About the Righteous Mothers
The Righteous Mothers are four funny, philosophical female folk-rock musicians who have been one of the Northwest’s foremost musical performing groups for the past 26 years. They whip their audience into a frenzy with zany original music, witty theatrics, and mind-boggling, intricate vocal harmonies. The Righteous Mothers grab hearts and funny bones with songs about ice cream, labor pains, annoying dreams and Supreme Court decisions. They surprise and delight young and old, gay and straight, male and female with their quirky humor and open hearts.
The award winning Righteous Mothers manage to balance music, family and other careers. They lead full lives as professors, teachers, a children’s book author and a Tribal Court Judge. They are all mothers and between them have a total of seven righteous children ranging in age from 7 to 24 years old.
They perform for audiences from twenty-five to thousands in classrooms, coffeehouses, conferences and festivals such as Kerrville Folk Festival, Bumbershoot, National Women’s Folk Music Festival and Vancouver Folk Festival.
The group’s music defies definition. Their original tunes range in genres from Folk to Rock n’ Roll, Tango to Gospel, and Caribbean to the Blues.
They have won a variety of awards most interesting of which is the Seattle Area’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community’s favorite musical band This was awarded to them, in part, due to The Righteous Mother’s highly animated and expressive performances.
The Righteous Mothers also facilitate workshops on topics including: How to Stay Relaxed and Improve Your Voice; Song Arrangement, a Group Process; Creative Writing.
To date, they have released six recordings: The Righteous Mothers, Stand Up, All the Rage: and none of the calories, Pesky Angels, A Million Things and the newly released Best of the Righteous Mothers: The First 25 Years.
Clare Meeker plays the piano, sings, composes, and arranges tunes for The Righteous Mothers. “Arranging a new song is really a group process, for the most part,” says Clare. “After so many years singing together, we finish each other’s musical thoughts. That’s how our wacky, close-harmony arrangements work.”
Clare majored in music at Boston University and spent her junior year in Paris studying voice with renowned tenor, Pierre Bernac. After graduating, she moved to New York where she worked in a law firm by day and moonlighted as a solo singer/piano player at a restaurant on the upper westside. Thinking that law would be her career, she graduated from Hofstra Law School with her friend, Lisa Brodoff (bass player for Righteous Mothers), and moved to Seattle with her husband, Dan, on Lisa’s sound advice. A year later in 1981, The Righteous Mothers was born. Two years after that, Clare gave birth to the first Righteous Baby, Sarah, and later a son, Sam. Choosing “Mothering” over the practice of law, she began a new career as an award-winning children’s book author. You can view her books at www.claremeeker.com. She still keeps an eye on the legal profession as a Board member of the Northwest Women’s Law Center.
Marla Beth Elliot plays percussion and is one of the group’s principal songwriters. She teaches theatre and interdisciplinary studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also trains and supports volunteer lawyer programs throughout Washington. She knits socks and loves the history of Vaudeville. Marla sang her first solo in the second grade has sung every day since. She also teaches singing and public speaking, specializing in assistance for the terrified. At 5'8" and born in 1951, she is both the tallest and the oldest of the Righteous Mothers.
Wendy Crocker plays acoustic guitar and keyboard with the Righteous Mothers. Vocally she has migrated over the years to singing increasingly higher parts and now covers vocal parts she never dreamed of singing in her one-time role as a tenor! Arranging new compositions is the most enjoyable musical aspect of the Righteous Mothers for Wendy. After two years as a music major at Stanford she switched to biology but continued to perform in several groups, including the illustrious Loose in the Saddle (eclectic 70’s and cowboy tunes) and later, two Seattle string bands prior to finding bliss with the Righteous Mothers. Wendy loves her work teaching high school biology; blending art and science, she is certain that protein synthesis is more easily grasped when class begins with a rousing round of “The DNA Song”. Wendy is the mother of two sons, eighteen and eight years old. This spacing comes highly recommended for those inclined toward complete domestic chaos. Yoga, salsa dancing, Oregon Chai, and spending down time in wilderness are passions that provide syncopation and re-creation for both her body and soul.
Lisa Brodoff plays electric bass as well as covers the low end vocally for The Righteous Mothers. She has recently expanded her bass playing into the funk and soul genres with The Righteous Mothers’ and friends new cover band, Func Pro Tunc. Lisa incorporates singing and song writing into her day job as a clinical law professor at Seattle University School of Law. She requires that her students sing the "evidence dance" while they walk through the steps. Besides singing, bass playing and teaching law, Lisa is also a tribal court judge, co-mother of two (see LIFE Magazine’s November 1999 issue), and long term partner of Lynn (our manager). Riding the recumbent bike while watching the Today Show has reduced her stress, increased her pulmonary output, and given her yet greater vocal support. She highly recommends it!
Lynn Grotsky has managed the Righteous Mothers since the Spring of 1981. She originally became involved with the group because of her love for their music. Although she lacked the ability to harmonize like they do, she did have a knack for promotion. Between their music, originality and engaging stage personality, it was easy for her to rave and kvel about their talents. Being the Righteous Mothers manager has also been a wonderful balance to the rest of her life.
Lynn is a clinical social worker and presently has a general counseling practice in Olympia where she sees clients from 3-80 years of age. This is a much-appreciated respite after 25 years of specializing in working with sexually abused children and their families. During that time, she also co-authored Group Work with Sexually Abused Children: A Practitioner's Guide published by Sage Press. Now, in her second half of life, Lynn has also discovered the wonders of lamp work and gets lost in making and designing beads and necklaces. She is also the parent of 20-year-old daughter, Evan and 17 year old son, Micha and is grateful everyday for her partner, Lisa, (the Righteous Mothers’ bass player) who she has laughed, cried, and with some trepidation, even sung with, for 26 years.