Hank Cramer

Hank Cramer

 Winthrop, Washington, USA

Hank Cramer is one of the best-loved folksingers in the West. Think Ian Tyson, Liam Clancy, Stan Rogers, Don Edwards. Hank's hallmarks are a booming bass voice, smooth picking on a vintage flat-top guitar, and a wry sense of humor. 20 CD's, 4 movie soundtracks to his credit. Phone 509 996-3528.


Hank Cramer is one of the best-loved folksingers in the American West. He is widely known for his booming bass voice, smooth picking on a vintage flat-top guitar, and his wry sense of humor. He has a repertoire of over a thousand modern and traditional songs, spanning the genres of celtic, Appalachian, maritime, cowboy, and plain old folk music. He is more than simply a performer, however. He is a historian and educator who weaves music and history into presentations which bring to life the rich story of Americas westward movement, and give his audiences insight into the folk process by which traditional songs evolve and change to describe new events.

Hank was born in North Carolina. His father was an Army Green Beret, his mother an elementary schoolteacher. Hanks father, Captain Harry G. Cramer, was killed in Vietnam in 1957, the first American soldier lost in that conflict. Hanks mother never remarried, but raised her three children as a single mom. Hank inherited a gift of music from his father, and by high school was a prominent performer in glee club, choir, and school musicals. He earned a history degree at the University of Arizona, paying his way by working nights and weekends as a radio dee-jay and coffeehouse folksinger.

After graduation, Hank pursued a unique life journey involving adventure, hardship, travel, and public service. He has been an underground miner, an Army officer and paratrooper, a 9-1-1 emergency communicator, a deepwater sailor, and a wrangler for a high-country outfitter. These life experiences make Hanks songs ring with the special authenticity of someone who has been there and done that. A fulltime touring musician for over ten years, Hank now has twenty CDs and several movie soundtracks and music videos to his credit. While he performs a regular concert series like most musicians, Hank is strongly drawn to performances in educational settings which enable him to delve into his dual loves of history and music.

Hank has performed for the National Historic Oregon Trail Center for thirteen years now; for ElderHostel, he has taught Northwest History In Story & Song three times a year for over a decade. Other long-term clients include Humanities Washington; Buffalo Bill Historic Center (Cody, WY); the High Desert Museum (Bend, OR); the National Maritime Historic Park (San Francisco); the Maritime Museum of British Columbia; the USS Constellation (Baltimore); Grays Harbor Historic Seaport (Aberdeen, WA); and the Tall Ships Challenge Series (Pacific Coast and Great Lakes). He founded and directs two specialized music education programs: Sea Shanty Camp and Cowboy Song & Poetry Camp. Hank has also performed for veterans groups and events around the country.

Hanks music has garnered professional recognition in the music industry. He has been selected to receive the Humanities Washington Award for 2011. Heartland Public Radio named his recording of My Sweet Wyoming Home to the Top Five Cowboy Songs of 2007. Texas Public Radio Random Routes listed two of Hanks songs in their Top Twenty of 2007, while Northwest Public Radios Inland Folk chose his CD Songs From Mauries Porch as one of the Top Ten Folk Albums of 2006.

After 9/11, Hank interrupted his music career to resume military service. He taught Army ROTC at the University of Washington, then volunteered to deploy as an adviser and trainer to the Afghan National Army. He was injured during this tour of duty, medevaced back to the US, and is now retired from the Army Reserve.

Hank married Kit McLean of Winthrop, Washington in 2000. She is a high-country wrangler in one of Americas most scenic mountain ranges. She is also a photographer, a local historian, and published author. The Cramers live on a small ranch in Washingtons Methow Valley with their many critters.


The Captain & The Outlaw (LP-1982)
Victory Sings At Sea (cassette & CD - 1989)
West By Northwest (cassette & CD - 1995)
The Curse of the Somers (CD & Movie Soundtrack - 1997)
The Cutters: Live Aboard the Wawona (cassette & CD - 1997)
Days Gone By (CD - 1999)
The Cutters: Sail Away (CD - 1999)
The Rounders: Brave Boys! (CD - 2001)
Letters To The Wall (Movie Soundtrack - 2001)
The Road Rolls On (CD - 2002)
Songs of USS Constellation (CD - 2003)
If There's One More Song (CD - 2004)
A Soldier's Songs (CD/DVD combo - 2005)
The Shantyman (CD-2005)
Back To Sea (CD/DVD combo - 2006)
Songs From Maurie's Porch (CD - 2006)
Soundtrack to USS Constellation Visitor Center video (2007)
Pine Stump Symphony (DVD Music Video - 2007)
Way Out West (CD - 2007)
Miners' Songs (CD-2007)
Horses (DVD Music Video - 2007)
Caledonia (CD- 2008)
Open Range (CD-2008)
An Old Striped Shirt (CD - 2008)
With Respect To Farming (Movie soundtrack - 2009)
Loosely Celtic (CD - 2009)
The Witch of the Westmorland (YouTube Video -2010)
You Just Can't See Him From The Road (YouTube Video-2010)
My Side Of The Mountains (CD - June 2012)

Set List

I typically perform two 45 minute concert sets with a break between, or a single set of up to 75 minutes. I determine this in agreement with the venue, after considering the nature of the event, the audience, and other factors.

I have a repertoire of over 1,000 songs. This is mostly traditional and contemporary acoustic/folk songs, with special emphasis in sea shanties, Irish and Scottish ballads, and songs from the American and Canadian frontiers.

When not performing traditional or original material, I interpret songs by my favorite writers: John Stewart, James Keelaghan, Bill Staines, Chuck Pyle, or Hoyt axton, to name a few.