John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt are grounded in the old field of grassroots music and nourished by the sounds of the 21st century. Helping set spot fires of locally bred music in the form of picking parties called Whiskey Fridays, they have blazed a trail of bonafide home-spun singing and songwriting from New England to the Midwest to the South and back again. Their songs stand out in the open, stretching and growing with each new experience, firmly planted in old sounds but calling out anew.
Music is no way to make a living. It's a way to share the living you make. We use music as a tool for inter-generational exchange, collective celebration and personal expression. It's an oral history like no other that captures the story of us embedded in our environment. A songwriter is just one skill individuals can use to compress their experience, or observation into a shared musical lesson. I write for different reasons. Songwriting is my journal, editorial, and way of storytelling by inventing half-truths, myths and nonsense.
In winter of 2005 I moved from Boston to the Midwest to be with my wife, Sarah who is an excellent singer and musician. Together we have collaborated with musicians in Wisconsin, Virginia and Vermont making a tradition of opening our home to people to trade songs, styles, stories, and whatever dialogues come to mind. We’ve also brought these living room sessions to restaurants, bars, festivals, weddings, schools, community events, churches, and even the woods where fun has been the first priority.
Old Field Pines is the result of winning 2nd place in the SolarFest Singer/Songwriter Showcase. The winnings allowed us to get the ball rolling on the recording process and eventually make this album. These songs are just the tip of the iceberg and we hope to share many more in the future.