DAVID HB DRAKE

GOOD OLD SONGS

Biography

DAVID HB DRAKE has been called "a gentle troubadour" and "elemental folksinger". His music is inspired by his voyages across Midwestern prairies and the waters of the Great Lakes. He has performed for more than twenty-five years in a wide variety of art forms for all ages. David was named "Folk / Acoustic Music Artist of the Year 2002" and "Family Performer of the Year 2001" by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry and the 2001 Arts Wisconsin  Community Arts Development Award for service to the arts. The Folk Alliance Region Midwest presented the "Lantern Bearer" Life Achievement Award in 2003 and his KIDSTUFF album received a "Parents'  Choice" award for outstanding children's music.

Photo by Sky Schultz
Rainbow Summer, Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee WI :
Photo by Sky Schultz

A native of Milwaukee WI, David has written more than 200 songs of the Midwest. They are frequently heard on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Simply Folk," Higher Ground," and on public radio networks across the nation including New York radio's "Woody's Children," the nationally syndicated "Sing-Out Songbag" and as far away as Holland. His songs appear on the albums of several Midwestern folksingers. In addition to his own music, David has a vast storehouse of songs at his fingertips.  His eclectic repertoire includes sea shanties and songs of the Seven Seas and Great Lakes, Irish ballads, children's and family songs, environmental music, vintage tunes, novelty songs, traditional folk music and folk classics from the "sixties."

David is a regular performer at regional folk festivals, Irish Fest, Summerfest, Wisconsin State Fair, Old World Wisconsin, coffeehouses, colleges, community centers, libraries, and nature centers throughout the Midwest. He is also a frequent visitor to schools and elder care centers, where his WISCON-SING show, an official Wisconsin Sesquicentennial™ event, takes a musical walk through Wisconsin's history.  David's HEARTLAND program presents the history of our neighbors "south of the border" in Illinois. David is frequently seen performing benefits for a wide spectrum of social causes including the "Living Activism" series raising funds for Native American food pantries, the "AIDS Walk," the WAMI children's music education effort, for Pier Wisconsin environmental education events, and for "Peace Action" events promoting social justice and world peace. David is a song leader for the Congregation of the Great Spirit, a Milwaukee Native-American Catholic church.

David has been a professional dancer with Betty Salamun's DANCECIRCUS and the Milwaukee Ballet, actor, troubadour and swordsman with the "Ring of Steel" theatrical combat troupe, stage lighting designer, and minstrel. David has performed as part of Wisconsin's Heritage Ensemble. He has toured with "The Rose and Dragon" performing sea-shanties and waterfront songs, "Sweet Survivor", a duo specializing in Christmas songs, and "Dangerous Folk" presenting the classic folk music of the 60's. He performed onstage at Milwaukee's Irish Fest for 25 years. He roves Irish/Celtic events as Troubadour "Carrie O'Tunne" and Pirate Festivals as "Graybeard, The Ancient Mariner".  David is the author of "Graybeard's Advice for Lubbers" column in Pirates Magazine.  Living his dream, David served as shanty man on the movie tall ship "HMS Bounty". David has been both performer and crewman  alongside Pete Seeger aboard the environmental ship "Clearwater." He has served as shantyman / historian / on-board educator / crew for the Wisconsin flagship "Denis Sullivan" and Pier Wisconsin Maritime Center.

David can be seen on YouTube and his original songs heard on Spotify by searching "David HB Drake"

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