Ken Dunn is a modern day travelling troubadour, giving social and environmental issues a voice in song, while reminding us to keep our loved ones and peace at the forefront of this precious life. Ken sets out in support of his new album "Live In L.A.”, in April with shows throughout Vancouver Island and Ontario and planned tours of the US Northeast. The album reflects on homelessness, peace, and social challenges as well as love, all things desperately needed in today's climate.
It isn’t a surprise that “Live In L.A.” was born with social and environmental concerns at the forefront, although the album did come together almost by accident. After attending and performing at the Far-West conference in Los Angeles, Ken was offered a gig at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood.
An impromptu partnership with LA Family Housing resulted in a benefit concert for those struggling with homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area. With the support of Sandy Jacobson at Backstage: Los Angeles on LA Talk Radio, the stage was set. Sandy says "Ken Dunn's music is beautifully crafted, with a dash of old country flair."
Ken recounts the journey saying "At the time I was touring the US West Coast (November 2018), and the wildfires were occurring as my partner Anna Green and I drove to gigs. Friends told us we should stop the tour and turn back, they felt it wasn't safe. The smoke and air quality was very poor. However, the year previous, the tour had been cut short due to wildfires. What were we to do, cancel or continue on? The decision was to go on without musical/life partner Anna Green and fly into Hollywood, CA from Oregon and carry on with the gig at Kulak's on my own."
There, on the edge of Laurel Canyon, with the taste of smoke still drifting in from the remnants of the Malibu fire, Paul Kulak and his crew recorded Ken's live concert before an attentive and enthusiastic audience at his fabled establishment.
Hilary Mandel of LA Family Housing remarked "Ken Dunn's show at Kulak's Woodshed exhibited folk artistry in its purest form. Ken's music and lyrics are heartfelt, and his performance rang true with his passion. And his support of LA Family Housing was the icing on the cake!”
Ken's mission for the album is simple. "My wish is that you enjoy the CD in the spirit that it was given and consider supporting LA Family Housing (www.lafh.org) and/or efforts to reduce homelessness in your own community."
The album also reminds the listener to tell the people we care about in our lives that we love them NOW in this "Precious Life" and not to waste another minute, even as we call to each other in "Lifestream." We're asked to make peace with the hands of time in "Shifting Sand", and given an anthem of peace in "Don't Believe", reminded of homelessness and how we get there in "Heart Of Mine", conquering hate in "Fire, Wind, the Earth and Rain", bid Mother Earth to keep us safe in "Naked and Amazed" and goodbye in "Farewell to the Cages."
Love for "Saskatoon" and "Wild Horse" alongside a cover of the traditional blues song "St. James Infirmary" tells the story of a troubadour whose genre and depth of lyrical vision can't completely be pegged.
Possibly the most provocative and compelling song on the album is "Tahlequah" about the mother Orca who carried the lifeless body of her child for two weeks before finally releasing the baby to the deep. The song reminds us as do the others, that not only human beings have precious lives, but our planet and all its inhabitants need to be protected and loved. There are now only 75 resident Orca's in the Salish Sea near Ken in British Columbia.
About Ken Dunn
“Highly evocative and intriguing" (fRoots, UK), the music of Ken Dunn "sneaks into your feet, heart, and soul" (No Depression, USA), offering "refreshing insight into human complexities" (Festival of Friends, Hamilton) with a style characterized as "the folk tradition, with integrity and sincerity" (Chart, Toronto). Whether mining the depths of human emotion, or pleading the case for social and environmental justice, Ken's songs are "filled with the human spirit" (CFMU Radio, Hamilton).
Combining an adept finger style acoustic guitar technique with "strong, distinctive vocals" (R2, Dublin), and "brilliant songwriting" (Hemifran, Sweden), Ken delivers his positive message directly to the soul of the listener with a style compared to that of Neil Young (Roots Time, Germany).
Known for his engaging stage presence, sense of humour, and delightful storytelling, Ken performs either solo, or with partner Anna Green, whose vocal harmonies add an ethereal dimension to live performances.
A veteran Canadian folk singer-songwriter, Ken has performed at hundreds of venues over the past 30 years, across Canada, the U.S., and Central America from concert halls to festivals and cafes, sharing the bill with folk and roots icons as diverse as Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie P. Bennett, Valdy, Mike Beck, Roy Schneider, Pi Jacobs, and Garnet Rogers.
Ken's passion for social and environmental justice is evident in the many benefit concerts he performs, supporting charities as diverse as the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Amnesty International, Playing For Change and LA Family Housing.
Ken has released 8 albums (with a 9th in the works) featuring some of Canada's finest studio musicians, including Dennis Pendrith (Tom Paxton, Bruce Cockburn), Dean Drouillard (Jill Barber), Mark Mariash (Buffy Sainte Marie), Randall Hill, and Roly Platt. Ken's recordings have received critical acclaim, extensive airplay, and placement in film scores.
Ken's most recent album, "Live in L.A." was released to radio worldwide by Trespass Music on February 1, 2019 and is gaining airplay globally including Top Album #33 February Folk DJ Charts, #33 on Airplay Direct for Top 50 Folk Albums in February, climbing to #13 in March.
VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
Apr 03 | The Gumboot Cafe | Roberts Creek | BC w Madeleine Roger, Logan McKillop
Apr 17 | House Concert | Courtenay, BC
Apr 18 | The Vault | Nanaimo, BC
April 21 | Wikaninnish Inn | Tofino, BC
Apr 24 | Char's Landing | Port Alberni, BC
Apr 25 | Duncan Showroom | Duncan, BC
Apr 27 | Spiral Cafe | Victoria, BC
May 17 | Windsor Folk | Windsor, ON
May 25 | Free Wheelin Folk Show | Hamilton, ON
May 29 | The Painted Lady | Toronto, ON
May 31 | The Bank Theatre | Leamington, ON
June 1 | St. Georges Anglican | Owen Sound, ON w Moonfruits & Piper Hayes
June 2 | House Concert | Thornbury, ON
ACCOLADES & PRESS
LIVE IN L.A.
“Ken Dunn must have that song catcher soul to have such tradition in his musical mind. This new ten track LP brings you back to earth and cleans out your ears with moments of “Wondrous Beauty” for sure. Dunn’s very John Prine-influenced performance also forays into the stylings of folk-legends like Tom Rush, Tom Paxton, David Ackles and John Hartford. A stew of wonderful notes stirred perfectly, it sneaks into your feet, heart, and soul."
John Apice - No Depression
Reviews from Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and France as well as more interviews and reviews from Jim Marino (24th Anniversary Special) and Jan Vanderhorst.
Sun Parlour Coffee House Sessions - selected to perform and record for a TV series in the Windsor/Essex area.
THE GREAT UNKNOWN
Top 25 Albums of 2016- Folk Roots Radio with Jan Hall, Canada
Best Of 2016- Tom Arvidsson, Thirsty Boots, Sweden
Best Americana Album, February 2016 - Akademia Music Awards, Los Angeles
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