Red Yarn

Red Yarn

Performer and Teaching Artist

“I have performed, taught and created with Andy Furgeson on numerous occasions and does all of these with an energy that cannot be duplicated. With songs, puppets, and lots of heart, Andy is a rare breed. You need to see for yourself!”

Bruce OrrDirector of Mudeye Puppets

“Andy was very aware of all my students’ needs throughout the residency. He encouraged them to make artistic choices and take creative risks. Through careful planning, Andy connected 4th grade social studies standards to the residency and art form. All of my students were fully engaged throughout the entire residency.”

Amy Nunn4th grade teacher at Atkinson Elementary

“Red Yarn Productions is a class act. Andy Furgeson has put together a wonderful, interactive program for the classroom. In just a few sessions students create one of a kind sock puppets and perform to delightful folktale songs. A great way to get art, music, and literacy into your school.”

Kristi Kucera1st grade teacher at Vernon Elementary

“Having Red Yarn at my son’s third birthday party was a blast! He was the highlight of the party and he amazingly kept a room full of 3 and 4-year-olds (and their parents) dancing up a storm for 40 minutes straight. Andy is also professional and accommodating.”

Aliza KaplanParent

“Both children and adults were delighted with your puppets and music and with you. You have a fun and gentle way with the audience, which is especially welcoming to young children and their parents. I was very impressed with your puppets and pleased with how you incorporated traditional folk songs into your show. Thank you for communicating with me in advance of the show, for arriving early and for being professional in your presentation.”

Joan SmithWoodstock Library

“My kindergartner loved his puppet made during Red Yarn’s residency! Each day he would come home and tell me about the fun stories and music he heard as he created his puppet. The experience is one to remember!”

Dulcinea Myers-NewcombParent

About Red Yarn

Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson) is a dynamic family performer based in Portland, Oregon who weaves folksongs and puppetry into engaging shows for all ages. With his energetic performances, lush folk-rock recordings, and playful music videos, this red-bearded bard is reinvigorating American folklore for younger generations.

Red Yarn releases his fourth album, Born in the Deep Woods, on March 10, 2017. It completes his Deep Woods trilogy, exploring musical genres that grew out of American folk music. From bluegrass to trance blues to heartland rock’n’roll, Born in the Deep Woods pushes Red Yarn’s creative folklore project into bold new territory. For more information view the new album’s one-sheet.

The Deep Woods album cover small

Red Yarn released his debut album, The Deep Woods, in October 2013, introducing himself as a singular artist with a profound reverence for the folk tradition. This grant-funded, self-produced collection of animal folksong adaptations garnered high praise among “kindie” critics, including a #3 spot on Zooglobble’s Top 20 Kids Albums of 2014.

Red & Bob on setIn December 2014, Red Yarn premiered The Deep Woods: Episode I, the pilot episode of a potential TV/web series based on his magical animal world. Directed by filmmaker Jeff Speetjens and funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Episode I uses songs from the first album to tell the story of Red first discovering the Deep Woods.

Deep Woods Revival - Album Cover

In June 2015, Red Yarn released Deep Woods Revival, the follow-up to his debut album. He delved deeper into the American folk canon, weaving an original narrative and lyrics into traditional animal folksongs. Recorded at Type Foundry Studios with renowned producer Adam Selzer, a band of local luminaries, and a choir of friends, Deep Woods Revival is a lush and lively folk-rock song cycle about childhood freedom and discovery in the wilderness.

Red Yarn - Wake Up & Sing album coverWake Up & Sing is Red Yarn’s third album, released in April 2016. Recorded with GRAMMY-winning producer Dean Jones at No Parking Studios in Rosendale, NY, the album is an homage to Furgeson’s favorite old children’s records and songbooks. Red Yarn emerges from the Deep Woods to sing sunnier songs about waking up, childhood play, animal adventures, and parenting.


Andy Furgeson with guitar

Andy Furgeson was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a kid he built tiny worlds with toys, clay and cardboard, bringing them to life through play and home movies. The child of a high school teacher and a social worker, he learned to value education and service. At his family’s downtown church he developed a love for community singing. In his high school punk band he discovered the visceral power of live music.

Drawn to national fantasies of the West, Andy left home for Pomona College in Claremont, California. He graduated in 2005 with a BA in Creative Writing (since he couldn’t major in leading a rowdy bluegrass band). Seeking to combine his passions for music and education, he moved to Portland, Oregon. He found a job at Friendly House afterschool program. He started a folk-rock band called Bark Hide and Horn. Over a few years, he became director of the afterschool program and his band made a name for itself locally and on tour.

In 2008, Andy began an exploration of animals in American folk music. He created a blog called Red Yarn to chronicle his folkloric research and growing interest in puppetry. He dove deep into the folk music catalog with his Lomax-a-Day and Songbag-a-Day projects, adapting and recording 60+ songs from classic anthologies. Red Yarn became Andy’s alter-ego, an itinerant bard and animal whisperer with a red beard as thick as the yarns he spins. He dreamt up the Deep Woods as a magic universe to contain all of his characters. He wrote darker songs about these characters for his ‘grown-up’ band, Scrimshander. By 2011, Andy was performing regularly at libraries, cafes and community events, and joined Young Audiences’ roster of teaching artists.

Since committing himself full time to Red Yarn in June 2012, Andy has performed 250 shows per year, taught music and puppetry to thousands of students, and touched the lives of countless families with his songs, puppets and positive messages. He is thrilled to synthesize his art and teaching into a viable career. With three albums, extensive touring, and a TV pilot under his belt, Red Yarn is taking his creative folklore project to a national scale.

Andy lives in North Portland with his wife and singing partner Jessie Eller-Isaacs (a teacher coach at Open School), their two young children, and a basement full of critters.