Ken Dunn’s music "sneaks into you feet, heart, and soul."        - No Depression, The Roots Music Journal

Ken writes, performs, and records with the intention of promoting peace, social, and environmental justice. Alternatively light-hearted and pensive, contemporary, yet infused with tradition, this is music focused on positive human values, with diversity and inclusivity at its core.

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GEORGIAN BAY ROOTS 

I'm thrilled to announce that "King High Tide" will be featured on the Georgian Bay Folk Society's Georgian Bay Roots radio show with host Kailey Jane Hawkins on both CFOS 560 Owen Sound and Blues and Roots Radio. Tune in and hear some great local music from Ontario's Georgian Bay area!

Friday, November 19, 2021  11:00-11:15pm - Blues and Roots Radio  

Sunday, November 21, 2021 4:00-5:00pm - CFOS Radio 560, Owen Sound, ON   

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 7:00-7:15pm - Blues and Roots Radio 

The show will also be archived as a podcast here!  Enjoy! 

 

 

 

VIRTUAL NERFA 2021 

It was so wonderful to perform at this year's NERFA (Northeast Regional Folk Alliance), and even though it was a virtual conference and festival, it felt so intimate and inspiring. Thank you to everyone who's hard work created such a success! Special thanks to Kellie Lin Knott who hosted my main stage open mic performance on Friday. 

Congratulations to my friend and mentor, the great composer, conductor, and multi-instrumentalist David Amram, recipient of a well-deserved lifetime achievement award! Hope to see everyone (in person) next year in Asbury, NJ. Peace, health, and happiness to all!

NEW LIVE @ HOME VIDEO: DON'T BELIEVE  

I wrote this song back in the early 90's and first performed and recorded it live at the Festival of Friends in Hamilton, Ontario for my 1996 album "Precious Life". Originally written for, and performed on mountain dulcimer, I subsequently adapted it for acoustic guitar and once again recorded it for my 2019 album "Live in L.A.". 

In honour of (or, in spite of) COP-26, I offer this version up to a better future. Words and Music © 1995 Ken Dunn (SOCAN, ASCAP). 

Tips always welcome @ my wee TIP JAR

LYRICS 

Listen to the birds/ listen to the trees /Listen to music/ that brings you to your knees 

Listen to the wind/ listen to the sea/ Listen to your heart/ and wear it on your sleeve 

CHORUS: Just don’t believe x4 

Hear the dogs of war/ knocking at your door/ They don’t even know/ what they are fighting for 

They will try to tell you/ God is on their side/ But they cannot tell you/ why you have to die 

CHORUS: Don’t believe x4 

They will try to tell you/ peace is just a joke/ Then they stand around/ while the world goes up in smoke 

They pollute the earth/ and pollute the air/ Then they have the nerve/ to say they really care 

CHORUS: Don’t believe x4 

Money doesn’t talk/ it screams and it can shout / But it cannot tell you/ what your life’s about 

So listen to the wind/ listen to the sea/ Listen to your heart/ and wear it on your sleeve 

CHORUS: Just don’t believe x4

GONE BAND CAMPING! 

Hi Folks, Hope you are having a lovely day! The leaves are gently falling here on the shores of Georgian Bay and the air is crisp with anticipation of frost...

At the behest of some musical colleagues, I've finally set up a Bandcamp profile and released "Ashes in the Morning" on their site... I'd love your support, so please check out my Bandcamp HERE.

Peace, best wishes, and happy listening!

THE HILLS OF STRATHAVON 

I wrote this tune about one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen.

When living in Massie, Ontario I would frequently cycle or hike through the beautiful hills of Strathavon (a.k.a. Strathaven), overlooking the Bighead River Valley.

The song is based on historical records and local folklore, and tells the tale of a young woman's demise after plummeting from a cliff in the area.

I recorded the song on my 2017 album "Wondrous Beauty". Words and Music © 2015 Ken Dunn (SOCAN, ASCAP).

