“Gifted songwriters, their songs are heartfelt, catchy, humorous, and somehow old-timey and brand new all at the same time.”
— For the Country Record
PRAISE FOR THE SAPSUCKERS
“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
“Grossman and Hart are pretty much a match made in heaven.” —American Roots UK
“Clearly the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers have got it all, the songs, the voices and great pickers... Wonderful.” —Country Music People (UK)
“Fine old-time fiddle tunes with tight harmonies.” —Northern Sky Magazine
“Beautiful harmonies and instrumentation… The whole album is an absolute doozy.” —Bearly Ramblin
“A warm blend of Appalachian music and Midwestern folk roots.” —Hymie’s Vintage Records
“Clever, charming, perfectly executed, and last but not least, really funny.” —Klutch Chronicle
“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… a hit Americana album.” —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
Meet the Sapsuckers
Click here for a 100-word bio.
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.
The couple (on stage and off) got their start together as an old-time fiddle band, performing for square and contra dances, with Grossman on fiddle and Hart on guitar. 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. The pair are both students of creative writing and self-described country music dorks, so it wasn’t long before they 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 heading into the studio in 2020 to make their fourth release and plans to also release a live recording of “greatest hits.” Grossman (guitar, fiddle, lead vocals) and Hart (guitar, mandolin, vocals) are also teaming up with a number of side- and back-up musicians and performing live as a band.
Grossman and Hart live with their blended family, dividing their time between a rural homestead in Southwestern Wisconsin, and the city of St. Louis. 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.
RADIO & WEB RADIO
In-studio performance: Minnesota Public Radio, Radio Heartland/The Current, MN
Video Premier: Minnesota Public Radio, Radio Heartland/The Current, MN
Wisconsin Public Radio, Simply Folk
WNUR, The Midnight Special, Chicago IL
KUMD, Duluth, MN
WTIP, Grand Marais, MN
WNUR, Chicago, IL
White Wall Sessions, Sioux Falls, SD
WDRT, Viroqua, WI
Iowa Public Radio, Iowa City, IA
NEWSPAPERS & TV
Wisconsin Public Television, 30-Minute Music Hour
"Sapsuckers don't mind being pigeonholed," in the La Crosse Tribune
"Learn how to yodel, it's easy," in the MPLS Star Tribune Tribune
"Interview: Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers at Mile of Music in CW14
"Sapsuckers Ready for Takeoff" in the La Crosse Tribune
"Hot Country for the Cold Snap" in The Country Today
"Meet the Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers" in Northern Wilds
"Boisterous Band" in Paducah Sun (pg 6)