Luke Hendrickson

Luke Hendrickson, a local singer/songwriter, took to Kickstarter to secure funds for his first full-length album. And Kickstarter delivered. When we talked to Hendrickson on May 9, the project was a little under 80 percent funding Now, he’s hit the $3,500+ mark, and that full-length album has a green light!

Your Kickstarter for A full-length album started on March 27. How’s it going so far (as of May 9)?

Like with anything new, there was a really big influx the first couple days, then it tapers off and wanes, and you’ve got to prop it up and promote it every few days or so to keep it visible, keep the interest up. I’m getting there.

… As far as the project, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it all gets through and is funded, but even if it doesn’t and I get nothing, I’m still going to go through with the project. It just might take a little longer. I’m encouraged, and they’re going to get a good album regardless of the crowd-funding. I’m proud of the music I’m writing and I’ve got some good artists coming into the studio to help me put it together.

How would you describe your music to a new listener?

I say I’m a country singer, more or less. Country-ish. You could say country-folk or Americana, but that’s a pretty big blanket statement.

What have you learned from crowd-funding music in Rochester?

I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by how responsive people are. When they make a donation on the website, I get this administrative view on there where they can write little comments, and there have been some words of encouragement. There’s been names on there that I’ve recognized, and names that I haven’t recognized, and some people are even giving anonymously. So there’s the whole spectrum. It’s been really encouraging.

So why did you start a Kickstarter for the new album?

The cost of recording. A good-quality recording, yeah. … I have done some recording in the past, basically just friends’-basement, makeshift setups. I’ve got some momentum behind me – I’ve been touring around, got some good reviews, good audiences, so I wanted to make a full-length album. I found a good studio, Carpet Booth Studios in town. … But it wouldn’t matter where I go, there’s always that cost, more than I can finance on my own. And so I was kind of hesitant to even do this crowd-funding, because it seemed like – I don’t know – like, narcissistic. “Give me money for my thing.” But I chose Kickstarter because you can select prize levels. I could say, “Donate this much, and you’ll get the CD and some stickers or something when it’s finished.” It’s a preorder, really, for the album, and it’s giving me the boost I need so I can lock in the hours I need to book to do all the recording.

How did you decide what you were going to include on the tiers?

That was flying by the seat of my pants, I came up to those in about 15 minutes when I came up with my Kickstarter profile. I had looked at some other ones where different people have done seven, eight, 10 tiers, and it gets really complicated. I thought that sounded like a mess. I wanted to keep it really simple, so I put two tiers, and came up with the prices just by factoring in what the items I’m giving out would cost in a retail setting. I didn’t want to make it too complicated for people who want to help out.

Do you have any upcoming shows where people can get a taste for your music?

The 17th, I’m in Durand, Wis. and the 18th, I’m in Fountain, Minn. … And I’ll be at the Half Barrel on May 22, that’s Wednesday. And I have a full schedule at, a full list of dates.

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Anne writes for Rochester Magazine and the Post Bulletin, and edits 507 Magazine. She hails from Lafayette, Indiana and enjoys reading, tea-drinking, and her cat, Newt Scameownder.