Bucky Halker

Bucky Halker

Bucky Halker is a veteran Chicago songwriter, scholar, and performer with fifteen albums to his credit, including Wisconsin 2-13-63, a two-CD project of original songs, and a tribute CD to martyred labor songwriter Joe Hill (1879-1915) entitled Anywhere But Utah: Songs of Joe Hill (2015). Halker’s original music tribute to folksong legend Woody Guthrie, The Ghost of Woody Guthrie (2012), fused elements of folk, blues, honky-tonk country, rock, and jazz; and on Welcome to Labor Land (2007), he offered eclectic renditions of historic labor protest songs from Illinois.

Bucky, a Ph.D. in U.S. History, has also lectured and published extensively on working-class protest music in America and has regularly toured Europe since 1990. He is the author of For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, 1865-1895 (University of Illinois Press) and the producer-scholar for the five volume Folksongs of Illinois CD series.

He received the prestigious Archie Green Fellowship from the Library of Congress - American Folklife Center in 2012 and was elected into the Union Hall of Honor by Illinois Labor History Society in 2009. Bucky has also received grants and awards from the City of Chicago, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He served as guest professor of American Studies at Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany in 2016.

Rick Kogan recently referred to Bucky as a "missionary, spreading the words and redefining folk music in new and vital and exciting ways.” Chicago Tribune (March 23, 2014)



"Instead of a cloying attempt at faux rusticity, Halker delivers a honky-tonkified message of protest" Clarissa Sansone, Country Standard Time