Since 1996 Fred Gillen Jr has been traveling around the world performing his songs of hope for whomever would listen. From prestigious venues such as Patan Durbar Square World Heritage Site in Kathmandu and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City to farmers markets, coffeehouses, and house concerts he has brought his brand of folk music to wherever people congregate. Along the way hes given away thousands of stickers and buttons bearing the message "wage love," made friends, played with countless great musicians, sold thousands of CDs, and connected with audiences on a deep level. His sing-along "Sing Sing Sing" has been sung by enough people to become a sort of regional "folk song" in his native Hudson Valley, and Gillen has had a long and fulfilling career as an independent artist. Hes had the opportunity to open for some of his favorite artists including Merle Haggard, Todd Rundgren, and David Bromberg, and make music with his great heroes, particularly Pete Seeger, in several different contexts including contributing a Woody Guthrie cover to Petes 2012 album "Pete Remembers Woody."
Besides working as a solo performing artist, Gillen is currently singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the band The Trike, bassist of the band The Less Traveled, and singer, guitarist, and bassist of the band Guthries Ghost. Over the past thirty years hes played as a sideman with dozens of other artists, as a bass guitarist, guitarist, percussionist, and singer. Hes also been a founding/ co-writing member of the bands Rain Deputies and Tumbleweed Mile, Hope Machine, Gillen & Turk, Hot Rod Pacer, Backwoods Jupiter, and the Greenheart.
From 2001 to 2021 He also ran Woodys House Recording Studio in Croton -on- Hudson, NY, where he recorded and/or produced some great music from wonderful artists across a huge musical spectrum from the folk music of Pete Seeger and Carolann Solebello to the Indie rock of Fin Folsom and the Lonely Leaves to Chris Contes debut jazz album. Occasionally his work received commercial recognition, but more importantly he helped create quality recordings which have helped to create what music people in the valley call the "Hudson Valley sound". A huge highlight of the studios years was Gillen co-producing the song "What Is This World Gonna Do?" with Lisa Gutkin, who co-wrote the song with Woody Guthrie, the studios namesake. In 2021 he moved all of the gear to his new home in Athens, NY and built a new space, "Esperanza Recording Studio."
During the global Covid-19 shut-down when live music came to a stop, Gillen wrote, recorded, and released four e.p.s of new songs, which he released quietly on Band Camp. These e.p.s join his twenty-five year body of work, which includes eleven full- length solo studio albums, a live album, two other e.p.s, and his various band collaborations. He is currently working on a new solo album to be released in late 2023 or early 2024. If youd really like to know what Gillen is all about, give some of his music a listen!