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holly near

Holly Near

Singer, songwriter, producer, record label owner, actor, author, activist, feminist, teacher – Holly Near’s interlinked careers and integrity have earned her the reputation as one of the most powerful and articulate political artists of our time.

Born to politically active parents from North Dakota and New York in the rural community of Ukiah, California, Holly grew up in an environment that combined Western sensibility and Eastern sophistication. Although she started singing publicly at age eight, Holly’s professional life began in earnest with acting performances in such movies and TV shows as “Slaughterhouse Five,” “Minnie and Moskowitz,” “All in the Family,” “The Mod Squad” and “The Partridge Family,” and she appeared in “Hair” on Broadway. In the early ’70s, Holly decided on music as her major focus, especially that which addressed the social conditions of the world community, and started singing and writing songs. Her strength as a performer led to creative collaborations with such artists as Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, Inti-Illimani and Mercedes Sosa.

As a result of her work opposing the U.S. wars against Indochina, and the music industry’s disinterest in her outspoken lyrics, Holly launched her own record label, Redwood Records, one of the industry’s first artist-owned companies, in 1972. Redwood became a force in alternative music for the next 20 years, recording and promoting music by politically conscious artists from around the world. In her own music, Holly kept adding that which she was learning about the environment, work, children, feminism, and lesbian and gay rights. This pursuit of political clarity has earned her recognition from a wide variety of groups, including “Woman of the Year” honors from Ms. Magazine, “Woman of Voice and Vision Award” from Scripps College, and many other acknowledgements from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization of Women and more.

To date, Holly has released more than 20 recordings and been a guest on many others. She also teaches master classes in performance craft and songwriting. Although Redwood Records closed its doors in the early Nineties, Holly started another label, Calico Tracks, which, along with Appleseed, has been returning many of her recordings to availability. Her most recent CD of new recordings is Show Up, released by Calico Tracks in 2006. The amiable working relationship between Appleseed and Calico Tracks is representative of the political commitment both labels share. 

Holly continues to perform worldwide as a musical ambassador for peace, bringing to the stage her distinctive integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, theatricality and an unwillingness to separate her passion for music from her passion for human dignity. 

Holly Near’s recording of Pete Seeger’s “Quiet Early Morning” from her Early Warnings CD also appears on our Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger 2-CD set. A live recording of “Precious Friend” with Ronnie Gilbert appears on Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Volume 3, and a live recording of “Somos El Barco (We Are the Boat)” by Holly, Ronnie, Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger appears on our Sowing the Seeds – The 10th Anniversary double CD.


tour dates



better dreams
Early Warnings
also appears
where have all the flowers gone
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 1
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?


The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 3

sowing the seeds

Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary