Meredith Axelrod is a singer and multi instrumentalist who specializes in American roots music.  As a solo artist, she has headlined her own shows at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, CA, opened for the Cheap Suit Serenaders at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, and toured as far as Australia and New Zealand.  Because of her distinctive voice and style of singing, Meredith was featured on the weekly public radio series Voice Box with Chloe Veltman.  Last year, Meredith was on staff and performed at Centrum Voice Works in Port Townsend.  Also, she was on staff at California Coast Music Camp.

10441242_10152179813455017_577338904516657449_n Often, Meredith will perform with string virtuoso Craig Ventresco; they perform at venues and festivals which include the Freight & Salvage, the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival.  She appears in various cooperations, with string band solo act dynamo Frank Fairfield, and jug band sensation Jim Kweskin, to name a few.

imageThe common thread throughout Meredith’s repertoire is that, whatever the genre, blues, country, jazz, or pop, these are songs she learns from 78 records which were issued between the 1890s and the 1930s.



“Meredith Axelrod sings and plays guitar as if she really returned to the pre-mic days. We’re not talking revisionist copy of so and so from way back when; we’re talking as if we plucked an original out of the era and time-traveled her to bless us with a taste of who we were when we had guts.” – JL Stiles

“It takes more than passion to do what Meredith does. It takes guts; conviction. She is unflinchingly committed to authentic recreation of the tunes in her repertoire–swampy blues and early American roots music…  [Upon listening] What I found was ear-opening. First, my instinct that she had faithfully reproduced the vocal qualities and string performances of this era was confirmed, and second, it compelled me to add to my library a whole new collection of rich, undeniably American, music.” – Gary Rametta

Meredith Axelrod  is a versatile singer of early jazz and pre-1930s American pop music who enjoys delivering performances in many different contexts.  She plays guitar, ukulele, cello, and other instruments.  As a guitarist, her playing explodes with energy and vintage rhythms. She has performed with Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur, Jim Kweskin, Jeff Muldaur, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot, Cindy Cashdollar, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Terry Zwigoff, Robert Crumb, the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and Craig Ventresco, and at venues around the United States and internationally, including The Great American Music Hall, the Freight and Salvage, and Jazz at Pearl’s, the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins, as well as at the West Coast Ragtime Festival and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival.  She has toured domestically and internationally, and has a few acts:


Solo act

2. Duo act with string virtuoso Craig Ventresco       

3. Collaborations w/ Other Singers

I love to make up spontaneous harmonies and do weird vocalizations behind other singers.

4. Early Jazz / Trad Jazz / Hot Jazz

– Meredith leads a band that plays early jazz at dances and festivals 

3b. 1920s Pop 

4. Ragtime and Ragtime-Contemporary-Pop / Tin Pan Alley 

5. Hillbilly 1920s and 1930s Country Americana Blues

Meredith sings, plays guitar, cello, kazoo, and jug in The Get Happy String Band 860209_10200530969418434_279280961_o (1) 

And also she plays cello and guitar and sings in the Sneaky Freaky String Band with Suzy & Eric Thompson and Craig Ventresco.

Additionally, Meredith Axelrod and her Wayfaring Strangers is a larger outfit of a string band act.

5b. Jug Bands

which shouldn’t be a category; they’re just string bands that happen to have a jug in them.  Meredith plays jug, and was hired as the jug player in the Kweskin Jug Band 50th Anniversary shows in 2013.

16 Comments on “BIO / ACTS”

  1. Robin says:

    Meredith, you are, without doubt, a treasure!
    Keep playing and singing; you’re spreading a lot of happiness around

  2. Ann says:

    You’re amazing! I heard you about a week ago at Cafe Divine and was in awe of your voice! Unfortunately I was in a hurry and there for take out, so I didn’t get to stay and enjoy. Tonight I randomly brought out of town friends to Cafe Divine for dinner and was telling them about the singer I’d heard with the haunting voice…and there you appeared! We thoroughly enjoyed the unexpected pleasure of your performance! Please start selling your CDs online — that won’t lessen your live audience, but it will help your fans spread the word!

  3. Mark Cooper says:

    I saw you perform at the Freight and Salvage tonight. Your voice and smile are so honest and positive. I felt so uplifted after hearing you. Thank you for your performance.

  4. ..What a truly wonderful show you two put on last night at Boulevard Music in Culver City. You are my hero! I feel I’ve finally met the perfect woman,, and if you weren’t already in a relationship I would be stalking you as fast as an arthritic hip would allow.
    (..seriously there is nothing wrong with my hip.. it’s every thing else that could use replacing.)
    Please come back to Southern Cal soon.. although I know you residents of the bay area look upon us the way the residents of Beverly Hills look upon Tijuana. None the less a great many of us would be delighted to see you again, oh woman of my dreams..
    (’s a link to a song that would hardly fit your repertoire.. but might fancy your tickle… ..enjoy?)

  5. CL Tree says:

    Saw you at the Freight and Salvage last night for the first time … what a treat … I’m still smiling this morning. Can’t wait to load your cd onto my ipod and hear more of your songs!

  6. Nic Farra says:

    I heard you play in Lyttelton at the Harbourlight, and dang me I should bought and bought, if not your guitar, then certainly your CDs. The Harbourlight is no longer standing, alas, due to the earthquake, but the memory of all that, they can’t take that away from me.


  7. Mark Earley says:

    Not sure how I discovered you (perhaps through YouTube) but I’m glad I did! Very fun and talented.

  8. gabriella cross says:

    Hi Meredith,
    We saw you last night at the Sweetwater and purchased a CD. So nice to see a performer with such purity. You are so genuine. We are still talking about that great trombone thing you do with your voice/mouth!! Keep on singing….

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