Being short on cash isn’t exactly a novel concept for unsigned musicians (or even some signed ones, for that matter), so when it came time for Athens, Ga., singer-songwriter Bain Mattox to record a new album, he found his pockets a little empty. Determined not to let that stifle his creativity, Mattox reached out to his fans, asking them to pre-order an album that didn’t even exist in order to help finance its creation. Considering that Mattox’s highly-anticipated Prizefighter dropped on Nov. 1, we know this story has a happy ending.

The completely fan-funded album chronicles Mattox’s personal struggles over the past year, making it a very honest and sincere piece of work. The lyrics fit well with the laid-back music Mattox and his band — guitarist Chris Skogen, keyboardist/guitarist Rivers Pearce, bassist Mike Lamond, and drummer Andy Bauer — create.

The Athens/Atlanta-based group specialize in a mellow brand of rock, similar to Angie-Aparo-meets-Sister Hazel/Vertical Horizon, sprinkled with some less traditional rock instrumentation courtesy of Mattox, like mandolin, banjo, harmonica and accordion. Yes, that’s right, the accordion. But he proves that the instrument isn’t as nerdy as one might initially think.

Mattox is currently out on the road in support of Prizefighter, an album that demonstrates not only his musical talent, but also his determination to live out his dream. “The ultimate goal for us is just to be able to do this as a living and to be out there on the road,” he says, “and be constantly doing this and have this as our bread and butter and all be together and rockin’ out and hopefully get to the biggest possible sense we could be at. We all want to be rock stars, so that’s what we’re working toward. We’re just gonna let music take us everywhere we wanted to go.” —Leah Weinberg

Bain Mattox and his band perform at Johnson’s Pub on Fri. Dec. 9.