Spotlight of the Week: Isiah Driessen

Isiah Driessen is a singer-songwriter who characterizes his music as “Western psychedelic folk.” Based in Little Chute, he founded a co-op known as The Cedars Project that connects community members with artists and business owners.

ME: How did you get involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures?

ISIAH: I met Allison at The Heist and we just started chatting. I was putting together a music festival last month so over the summer I had reached out to hire her as a consultant. That’s how I got involved; she offered the membership then.

ME: Right on! Sounds like it was an organic connection. What was the festival?

ISIAH: It was called the Cedars Fest; it was two days of mainly local artists and it was all original music.

ME: We love to see as much of that as we can!

ME: That said, I understand that you do solo music but also perform with a band Salmon Run?

ISIAH: I was doing that but I just switched, so now I’m not playing in Salmon Run anymore. Now I’m just focused on my solo stuff.

ME: Oh, sure! What’s been on your mind as a songwriter lately?

ISIAH: Well, I hadn’t done any writing in a while but I just started picking it back up. I’m stronger vocally, so when I was playing with Salmon Run I kind of leaned on the other guy a lot for the guitar. It’s something I’ve really been focusing on and honing my technical skills to become a better musician overall.

ME: Sweet, that’s cool. I’d love to hear more about your nonprofit, The Cedars Project.

ISIAH: It’s a co-op thing we’re starting! The goal is to do these projects and enhance the community; a lot of times it’s hard to organize people to do that sort of thing, so the co-op organizes people who want to do it while compensating them and working with local business owners. After the Cedars Fest, I started working with the village of Little Chute; they’ve got some grant money that they’re willing to give us as long as we set up a market for them next year. We want the profit to stay within the community and its members instead of just going to one person who just goes and buys a yacht like Jeff Bezos (laughs).

ME: Right. Eat the rich (laughs).

ME: So, I’m not too familiar with the Little Chute area. What’s your favorite venue to play around there?

ISIAH: I haven’t played too much in the Appleton area but I like the Lyric Room in Green Bay – the owner’s a really nice guy.

ME: Right on. I’ve heard good things!

ME: My last question for you is, what are you working on now?

ISIAH: I’m starting a construction company! But musically, I’m writing and putting together an album over the winter. I have like four hours of material I need to condense down and put into songs to make sound nice.

Visit Isiah Driessen’s website here.

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