Drifter Like Me
Raised in the central South Dakota town of Kimball (pop. 700) Becky Schlegel (then Husman) has been making music as long as she can remember. She took piano lessons from kindergarten through her senior year in high school and sang in choir and church events. When she was still in junior high, she joined her mother's professional country band, The Country Benders. Her earliest ambition? To sing on the television show 'Hee Haw'! With the band, Becky traveled throughout South Dakota playing dances at VFW and American Legion halls. She gained further stage experience when she joined the Mountain Music Show in the Black Hills of South Dakota, singing and playing keyboards for a country and bluegrass music show seven nights a week from Memorial Day to Labor day over the course of four summers. She also produced and released two cassettes showcasing her solid country style. Continuing her college education, Becky moved to Minnesota in 1994 and became involved in the bluegrass and acoustic music scene. She left her piano behind and started playing guitar in earnest, and even took a few banjo lessons! It wasn't long before people started to notice her extraordinary voice at jam sessions. Becky Schlegel formed the band True Blue in March 1997. Their first official event was a fundraiser for the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association, where they caused an immediate sensation. In 1998, Becky Schlegel & True Blue recorded and released their debut CD, This Lonesome Song, which was nominated for 1998 Bluegrass Recording of the Year by the Minnesota Music Academy. The band was invited to showcase at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual trade show in October 1999. The next month they appeared on Garrison Keillor's public radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, which was broadcast from Rapid City, South Dakota. Becky Schlegel & True Blue won the Bluegrass Band of the Year award for 2000, given by the Minnesota Music Academy. Summer 2000 found the band performing at numerous festivals, including the WEfest Country Music Festival and the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival. Already an accomplished singer, guitar player, and performer, Becky Schlegel has developed a strong voice as a songwriter. The year 2001 saw her recording her second CD, Red Leaf, featuring the talents of acoustic luminaries Ostroushko, Marc Anderson and John Niemann. Her new album is a departure from 'strictly bluegrass,' as it showcases 11 stunning original songs. In February 2002 the title song, 'Red Leaf,' was awarded 'Minnesota Song of the Year' at the Minnesota Music Festival, sponsored by the Northfield, MN Chamber of Commerce. Becky toured extensively during 2002 in support of Red Leaf. In September of 2002, she was honored with four Minnesota Music Academy nominations and given awards for Bluegrass/Old-Time Artist of the Year and Bluegrass/Old-Time Recording of the year. She was honored with the Bluegrass Artist of the Year by the MMA again in 2003 and has been nominated for the same award in 2004. Becky's second solo CD, Drifter Like Me, is slated for release early in 2005.