Mike Seeger: 1934-2009

August 13, 2009  |  5:00pm
Folk singer/songwriter Mike Seeger died of cancer last Friday at his home in Lexington, Va. He was 75. Half brother of Pete Seeger, the banjo legend was the inspiration that sparked Bob Dylan to start composing his own songs from the deep roots of American folk music.

Seeger's popularity blossomed in the 1950s when he formed the New Lost City Ramblers, the group attributed to the rise of the '60s folk boom. He went on to record over 40 albums and obtained six Grammy nominations during his career. His last solo album, Early Southern Guitar Sounds, was released in 2007 on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

Seeger also assisted Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's 2007 album, Raising Sand. His effluent skill showed his mastery of several instruments, including the autoharp, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, cello, viola and guitar.

With a career spanning over half a century, Seeger devoted his life to resurrecting folk through the lost and buried songs of former musicians, so much that he was crowned by many as the "living library" of the genre, and a "one-man folk festival." Like the artists that impassioned his vocation, he, too, will be remembered through his music.

Seeger is survived by his wife, Alexia, and three sons. 


Related links:
News: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Cover Waits, Zandt
Review: Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
News: New, Old Artists Harmonize At Newport's Folk Festival 50

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