Get to Know a Grammy Nominee: Elizabeth Mitchell
- Elizabeth Mitchell records beautiful, timeless folk music with the help of her husband, Daniel Littleton, and her daughter, Storey, age 11. Her Grammy-nominated album Little Seed features a collection of sunny, joyful Woody Guthrie songs that capture the wonder and love bonding parents and their children. Our reviewer Lynne Heffley reviewed the compilation, and wrote, “Mitchell’s talents match the simplicity of the timeless songs by Woody Guthrie, who spun their melodies, lyrics and wordplay with the first-hand knowledge of a father’s heart and a child’s wonder.”
- We were lucky to have Elizabeth share her observations on making music with her family with us. Her daughter, Storey, pitches in to share some truly amazing memories from touring and performing with her parents. After the interview, watch the video for “Sleep Eye,” a lovely track from Little Seed.
Your daughter, Storey, plays on Little Seed, and your husband is your creative partner. How have their roles in your music, and especially Storey’s, evolved in the last few years?
Storey is eleven-years-old now and is growing up so fast we are truly dizzy from trying to keep up. I consider myself so lucky to have her as a musical partner and to be able to grow as musicians together.
Storey has always been a creative force in our music- her voice, her thoughts, even her heartbeat- have shaped what we have created since before she was born. Over the last few years she has become an instrumentalist, playing harmonica, ukulele, and most recently the alto recorder. During the last year we have started singing three part harmony together, which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. My husband and I played a show recently opening for Natalie Merchant. It wasn’t a children’s music show, but we had Storey join us on harmony for a song—a beautiful bluegrass ballad by Bill Monroe—and it felt like the beginning of a new chapter for our family.
How has creating music together affected your family? Does it bring you all closer together?
Playing music together absolutely brings us closer. For me, music can be a deeper form of communication than other forms, so I am very grateful that we are able to express ourselves musically together.
Have you toured together as a family? If yes, what memorable experiences have you had? If no, will you ever?
We are on tour together right now! We have toured as a family performing together since Storey was three years old. The road has its ups and downs, but we have been so fortunate to have had so many incredible experiences. I just asked Storey what her most memorable shows were and these came to her mind: Playing the Newport Folk Festival two years ago when Pete Seeger joined us onstage; Performing with Dan Zanes on Manhattan’s Circle Line cruise and singing “This Land is Your Land” as we passed the Statue of Liberty; Traveling to Japan in 2008 when Storey was seven; and a show last month in Providence, RI when her six-year-old cousin Penny joined us onstage and lost her tooth in the middle of a song!
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