performer on the Midwest's burgeoning acoustic folk scene,
Siemsen is well recognized as a leading guitarist whose sound is
defined by his unique, perfectly honed flat-picking style. That,
combined with his wide vocal range, makes Siemsen a uniquely
the finest songwriters and performers on Wisconsin's acoustic music
is one of the brightest performers on the Milwaukee folk scene,
widely noted for his excellent original songs, lyrical guitar picking,
and mellow vocal style."
House, Milwaukee, WI
Drawn to all music since
he can remember, Craig plays mostly by ear, teaching himself to play
guitar… listening to what moves him in other's playing. This approach,
along with a stubborn resistance to not "play it like the record" has
created a very unique flat-picking guitar style. Craig has always
enjoyed great vocalists. After taking lessons from the late jazz great
Jessie Hauck, Craig learned to use his voice as an instrument to
communicate his music.
For almost twenty-five
years audiences have been heartened by Craig's personal blend of
original, old time country, and traditional folk music. With a voice
made for crooning, Craig uses a playful stage presence to deliver his
songs and stories to audiences around the United States.
When Craig was a child,
his parents used an overstuffed chair in the family living room to
stage acapela sing-a-longs during his childhood. Raised a Unitarian,
Craig was introduced to the politics of folk music at an early age.
Pete Seeger, The Chad Mitchell Trio, and Peter Paul and Mary were all
As Craig entered
adolescence, he developed a strong interest in rock and roll and the
bluess, a well as an activist's outlook on civil rights, the
environment, and peace. After taking the mandatory piano and violin
lessons through his youth, Craig decided he wanted to play like "B. B.
King", so he taught himself to play guitar by ear. This is what brought
him to performing, along with the novel offer by a new friend in
college to start a band. Having never played in public before, or even
entertained the notion, Craig of course said, "Sure!".
This decision started an
odyssey which took Craig around the country and back again several
times. Traveling with his dog Ms. Moe in a "68" Chevy Impala, Craig
lived for his music, playing bars, coffee houses, concert halls, as
well as more than a few impromptu shows at gas stations and
campgrounds. A Milwaukee native, it took many years of traveling on a
shoestring for him to land back in his heartland home.
Years later, Craig met
Patty Stevenson at a music festival in Milwaukee. Before he knew it,
the love bug had bit and Craig stayed put. Craig and Patty now enjoy
performing both as duo and as solo acts. For Craig, their music has
become so intertwined that he hears Patty playing and singing her parts
when he's performing solo.
For information about
Craig's recordings, please click on "recordings" in the menu.