Tip Jar: https://kendunnmusic.com/tip-jars/4017

#kendunnmusic #trespassmusic #canadianfolkmusic #strathavon

LYRICS

Chorus:

I am home among the cedars / those arbor vitae greener / than the hills of Strathavon 
Where my love and I did wander / like rolling rivers under / that full moon rising high 

Verse:

And her kisses they grew sweeter / our love, it knew no fear /when the song of spring arrived 
But this world it could not keep her / she fell,  then fell deeper /down that mountain side 

Chorus

And I knew I could not save her / for the ice was on the river/ and the snow banks / way too high 
But when I get to dying / you know I will be smiling /for to see my true lover’s eyes 

Chorus

 

CANADA GOOSE 

Well, it was a stormy October day, and the Canada Geese were heading south.  Seemed like the perfect time to add this instrumental tune to my archive series. I wrote it a few years ago, but could not come up with a name for it, until sitting around the fire, listening to the geese overhead while playing my new Boucher Bluegrass Goose (!) guitar.

Many thanks to Robin Boucher for building such a fine instrument, and to Mark Pongetti at The Acoustic Room in Hamilton, Ontario for helping get one into my hands.

Stay warm, safe, and sane everyone! And... if you're a Canada Goose flying south, do take care!

 #kendunnmusic #trespassmusic #boucherguitars #theacousticroom #canadagoose

NEW VIDEO: THE GREAT UNKNOWN (Live @ Home) 

Continuing along with my archive series, here is the title tune from my 2016 album "The Great Unknown". This song, subtitled "Ballad of the Unknown Folk Singer", was inspired by some of my lonelier times on the road -those times when I would take the stage only to find one or two souls in the audience, or a last minute cancellation after travelling for hours through a snow storm... well, you get the picture. But, as Garnet Rogers told me once, "never complain about being able to do what you love". And so, this song is really a celebration and is indeed filled with immense gratitude. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel, comment, like, unlike, etc. In addition, you can send me a tip at https://kendunnmusic.com/tip-jars/4017 to feed my soul. Love, peace, and happy listening! Words and Music © 2016 Ken Dunn (SOCAN, ASCAP) #kendunnmusic #trespassmusic #thegreatunknown #folkmusic

 

NEW VIDEO: STAY BY MY SIDE 

Continuing my archive series on YouTube, here is another tune for your enjoyment. This one was originally recorded on my 2016 album "The Great Unknown".  Ostensibly about homelessness, it is more generally about the need for us all to stay by each other's side, especially in times of darkness.

For those who might like to follow along, here are the lyrics:

STAY BY MY SIDE  Words and music by Ken Dunn © 2016 

An old man in the dawn, just a running from the wild dogs 

In the mist of Marrakesh, you thank your Djellaba for your flesh 

CHORUS: Stay by my side, won’t you stay by my side ?  (x4)

An old woman all alone, with a shopping cart - her own 

She’s the mother of the street, not someone that you wanna meet 

CHORUS 

Put a twenty in the ladies jar, slipped away into my car 

Texting on my new iPhone, hashtag honey I’m a coming home 

CHORUS 

Passing by that electric gate, where my cottage awaits 

It’s just another day, before the people have their say 

CHORUS     

 

 

NEW VIDEO: COME BACK JONI! 

It's been a while since I posted a new video, so here's hoping you enjoy this one! I finally got some semblance of a studio set up in our new home near Owen Sound, Ontario. Pretty basic, but great for doing 'live' recordings. 

I wrote "Come Back Joni" in honour of Joni Mitchell, as well as the ancestral peoples of British Columbia's Sunshine Coast. It was written in B.C. during a particularly bad fire season, not far from Joni's long time Canadian home near Half Moon Bay. Her spirit is embedded in the land and peoples of this region. 

"Come Back Joni" is available on my last album "Ashes in the Morning" and features Mark Mariash on drums and percussion, Randy Martin on bass, Anna Green on harmony and backing vocals, Ben Grossman on hurdy gurdy, and Tyler Beckett on fiddle.

Stay safe and be kind everyone!

 

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UPCOMING SHOWS

Previous events

Dale's Friday Coffee House

The Bank Theatre, 10 Erie Street South, Leamington, Ontario

I'm thrilled to be returning to Dale's Friday Coffee House at Leamington's Bank Theatre! This will be their first show since the Covid shut down and the 98th show since they began. Looking forward to playing a set and joining in the musical celebration. $10 Admission appreciated.

Georgian Bay Roots, Blues and Roots Radio

I'm thrilled to announce that "King High Tide" will be featured on the Georgian Bay Folk Society's Georgian Bay Roots radio show with host Kailey Jane Hawkins on both CFOS 560 Owen Sound and Blues and Roots Radio. Tune in and hear some great local music from Ontario's Georgian Bay area!

