Meet the Team
Niko, Jules, and Oodie
Specializing in guest posts about parenting and pets.
Are you looking for a quick biography?
Savvy History explores biographies using music and storytelling. Michelle specializes in taking true stories from the past and presenting them in an engaging way with folk music. The original music of Savvy History is one part of a larger project focused on creativity throughout history, distilling research into songs, classes, and written articles about inventors, artists, authors, entrepreneurs, and explorers. Do you love the creative process? Michelle offers online concerts, classes, and creativity coaching for the curious. Consider checking out the "Work With Me" page to learn more.
Our Longer Story
Savvy History specializes in taking true stories from history and presenting them as songs. The Midwest songwriting duo of teacher/writer Michelle and her husband bassist/sound tech Adam play live music throughout the summer.
Show highlights from the past include the Des Moines Art Festival, Austin Artsworks Festival, Great River Folk Festival, Cedar Rapid's Farmer's Market, Lake Harriet Band Shell, Seed Saver's Tomato Tasting, Cresco Opera House, Elkader Opera House, Nordic Fest, Riverfest, Winona's Earth Day Festival, and Wausa's Festival of the Arts - among hundreds of other performances.
At some of these shows, they were excited to share the stage with musicians such as Pieta Brown, Bo Ramsey, and Lissie. They have opened for musicians as diverse as Chris Koza, General B and The Wiz, Koo Koo Kangeroo, and Joe and Vicki Price. Their songs have also been featured on the Eau Claire based radio program Song of the Soul and Coast to Coast AM with a worldwide audience of over 3 million listeners.
Michelle grew up on a century farm near Effigy Mounds National Monument. Interested in many forms of writing, she received her first guitar on her 17th birthday and soon began writing songs about the mental health struggles of her teenage years. She recorded her first album 2 years later and then began performing locally.
NE Iowa arts monthly Tapestry Magazine described her debut album Jump Roping in Chains as “A fearless collection of songs that strips away any pretension…” A local newspaper noted at the time, "Her voice comes out confident and reassured, her songs possess tightly woven lyrics and her guitar playing ability is inspiring and mature." This warm local response, coupled with her relentless performance schedule, broadened her horizons and introduced her to many new friends, supporters, and collaborators.
Her second album, Hospital Radio, was released with the assistance of area musicians Adam and Matt (Rearview Mirror). They had recently been through an interesting record label experience when their band was discovered by producer Steve Lilywhite (Talking Heads, U2, Dave Matthews, The Rolling Stones). Adam's exciting - yet disjointed - music industry experience confirmed Michelle's drive to stay independent as an artist. Adam enjoyed teaming up with her for the chance to pursue other creative outlets as a bassist.
Adam and Michelle moved to Austin, TX and then returned to the Midwest with an album titled Pre-Echoes for the Postmodern in 2010. Michelle was then in the position to devote herself to performing and recording music full-time while Adam joined her at the majority of the shows. A radio producer in Wisconsin proclaimed that “Michelle models growth and insight through her music; passing on lessons of development and transformation.”
2010’s Sundial Tree was written exclusively in Texas and is the first record to feature Adam and Matt—now dubbed “The Bad Passengers”—backing her on nearly every song. With her music and vision further developed, Inspire(d) Magazine publisher Benji Nichols declared her “a regional favorite amongst music enthusiasts.” Michelle changed it up with her last record, Without an Outline, by featuring several tracks written on the synthesizer. Adam also expanded his role by singing backup on several tracks.
More recently - as a certified teacher with a master's degree emphasizing creativity in education - Michelle writes thematic song batches representing non-fiction characters from the past. Her current collection of over thirty songs focuses on inventors, hardship, and historical women with businesses. This collection of songs is an evolving writing exercise being molded and crafted with time. In addition, Adam has found enjoyable work as a sound technician. They document their journey getting this music out into the world using the blog and their social media presence.
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