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Everything's OK ... If You Look at It That Way, a benefit tribute CD of Brett's songs, covered by artists Daniel Johnston, Wooden Eye, Dawn Boyer, The RMS Five, Rachael Davis, Doug & Dave Smith with Dave Morgan, and others. Order Now...

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Welcome to The Brett Fund

Who Is Brett, and Why Is There a Brett Fund?

Photo of Brett HartenbachBrett Hartenbach has long been known as one of the best acoustic guitarists in the folk and indie worlds. Even more, he's known as one of the most generous, humble, and kind human beings on the planet. Singers love performing with Brett because of how closely he listens and adjusts his style to their voice. Musicians love performing with him because of his vast knowledge of different musical traditions (he's been half-jokingly referred to as a "Human Jukebox"), deep love and passion for music, and complete lack of ego (he often gets referred to as "the other guy" when he performs with various acts).

In May 2010, Brett suffered a grand mal seizure; his wife, Dawn, found him unresponsive and called 911. An ambulance trip to the ER and a subsequent CT scan and MRI showed a lesion in his brain. Six months later, another MRI showed a slight change in the lesion. Brett had neurosurgery in December 2010, and on January 7, 2011, he and Dawn heard the news: the lesion was a grade III anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor.

Brett has undergone radiation treatment and is currently getting chemo treatment (he takes Temodar in pill form, 5 days a month for a year, and will finish in July 2012). Because of the treatment and the location of the tumor, Brett has been unable to work professionally as a guitarist, his sole source of income. (Before the diagnosis, he had been accompanying well-known pop/indie icon Daniel Johnston on tours across the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia.) He's working hard at making his way back, but the journey isn't an easy one.

As a self-employed musician, Brett has no health insurance. We, the many friends of Brett, are doing what we can to help him and his wife during this financially and emotionally difficult time. Brett has always been there to help others. We hope you'll visit the pages in this site and, as you begin to learn more about this inspiring and good man, you'll be inspired to help him, too.

"Normal" album cover

Limited Edition EP

"Normal: Daniel Johnston Live"

Recorded on May 12, 2012 at the Rochester Opera House

Available on vinyl, cassette, and digital download

Visit indiegogo to find out more!