Meet the Sapsuckers

Indie-Country songwriters with a fresh take on honky-tonk

Official Showcase Artists, SXSW ~ Nominated Best Country Band, Wisconsin Area Music Industry Assn.


The Sapsuckers write and perform original country/Americana songs that blend humor, heartache, and honky-tonk.


With an eclectic style that ranges from hillbilly roots to Nashville pop, the songwriting team of Nikki Grossman and Joe Hart has developed a lively, contemporary take on country music. Their creative lyrics, catchy melodies, and clever stage show have earned them a growing fanbase in the Midwest and beyond. In recent years, the duo has expanded to include a backing band of up to four additional musicians. 


Grossman (guitar, fiddle, vocals) and Hart (guitar, mandolin, vocals) got their start as an old-time fiddle band, performing for square and contra dances. Both had performed in a variety of musical acts—including prog rock, punk rock, and other old-time outfits—and an early connection was their interest in reproducing the close-harmony sounds of early country duos like the Blue Sky Boys and Callahan Brothers. Gifted writers and self-described country music dorks, they soon started writing and performing their own songs.


The duo has recorded three albums: “Don’t Think About Tomorrow Tonight” (2018) was launched at an official SXSW showcase, where they earned a standing ovation, as well as numerous Midwest tour dates. The album was co-produced by John Wood (Richard and Linda Thompson, Cat Stevens, Incredible String Band). The Sapsucker’s video for the song “Fools Were Made to be Broken” was premiered by Radio Heartland on Minnesota Public Radio, The Current. “Ocooch Mountain Home,” (2015), received high praise from the likes of fROOTS, Bluegrass Today, and Country Music People UK. “Speaking of Music” (2013) captures the old-timey roots of the band.


With more than 30 new, unrecorded songs, the duo is about to release their fourth album and plans to also release a live recording of “greatest hits.”


Grossman and Hart live on a rural homestead in Southwestern Wisconsin. They tour frequently throughout the Midwest and beyond. They are a favorite headlining act at festivals including Mile of Music, Fox Valley Folk Festival, and the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Association. They are also frequent radio and television guests, with live appearances on Radio Heartland/The Current (Minneapolis), 30-Minute Music Hour (PBS-Madison), The Midnight Hour (Chicago), Simply Folk (Madison), and many others. 




“Enchanting harmonies… note-perfect old-time fiddle playing… To be devoured by those who love old-time acoustic country music.” --fROOTS Magazine, John Atkins 

“Talented musicians and vocalists… impressive… a unique, enjoyable take on old-time music.” —Bluegrass Today 

“Gifted songwriters, their songs are heartfelt, catchy, humorous, and somehow old-timey and brand new all at the same time. A must listen!” —For the Country Record 

“Clearly the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers have got it all, the songs, the voices and great pickers... Wonderful.” —Country Music People (UK) 

“Clever, charming, perfectly executed, and last but not least, really funny.” —Klutch Chronicle 

“Grossman and Hart are pretty much a match made in heaven.” —American Roots UK 

“Fine old-time fiddle tunes with tight harmonies.” —Northern Sky Magazine 

“Beautiful harmonies and instrumentation… an absolute doozy.” —Bearly Ramblin 

“A warm blend of Appalachian music and Midwestern folk roots.” —Hymie’s Vintage Records 

“Their prowess on fiddle and guitar, with their strong vocals, is the bedrock of the duo’s success and charm.” —Lonesome Highway 

“One of five Americana bands you have to hear to believe.”  —Ear to the Ground Music 

“Evokes an unchanging country idyll. The light touch doesn't falter…” —Whisperin’ and Hollerin’ 

“No matter the tempo of the song, audience members were dancing.” —Concert review by Nina Matti on WNUR radio, Chicago 

-Best Albums of 2015 
American Roots UK 
-Top 10 Albums of 2015 
KDHX, St Louis Radio 
-Top 20 Singles of 2015 
Ear to the Ground Music