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My new album, Spinning & Weaving, is now available in CD form with a little booklet featuring original art and descriptions.

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Singer ~ Songwriter ~ Activist

Combining energetic performance with raw talent, Thistle Pettersen is paving the way as an activist musician. Since embarking on her career in 2000, Thistle Pettersen continues to captivate fans with her signature sound, fierce passion, and unique performances. You will be hooked from the first note. Read on to learn more about this talented musician.

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Spinning & Weaving

Spinning & Weaving takes you on a journey of rhyme and rhythm to resonate in your soul as you continue on in tumultuous times. This work is like water whispering darkness under the moon, slithering and sliding along the river’s green edge as the city lights glow on the horizon. There are multiple layers of images and meanings behind the lyrics I wove together for this lullaby. Listening to the album in headphones is best. Pick a quiet spot, lay down, relax or look out the window and enjoy.


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Review by Lierre Keith:

Spinning and Weaving dropped into my inbox on a sad, rainy day, with winter approaching and a political landscape to match. The very first song, “Warrior’s Lullaby,” speaks to the sharp grief of betrayal that surely haunts every radical feminist. We tell the truth and are punished relentlessly, until “only salt remains” of our tears. Yet the singer persists in her hope that, through the solidarity of good friends and the power of our sheer endurance, all is not lost.

Many of the songs in Spinning and Weaving touch the mythic: a dream wolf, a cradle of moon and stars, ancient women weaving messages of courage. The mythic, for Thistle, has its bedrock in the beloved earth. A biophilic theme pulses through these songs: the garden creates spiritual food as well as vegetables, and the elemental forces of rain and sun, the cycles of night and day, offer quiet, constant renewal. Even the sad songs are infused with hope when this indomitable songbird makes her joyous noise. Her spirit just can’t be broken.

“And in this life, I choose to fight!” she sings. See you on the barricades, Thistle!

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Thistle Through Time

I compiled songs from recordings from all the years I have been a singer/songwriter. Most were recorded by friends along the way who heard the value and spark of my work and brought me into their studios to capture the magic of what I do. The recordings from 1999 I did in my living room. They are especially raw and therapeutic. Matthew Sanborn did the recordings from 2003 and 2008, and Optisonic Studios in Madison did the ones from 2002. Red Square Audio recorded my songs in 2012. Beckon captured songs from 2014 and 2015. Kenn Busch captured the music and musicians, including the late great Steve Pingry on cello, on the version of the BP song I include here.

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Through a Window was recorded in 2011 & 2012 with Ben Willis on upright bass, Page Foster and Mourning Dove on harmony vocals, Celeste’ Abril Ixchel on musical saw, Marissa Reinholz on viola & Scott Caldwell on drums. I met up with Marrissa, Ben, Page and Celeste on Sunday, October 16th, 2011 to bring these songs to recorded life with the expert help of Lonya Nenashev, our recording engineer. All five of us played on every song except for Earth’s Barren Ground which was recorded on March 3rd, 2012 with Mourning Dove, Marrissa, Scott and me. Scott also added drum tracks to the original October 16th recording on March 3rd. He did a great job of finding tempo and meter within an otherwise live, organic ensemble recording. The results are a recording that breathes and pulses with the rhythms of life with added layers and flourishes to make the overall sound rich and something I hope you will want to listen to again and again. Thanks to T.J. Pauley for additional recordings, playing on and recording guitar tracks and for the production of this album.

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Animal Dreams

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Animal Dreams was recorded and produced by Matthew Sanborn in 2007 & 2008. We recorded each track separately and added lots of cello, among other instruments, including Scott Caldwell on drums. This album was inspired by thousands of miles of bicycle journeying through the Midwest and South and also the DNC2RNC march of resistance to the two-party electoral political system of 2004. Sticky Red Egg is the name of the song that is about that mobile village that spent 28 days on the road together walking from the Democratic National Convention in Boston to the RNC in NYC.

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We Are More

We Are More was recorded and produced by Matthew Sanborn in 2002 and 2003. We recorded each track separately and added horns on some songs, a sound collage in the song Jezebel and other embellishments. It was a work of art I created right before taking off on my open-ended bicycle journey that led me to hand-build a shelter on an organic farm on the edge of Austin and down both the west and the east coasts with fellow bicycle enthusiasts and travelers. This collection of songs represents my concerns about American lifestyles that would have us consuming rather than honoring and enjoying the fruits of our labor and land."

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Based in Madison Wisconsin, Thistle Pettersen is a musician who has dedicated her life’s work to music and activism. Perfecting her technical abilities and unique sound, Thistle Pettersen has mastered live shows and unforgettable studio recordings, while captivating the hearts of fans and audience members across the nation and world.

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Want to learn more about Thistle Pettersen, her activism or her music, and her tour dates? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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