Legendary folk artist Greg Brown is a longtime Seed Savers Exchange supporter, having performed the first of several benefit concerts for the organization in August 2000. His seasoned songwriting, storytelling, and music—all deeply rooted in his Iowa upbringing—have attracted a large and loyal following of fans who enjoy his warmth, humor, thundering voice, and unpretentious musical vision.
“Iris DeMent makes music that celebrates humanity’s efforts toward salvation, while acknowledging that most of our time on Earth is spent reconciling with the fact that we don’t feel so redeemed. Grounded in hymns, early country songs, gospel and folk, DeMent’s work is treasured by those who know it for its insight and unabashed beauty.” - NPR
Dave Simonett has spent almost two decades as the lead singer, guitar player and songwriter for the widely popular and beloved roots band, Trampled By Turtles. He also fronts Dead Man Winter, a bull-bodied, emotionally resonant brand of Americana-infused indie rock band. He now boldly steps forward with a shining collection of new solo material for the first time under his own name called Red Tail. While Dead Man Winter’s Furnace was a much-needed cathartic experience for Simonett during a dark time, he is not connecting these songs on Red Tail to his own life as he prefers to allow listeners to develop their own interpretations. The conversational and poetic style in which Simonett writes lends itself to this perfectly, inspired by the spacious and stark Northern woods of Minnesota, where he's from. Drawing from the outdoors, Simonett uses light, weather and imagery to paint introspective, cinematic scenes that are easy to lose yourself in.
Video: By the Light of the Moon
Lissie grew up in Rock Island, Illinois, near the Mississippi River, speaking her mind and writing songs from an early age. Fans first fell in love with her sun-and-tequila-soaked voice from her five-song EP Why You Runnin', produced by Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses, which was ranked among the Eight Most Auspicious Musical Debuts of 2009 by Paste. Lissie’s full-length debut, Catching A Tiger, co-produced by Reynolds and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) was released in 2010. Paste. magazine named her Best New Solo Artist, VH1 tapped her as a “You Oughta Know” artist, she received a Q Awards nomination for Best Breakthrough Artist and iTunes UK chose “When I'm Alone,” as their song of the year 2010. Scads of festival performances, tour dates, television appearances and film/TV song placements followed. Along the way, Lissie also released a live CD/DVD of her sold-out show at London’s Shepherd's Bush, and racked up more than five million cumulative views for her live videos of songs like Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit Of Happiness” and Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”—songs that appear on her five-song 2011 EP Covered Up With Flowers.
Back to Forever, the follow-up to Lissie’s 2010 debut, was produced by Garret “Jacknife” Lee (R.E.M., Snow Patrol, Silversun Pickups). Lissie’s next album My Wild West in 2016 peaked #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and Top 10 on the Independent Album chart. After releasing her stunning top 10 record Castles in 2018, Lissie returned earlier in 2019 with When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective—an evocative collection reinterpreting songs from her first decade in music. Lissie also appeared in the most recent season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks with NME saying of her “intense” performance: “Closing the episode with the Stevie Nicks-esque ‘Wild West,’ Rock Island’s most exciting troubadour more than earned her Lynch-commissioned screen time.”
Video: Best Days
When the world’s on fire and the seeds of division are sown throughout the land, music and ceremony have forever held a sacred space for healing and renewal. Room Enough, Time Enough, the upcoming second full-length solo record from singer-lyricist & folk activist David Huckfelt of The Pines is a record about restoring balance: space and attention, peace and equality, redeeming the marginalized and remembering the forgotten. It’s a new expression of the ancient ritual and power of songs to weave a web of resilience and protection over our land, our loves, and our resistance from a songwriter at the height of his connective powers.
Featuring a collection of new original material seamlessly entwined with folk songs from deep in the American soil, Room Enough, Time Enough takes its place alongside such powerful protest records as Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears and Floyd Red Crow Westerman’s Custer Died for Your Sins; records that speak out against oppression while never abandoning beauty for beauty’s sake. The music mirrors the ancient stories of that Southwestern geography: forgotten arroyos & empty washes, cliff dwellings and cave art, cowboys, Natives, outlaws & honest men telling the story of a place older than the concept of America.
CDs & Records: https://merch.ambientinks.com/collections/davidhuckfelt
The daughter of two preacher’s kids, Pieta Brown’s early upbringing in Iowa was in a rural outpost with no furnace, running water, or TV. There, she was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father, Greg Brown, the now beloved Midwestern folk singer. Later, while living with her mother in Birmingham, Alabama during her formative years, Pieta drew on and expanded these influences and began writing poems and composing instrumental songs on piano. By the time she left home at 18 she had lived in at least 19 different houses and apartments between Iowa and Alabama.
In her early 20s, after experiencing what she describes as “the songs calling,” Pieta started experimenting with the banjo and eventually picked up a 1930s Maybell arch-top guitar during a visit to her father’s place and never looked back. Emerging from a disjointed and distinctly ‘bohemian’ upbringing, Pieta began performing live and making independent recordings soon after teaching herself how to play guitar. “I grew up around a lot of musicians and artists living on the fringe, and have always felt most at home among them,” Pieta says.
Growing up on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota, Annie lived in a home filled with voices made of thunder and nothing could stop it. Her parents were brilliant people individually. Her father, a singer and musician and her mother an artist and poet. Together they made sadness. Each of her parents taught Annie the beautiful things they knew. They showed her that she carried their gifts in her hands too. This is how creating art and music came about for her. This is what saved her. This is how she lives now.
