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Elizabeth Mitchell Earns First Grammy Nomination With 'Little Seed' From Smithsonian Folkways

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Little SeedSmithsonian Folkways Recordings artist Elizabeth Mitchell earned a GRAMMY nomination for Best Children’s Album with Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woody Guthrie. Released in June 2012 as part of the Woody at 100 celebration, the album reflects Mitchell’s personal connection to Guthrie’s music and her adventurous approach to arranging and interpreting traditional songs. A chance discovery of a vinyl copy of Guthrie’s album Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child in a record store twenty years ago inspired Mitchell to embark on the path of making music for children. In Little Seed’s extensive liner notes she writes, “Woody Guthrie's songs for children are a gift to all of us. At this point in my life, they are a part of me, part of my family...these fragments of sweetness and mystery touch our souls. These songs have been part of my journey from being a teacher in New York City to singing concerts in the Redwood Forests of California....”

Watch the brand-new video for “Sleep Eye” from Little Seed....

Stream “Bling Blang” and “This Land Is Your Land”:

This month Mitchell wrapped up a national tour in support of Little Seed and Blue Clouds, her other 2012 Smithsonian Folkways album, with performances in cities from Seattle, WA, to Portland, ME.

Speaking of the GRAMMY nomination, Mitchell said, “We are enormously grateful for this recognition of our work, almost twenty years into a life of making music with and for children! And we are so happy to be sharing the nomination with our constant source of inspiration, Woody Guthrie.”

What sets Mitchell apart from many other contemporary children’s musicians is that she is making family music with her family. Mitchell, her creative partner, husband Daniel Littleton, and their 11-year-old daughter Storey together make the undeniable sound of a family. Storey, who began performing with her parents at the age of three, is now a featured instrumentalist in the band, playing ukulele, alto recorder, and harmonica, as well as joining in on beautiful three-part harmonies. Mitchell and her family live in Woodstock, NY, and several other extended family members and local musicians also make appearances on Little Seed, including Ollabelle vocalist Amy Helm, daughter of recently deceased legend Levon Helm of The Band. Mitchell cites friend and neighbor Levon Helm, who asked Mitchell to host a series of children’s concerts at his studio and performed on her 2010 album Sunny Day, as both an inspiration and an important collaborator in her life.

For the past two years, Mitchell also had the unique opportunity to develop a children’s music platform at The Newport Folk Festival, playing her own music as well as curating performances by other artists including Pete Seeger, Sarah Lee Guthrie, a Nickel Creek Reunion, and Conor Oberst, among many others.

Mitchell is one of Smithsonian Folkways’ best-selling artists alongside Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Ella Jenkins. Her other Smithsonian Folkways releases are Blue Clouds (2012), Sunny Day (2010), and You Are My Little Bird (2006). Starting with the album You Are My Flower, recorded in 1998 in a single afternoon as a gift for friends and family, Mitchell has developed into an accomplished artist with a devoted fan base and critical acclaim. NPR (All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation) described her music as “some of the most uplifting kid’s music out there,” while Little Seed was described as “exquisite” by People Magazine.

For complete tour dates visit Elizabeth Mitchell’s official website:

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