Savvy History specializes in taking true tales from history - full of depravity, folly, and vice - and presenting them as melodies for inspiration, amusement, and reflection. The Midwest duo of teacher/writer Michelle and bassist/programming tech Adam enjoy playing music throughout the summer. They also enjoy writing and presenting about creativity and finances for artists. In addition, they remodel homes together and have a young son.
Show highlights from the past few years 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, Lissie, Ann Reed, and Trina Hamlin. They have opened for musicians as diverse as Chris Koza, General B and The Wiz, 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. Having always been 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 found 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. Her musical partnership with Adam would help drive her vision and sound forward in the future.
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 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 - happily finding herself as a local teacher - Michelle has become interested in writing thematic song batches representing non-fiction characters from the past. Her current collection of over thirty songs focuses on The Civil War and The Gilded Age of the 1800s and early 1900s. This collection of songs is an evolving writing exercise that she enjoys. In addition, Adam has found enjoyable work as a sound technician and hopes his increasing skills can assist their music creation.
Meet the FI Team
We have a variety of interests. We strive to optimize.
Nico, Linus, and Oodie
Specializing in guest posts about parenting and pets.
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