Things my dad taught me: skin a deer, set net, clean fish, make maple syrup, harvest wild rice, play basketball, ride motorcycle, go without if you can't afford it, play guitar
Things my mom taught me: draw, paint, sew, write, laugh, wonder, forgive
Annie has 4 children and 2 grandsons. She has a handsome, Indian, horseman husband. They inspire her spirit and her art.
Karen Savoca & Pete HeitzmanBio
Karen Savoca & Pete Heitzman met on a stage 40 years ago, and have been performing, touring, and recording together ever since.
“Heitzman’s a true virtuoso of groove, with a sly touch that combined with Savoca’s in-the-pocket drumming and spectacularly soulful vocals, gives the duo the impact of a four-piece band.” - Acoustic Guitar Magazine
They’ve toured extensively with Greg Brown, who says of Karen, “If she were a Native American, her name would be Sings Like Two Birds.”
For all the moonlighting he's done in other genres over the years, Carl Nichols always comes back to the blues. At various points in his career Nichols has played gospel (despite being an atheist), West African music (despite being born and raised in Milwaukee) and, as one half of the acclaimed folk duo Nickel & Rose, Americana (despite having some deep reservations about that genre's long history of appropriating black music without always welcoming black musicians). None of those gigs, however, extinguished his desire to play the kind of traditional, acoustic blues he grew up admiring.
Malcolm Holcombe grew up in western North Carolina, home to some of the planet’s oldest mountains and some of America’s deepest musical traditions. Radio and TV fueled Malcolm’s musical passions as a kid, and music became even more important after he lost both his parents relatively young.
He toured with bands and landed in Nashville, where he took up an inconspicuous station at the back of the house—the very back—at Douglas Corner, one of the city's best singer/songwriter venues. Stories began to circulate about the mysterious dishwasher with the subterranean voice and oracle-like talent. Sadly so did stories of wildly inconsistent behavior—profound sweetness crossed by bouts of stunning abrasiveness.
He flirted with an official music career. But his stunning debut album made for Geffen Records was abruptly shelved, producing melodrama that only exacerbated Malcolm's drinking and depression. A business that once had a place for complicated genius turned its back on him, and he teetered near the edge.
Moving back to the North Carolina hills proved a powerful tonic. Holcombe let in help where before he’d pushed it away. With deep faith in God and a commitment to his art, Holcombe repaired himself and his career.
And that's a pretty good nod to the effect of hearing Holcombe sing. If you've not seen him in a live setting, this is what you have to do. His presence is spooky and timeless, as one imagines it was like to see Son House or Leadbelly. No emotional stone is left unturned.
Video: New Damnation Alley
Joe & Vicki PriceBio
Joe and Vicki are both members of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame. Their 2009 album "Rain or Shine" won the Independent Music Award for best Blues CD of the year. Joe is also a member of the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge.
The couple released a slew of solo CD's on seminal Iowa label Trailer Records, including “25 Below” (Joe, 1996), “Mississippi Summer” (Vicki, 1998), “Request” (Joe, 1999), “Designated Drive” (Joe, 2000) and “Looking for Love” (Vicki, 2005). After Trailer closed up shop, the pair released 2008's “A Brand New Place” and 2009's “Rain or Shine” independently. The latter two albums were both lavished with critical praise, but the pair may have just saved their best work for their most recent album, “Night Owls.” Featuring both Joe and Vicki throughout, “Night Owls” is the Price's music at its fullest, most memorable and most fun.
Winona LaDuke is an American environmentalist, economist, and writer, known for her work on tribal land claims and preservation, as well as sustainable development. In a December 2018 interview she also described herself as an industrial hemp grower.
In 1996 and 2000, she ran for Vice President as the nominee of the Green Party of the United States, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. She is the executive director of Honor the Earth, a Native environmental advocacy organization that played an active role in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
“Our Seven Generations and Seventh Fire prophecies tell us we are in the time when we have a choice between two paths. One path is well worn, scorched and leads to our destruction. The other path is new, green and leads to Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the good life). We must choose to walk the new path.
We have made a commitment to grow the future, to grow hope. Here Omaa Akiing, in the land to which the people belong- we are doing that.
Winona’s Hemp and the Anishinaabe Agricultural Institute are working to restore foodways, rematriate seeds, and make a new economy; one based on local food, energy and fiber. We have two branches: Winona’s Hemp for the cloth of the future and Anishinaabe Agriculture, our tax-exempt sister organization focused on regenerative and post petroleum or reduced petroleum agriculture and restoration of traditional varieties of our food.
We are going to grow a local economy; because this is what we all need to do. It’s time for the next economy. We are going to work with my community and grow this mino bimaatisiiwin back- local food, local energy and local hemp. This is the Green Path, or the Indigenous New Green Deal&its local, organic, and led by women.”
Rowen is a seed saver, farmer and educator. She is from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and curates an extensive collection of rare northeast native seeds. Rowen is co-founder of the Sierra Seeds Cooperative.
Featured Resilience Garden Partners
Postville School Community Gardens
Fourteen talented and inspiring artists, one great cause. Join us on Facebook and at seedsavers.org for our virtual benefit concert to support our nonprofit mission.
The concert offers the perfect chance to revel in the beauty of the Driftless Region while enjoying first-rate music. All concert proceeds will support our work to preserve America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food-crop heritage for current and future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and plants.
$5 minimum donation. All donations go towards Seed Savers Exchange nonprofit mission.Donate now