intensity where Josh is taking a nap in the middle of the floor—but we’ll push through.”

To read the full article, pick up the March issue of 605 today! 

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