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.
In early 2020, Grossman (guitar, fiddle, vocals) and Hart (guitar, mandolin, vocals) relocated to St. Louis to form a new lineup as The Sapsuckers Band, featuring Ryan Koenig (mandolin, lap steel, accordion, and harp) and Joey Glynn (upright bass). Koenig and Glynn have performed together for years in a variety of bands, including the Rum Drum Ramblers and as Pokey La Farge’s South City Three. The new lineup is currently booking live shows in 2020 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. Gifted writers and self-described country music dorks, they soon 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 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.