Craig Siemsen's Biography
Craig Siemsen
"(an) acclaimed 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 well-rounded performer"
The Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque, NM
"…(a) fabulous recording artist…"
The Milwaukee Journal
"One of the finest songwriters and performers on Wisconsin's acoustic music scene."
Wisconsin Singer/Songwriter Concert Series
"Craig Siemsen 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."
The Coffee 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 family staples.

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.