Hailed by Pete Seeger as "one of America's best songwriters," Fred Small sings songs of conscience in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. Powerful, affecting, and inviting, Fred's songs illuminate the goodness and courage of all kinds of people.
Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, Rosalie Sorrels, Steve Gillette, Judy Small(no relation), Roy Bailey, and the Flirtations are among the singers interpreting Fred's songs to audiences around the world. His song "The Heart of the Appaloosa" was elected to the All-Time Bluegrass Hit Parade by WAMU Radio in Washington, DC In 1992, "Heart Strings," the nationally touring AIDS-benefit musical, chose Fred's empowering lullaby "Everything Possible" as its grand finale.
In November, 1993, Flying Fish Records released Fred's live concert album, Everything Possible, produced by Johnny Cunningham. Fred's previous work includes Jaguar (Flying Fish, 1991), I Will Stand Fast (Flying Fish, 1988), No Limit (Rounder, 1985), The Heart of the Appaloosa, 1983), and Love's Gonna Carry Us (Aquifer, 1981), as well as two songbooks from Yellow Moon Press, Promises Worth Keeping (1994) and Breaking from the Line (1986).
Fred Small was born November 6, 1952, in Plainfield, NJ. Grandnephew of Thomas Hart Benton, the American regionalist painter (and outstanding harmonica player), Fred was playing guitar and singing folk songs by age seven. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, Fred earned a law degree and a masters in natural resources policy at the University of Michigan. He wrote his first song in 1974 on the morning of his first law school examination. In 1980 Fred left his position as staff attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation to pursue his career in music full time.
In September, 1996, Fred entered Harvard Divinity School in preparation for Unitarian Universalist parish ministry. He continues to perform and will include music as part of his ministry.
Fred has performed throughout the United States as well as in Japan, Australia, England, and Canada. He has appeared at the Philadelphia, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Kerrville Folk Festivals, Lunenburg (NS) Folk Harbour Festival, Sidmouth (UK) Folk Arts Festival, National Folk Festival of Australia, Great Hudson River Revival, Great River Traditional Music & Crafts Festival (LaCrosse, WI), Woody Guthrie Tribute (Tulsa, OK), Bread and Roses Labor Heritage Festival (Lawrence, MA), and the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) rally in New York City.