Artie Traum

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Arthur Roy 'Artie' Traum (April 3, 1943 – July 20, 2008) was an American New Age Voice (NAV) Award-winning guitarist, producer and songwriter. Traum's work appeared on more than 35 albums. He produced and recorded with The Band, Arlen Roth, Warren Bernhardt, Pat Alger, Tony Levin, John Sebastian, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Eric Andersen, Paul Butterfield, Paul Siebel, Rory Block, James Taylor, Pete Seeger, David Grisman, Livingston Taylor, Michael Franks and Happy Traum, among others. Traum's songs were featured on PBS, BBC, ESPN, CBS, and The Weather Channel. He toured in Japan, Europe and across the USA.


From left: Happy Traum, Artie Traum, and Ed Renehan performing in Albany at The Linda WAMC's Performing Arts Studio on March 26th, 2008. Photo by Jane Traum.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Traum became a part of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in the late 1950s. Early on, Traum co-wrote songs for the Brian De Palma debut film Greetings – the first role for Robert De Niro – with Eric Kaz and Bear.

1969 saw Traum joining forces with his brother Happy Traum in a duo. Their self-titled debut album, Happy & Artie Traum (Capitol Records) was cited by the New York Times as "one of the best records in any field of pop music." The Traums were managed by Albert Grossman (manager of The Band, Dylan, Janis Joplin, etc.). The duo performed at the 1969 Newport Folk Festival on stage with James Taylor, Kris Kristoferson and Joni Mitchell.

Happy Traum and Artie Traum in 1970.

In November 1971, both Artie and Happy Traum (together with Bob Dylan, David Amram, and others) participated in an extended Record Plant (NYC) session backing up Allen Ginsberg in various songs and chants. Ginsberg wrote the liner notes for the duo's "Hard Times in the Country" LP.

During the 70’s and 80’s, Artie Traum produced The Woodstock Mountains Revue featuring himself, his brother Happy, Roly Salley Pat Alger, John Sebastian, Arlen Roth, Maria Muldaur, Rory Block, Eric Andersen, Paul Butterfield and Paul Siebel. In the mid-1980s Traum teamed up with singer/songwriter Pat Alger (Thunder Rolls, Unanswered Prayers). The duo recorded the album From The Heart. Traum released his first solo album, Life on Earth, in 1977 on Rounder Records.[1]

Traum's 1994 release - the jazz project Letters From Joubee - captured #1 on the Smooth Jazz Radio Charts (Gavin AA chart). In 1999 his Meetings With Remarkable Friends - which included tracks featuring Traum playing with The Band, Bela Fleck, Jay Ungar, and other notables - received the Best Acoustic Instrumental Album award from the NAV.

In 2003, Traum released a singer/songwriter project, South of Lafayette, which was featured on NPR's "All Things Considered". In 2007 Traum released the album Thief of Time.

During recent years, Traum enjoyed a small side career as a documentary filmmaker. In 2002, his film Deep Water: Building the Catskill Water System (co-produced and co-directed with Tobe Carey and Robbie Dupree) was featured at the Woodstock Film Festival. Two years later, in 2004, Traum co-produced Hudson River Journeys: A Celebration of America's First River for WMHT Public Television. The latter film featured artist Len Tantillo and folksinger Pete Seeger.

Traum also wrote numerous guitar instruction books, and hosted many video productions for his brother Happy's Homespun Tapes. Traum lived with his wife Beverly in Bearsville, New York, just outside Woodstock. At the time of his death, Traum had been at work on a memoir. Traum died of liver cancer on July 20, 2008 at Bearsville, near Woodstock, New York, aged 65.[2][3]


  1. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Artie Traum, 65, Stalwart of '60s Folk Music Scene, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Artie Traum: versatile folk musician and composer". Times, The (London). July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  3. ^ Pareles, Jon. "Artie Traum, 65, Stalwart of '60s Folk Music Scene, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved August 3, 2016. 

On the Traum brother's 1969 debut album is Artie's song RABBIT'S LUCK, hauntingly beautiful, featured frequently on Bob Fass's all night WBAI radio show, but since vanished from all sight and remembrance, save its appearance on the Happy Traum Band's FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS (1984).

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