Heidi Muller

“Everything Heidi writes touches my heart. She knows the human soul, like few do, and can put the deepest parts of ourselves to lyrics and music.”
            – Jan Douglass, retired pastor

“Her songs are as straightforward, uncomplicated, and compelling as an Appalachian ballad.”
            – Doug Bright, Heritage Music Review

Heidi Muller is an award-winning songwriter, singer, guitarist and mountain dulcimer player. In over 35 years of performing, she has played in concert halls, festivals, and livingrooms throughout America and produced nine CDs that have established her firmly in the national folk community. Heidi has headlined at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Tumbleweed Music Festival, South Florida Folk Festival, and Northwest Folklife Festival, among others. She has performed on the nationally-syndicated radio shows Mountain Stage and River City Folk, and has shared stages with Tom Paxton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nanci Griffith, John Gorka, Bill Staines, Richie Havens, David Bromberg, Jean Ritchie and many others.

A Seattle resident during the 1980’s and ‘90’s, the Heritage Music Review described her as “arguably Seattle’s most beloved folk singer/songwriter.” Heidi’s song “Good Road” became the theme song for Northwest Public Radio’s Inland Folk show in 1989 until it ended in 2019. Her CD Matters of the Heart was nominated as Best Folk Album of the Year in the 1989 Northwest Area Music Association awards. That same year, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. She went on to perform on Kerrville’s mainstage and Threadgill pavilion several times through 2017. “Gypsy Wind” won second-place honors at the Northwest Song Contest in 1998. In 2015, her songs “Cassiopeia” and “Sacred Ground” were published in Rise Again, the sequel to the legendary songbook, Rise Up Singing. Heidi’s songs have been recorded by Small Potatoes, Maria Gillard, Marsha Webb, Hank Cramer, Straw Into Gold and others, and have appeared on numerous compilations.

Heidi’s clear alto voice has been described as “one of the most pleasantly natural singing voices you’ll hear among contemporary songwriters” (Dirty Linen). Her singing has been compared at times to Kate Wolf and Joni Mitchell, who was one of her early influences. Heidi taught herself to play guitar at age 11, joined a couple of all-girl rock bands, and learned to fingerpick on the songs of Mitchell, Joan Baez, and James Taylor. In college near Boston, she got her start in coffeehouses, singing in a duo with Gail Finnie who herself became an established folk performer. Through Gail, she discovered the Appalachian dulcimer and became one of its best known proponents in the Pacific Northwest.

Heidi toured nationally for about ten years before she left Seattle in 2000. Upon returning to her home state of New Jersey and later moving to West Virginia, she was invited to teach at dozens of eastern dulcimer festivals, Road Scholar programs, and music camps including Kentucky Music Week, Augusta Heritage, Vermont Dulcimer Daze, Allegheny Echoes, and the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium. Heidi has published eight dulcimer songbooks and one book of original songs. Described by Dulcimer Players’ News as “one of the dulcimer community’s best songwriters and performers,” her original waltz “Leaving the Methow” was featured on the Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer, Volume Two recording.

In addition to performing, Heidi has worked in schools and community settings as an artist-in-residence, teaching songwriting, dulcimer, and guitar. She taught music to elementary and middle school students for Clay Community Arts in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. She and her partner, multi-instrumentalist Bob Webb, co-founded and taught for the Music Mentors program that served at-risk, inner-city children in Charleston, WV. Receiving an Artists in Communities grant from the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation in 2004 through the Step by Step organization, Heidi conducted a six-month intergenerational project in the communities of Big Ugly Creek and Harts Creek, WV, working with children and elders to record oral histories, write songs, and produce a heritage festival. In 2006-2007, she gathered those materials and more into a 200-page book named Patchwork Dreams that was published by Step by Step with support from West Virginia Humanities and the West Virginia Arts Commission.

Heidi and Bob moved back to the Northwest in 2012, settling in the Wallowa Mountains of northeast Oregon. Performing as a duo since 2003, they have recorded four albums together in addition to Heidi’s five previous solo CDs. Heidi continues to perform and teach both solo and with Bob, participating in virtual concerts and festivals during the pandemic until it’s possible to perform in person again. For more information, please visit www.heidimuller.com.