The power to create change

Sue Massek is a musician committed to using the music she writes and the songs she sings as tools for social justice. As a member of the Reel World String Band from its beginning in 1977, Sue has toured throughout the USA, Canada, and Italy. They have created seven recording projects and play a variety of venues from community gatherings and picket lines in the heart of the Appalachian coalfields to the Lincoln Center in New York City. They have performed on numerous television and radio programs from local to international, and have been featured in magazines and newspapers throughout the United States, including MS and the New York Times.

Sue has recently expanded her repertoire to include a one-woman play written by Si Kahn about the life of Sarah Ogan Gunning.  Sarah was a singer/songwriter from the eastern Kentucky coalfields during the “Bloody Harlan” era, whose influence touched the lives of such noted performers as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

Sue is currently serving as a Master Artist in Kentucky’s Folklife Program, teaching old time banjo and songwriting. She apprenticed to several legendary old time banjo players, including Lily May Ledford, Blanche Coldiron and Clyde Davenport.  

Sue has two solo recording projects Brave is the Heart of a Singing Bird, which is a tribute to those people who influenced her music and activism and Searching for Shady Grove.