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.

Listen to the latest tracks



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.

Purchase through Paypal - $15.00 - Support GrassRoots Music



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.

Purchase through Paypal - $15.00 - Support GrassRoots Music

Animal Dreams

AnimalDreamsAlbumCover best.jpg

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.

Purchase through Paypal - $15.00 - Support GrassRoots Music

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."

Purchase through Paypal - $15.00 - Support GrassRoots Music



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.

Tribute Song for Magdalen


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

Thanks for submitting!

Music Performance