Midwest punster and songster
The Rock River Valley, along the Illinois border with Wisconsin, is where Art Thieme was raised and sparked his life-long love of folk music. I believe Art could play anything, and I do mean anything. His main instrument is the guitar, including his unique nine-string guitar, but he also plays old time banjo, musical saw, nose flute, jaw harp and who knows what all. He has collected an amazing amount of folksongs of the Midwest, and preserved them through his recordings.
Art, along with friends, Fred Holstein, Steve Goodman and John Prine, were the driving force in the Chicago folk music scene in the 1960s and 70s. He taught at the famous Old Town School of Folk Music, wrote articles for the legendary "Come for to Sing" magazine, hosted a radio program, and performed at Chicago's No Exit coffeehouse for 37 years.
I've seen Art Thieme perform several times, the last being well over a decade ago in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. His live performances harken back to when folk music was an era, a way of life. Unfortunately, Art had to stop performing years ago due to Multiple Sclerosis, but with the help of Sandy Patton of Folk-Legacy Records, he has recently released a new CD of live recordings. For long time fans, you'll know most of the songs, but if you know Art, you know he never performed any song the same way twice. For those of you not familiar with this Midwest troubadour, this CD is a chance to experience one of the best storyteller/singers of the folk era.
From his "Songs of the Heartland" LP on Kickin Mule records.
Also from his "Songs of the Heartland" LP
From his "Out Right Bold-Faced Lies" LP on Kicking Mule Records
Played on the musical saw. Also from his "Songs of the Heartland" LP
(Kicking Mule was bought by Fantasy Records and are currently out-of-print)
Buy Art Thieme's new CD "Chicago Town & Points West - Live" at Folk-Legacy. Folk-Legacy also has his "On the Wilderness Road" and "That's the Ticket" CDs.