Greg Brown.
Greg Brown.
A host of talented and inspiring artists, one great cause.

Everyone is invited to tune in at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday evening, Aug. 1, via Seed Savers Exchange’s website (seedsavers.org) or Facebook page for an evening of folk, blues and bluegrass music to benefit the northeast Iowa-based nonprofit. No pre-registration is required; a recommended minimum donation of $5 can be made the day of the event.

The concert offers the perfect chance to glimpse the beauty of the Driftless Region while enjoying first-rate music, all from the comfort of the viewer’s home. All concert proceeds will support Seed Savers Exchange, founded in 1975 to preserve America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food-crop heritage by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and plants.

Featured musicians include Greg Brown, Iris DeMent, Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, Lissie, David Huckfelt, Pieta Brown, Malcolm Holcombe, Annie Humphrey, Buffalo Nichols, Joe and Vicki Price, and Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman. Speakers include Winona LaDuke—noted environmentalist, economist, and writer—and Rowen White, co-founder of Sierra Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange board member.

About the artists
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.

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Iris DeMent has been hailed by NPR for making 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, her work is treasured by those who know it for its insight and unabashed beauty.”

Dave Simonett is the lead singer and songwriter for the Duluth-based acoustic powerhouse bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles as well as Dead Man Winter, an Americana-infused indie rock band. He has toured the world many times over and released several acclaimed records for an ever-expanding fan base.

Elisabeth Maurus—known by her stage name, Lissie—is an American folk-rock artist now based in the Driftless Area and Paste magazine’s top new solo artist of 2010. After releasing the stunning album Castles in 2018, which reached the top 15 on the Billboard Folk Albums chart, Lissie returned in 2019 with her seventh album, When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective—an evocative collection reinterpreting songs from her first decade in music.

Singer and songwriter David Huckfelt first gained attention with The Pines, the popular Iowa indie-folk band he co-founded. He will soon follow his stunning debut solo album, Stranger Angels, released in 2018, with his second full-length solo effort, Room Enough, Time Enough, a collection of new original material seamlessly entwined with folk songs from deep in the American soil.

Hailed as a “self-styled poetess, folk goddess, and country waif” by the BBC, Iowa treasure Pieta Brown is a talented poet and songwriter whose “moody, ethereal” songwriting has been praised by the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal. She has shared stages with the likes of Emmylou Harris and JJ Cale and channels the human, personal, and compassionate folk music championed by her father, Greg Brown.

North Carolina-based Southern folk singer-songwriter Malcolm Holcombe released his 13th studio album, Come Hell or High Water, on Singular Recordings in 2018. Critic Jon Sobel noted the album’s “rootsy arrangements, gentle acoustic guitar, and sincere and warm-blooded music.”

Annie Humphrey was named the Artist of the Year at the 2018 Native American Music Awards. She is an Ojibwe mother, singer, songwriter, and visual artist who was born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota.
While he’s moonlighted in other genres over the years, Milwaukee native Buffalo Nichols always returns to the blues—specifically, acoustic, songwriter-driven blues. He draws inspiration from the classic blues music he grew up loving as a kid, and from the gospel and African music he performed later in life.

Iowa Blues Hall of Fame members Joe and Vicki Price have amassed a devoted following throughout the Midwest (and beyond) thanks to their irresistible live performances. Their 2009 album Rain or Shine won the Independent Music Award for Best Blues CD of the Year.

Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman met on a stage 40 years ago, and have been performing, touring, and recording together ever since. Says Acoustic Guitar Magazine: “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.”

For more information, visit seedsavers.org/benefit-concert.