Folk musician whose prolific recording career and appearances on A Prairie Home Companion earned him a loyal following.
He performed in clubs and coffeehouses and was a ghostwriter for Buck Ram, founder of The Platters.
He used his music to raise funds and awareness for many environmental and social issues.
His father was a Pentecostal minister, and his mother was a skilled electric guitarist. He married his second wife, famed folk artist Iris Dement, in 2002. They adopted a Russian-born daughter together.
His songs were performed by numerous artists, including Jack Johnson.