Georgian Bay Roots on CFOS 560 Owen Sound

CFOS Radio 560 Owen Sound

I'm thrilled to announce that "King High Tide" will be featured on the Georgian Bay Folk Society's Georgian Bay Roots radio show with host Kailey Jane Hawkins on both CFOS 560 Owen Sound and Blues and Roots Radio. Tune in and hear some great local music from Ontario's Georgian Bay area!

Georgian Bay Roots, Blues and Roots Radio

I'm thrilled to announce that "King High Tide" will be featured on the Georgian Bay Folk Society's Georgian Bay Roots radio show with host Kailey Jane Hawkins on both CFOS 560 Owen Sound and Blues and Roots Radio. Tune in and hear some great local music from Ontario's Georgian Bay area!

Ken Dunn @ NERFA

NERFA (North East Regional Folk Alliance)

I'm thrilled to be returning to perform at this years (virtual) NERFA Conference. Looking for an amazing online musical experience this weekend (Nov 11-15 actually)? Several great Canadian performers will be joining the itinerary including Suzie Vinnick, Sultans of String, Big Little Lions, Lynne Hanson, Benjamin Dakota Rogers and many more. Get your tickets at the link below, sit back and enjoy some great folk and roots music, all from the comfort of your easy chair!

Tickets starting at $20 USD

Mason, NH - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

The Living Room Coffee House, 33 Valley Road, Mason, NH

Now in its eleventh year, The Living Room Coffeehouse at the Mason Congregational Church in Mason, New Hampshire is a monthly community event that features an ever-changing mix of area musicians, poets, and spoken word artists. I was looking forward to being the feature performer, bringing musical love to this wonderful community! However, due to Covid-19 I was unable to obtain my U.S. work visa for 2020-2021.

Akron, NY - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

Nickle City Frets, 83 Main Street, Akron, NY

I was looking forward to joining the great Buffalo singer/songwriter and host Davey O., along with Alan Whitney, and Chris Bethmann for this in-the-round edition of "Nickel City Sessions" at Nickel City Frets. Another gig gone viral, so to speak.

Folk Music Notebook

Tune in this Thursday, November 5 at noon ET. I will be featured on Ron Olesko's "Artist in Residence" series on Folk Music Notebook. There will also be an “encore” broadcast at 6pm ET and again at midnight and 6am ET on Friday morning, November 6. TUNE IN HERE: https://folkmusicnotebook.com/

Whitevale, Ontario - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

Whitevale, Ontario

Well, this was sad news, but not surprising. Anna and I were hoping to return to this wonderful festival in the charming hamlet of Whitevale, not far from Toronto. But alas, another Covid-19 casualty! Fingers crossed for next year!

WTSR, Ewing, NJ - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

WTSR Radio, Ewing, NJ

I was looking forward to being live in the studio on Peter Kernast's Legacy program at WTSR in Ewing, NJ the day after my concert at the 1867 Sanctuary. A phone-in interview might be a possibility. Tune in to 91.3 in NJ or listen live at http://wtsr.org

Ewing, NJ - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center, 101 Scotch Road, Ewing, NJ

I was looking forward to performing at this wonderful venue, a majestic stone building in suburban Ewing, NJ which has stood for 150 years as a central landmark in the township. The 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, as it is now known, is still a beautiful gathering place, and is currently being maintained and cared for by Preservation New Jersey (PNJ). The virus had other plans. Hoping to do an online show instead.

Cave Junction, Oregon - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

KXCJ Radio, Cave Junction, Oregon

Sorry folks, another COVID-19 Cancellation. I was to perform a live on-air show, thanks to Mara Lambert, host of "The O'Brien Girl" folk show on KXCJ Radio. Due to the pandemic, Mara's show is off the air for the foreseeable future. If the show is back on the air by July 18, I'll try to do a phone in. We all look forward to your return Mara!

Princeton, NJ - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

Arts Council of Princeton, 102 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ

I was looking forward to being in Princeton, NJ to join the roster for this show at the Princeton Arts Council's Cafe Improv, which was to be videotaped and broadcast on Princeton's TV30. Let's just say that the virus had other plans. Hoping to arrange an online show instead. Stay tuned for details!

Cincinnati, OH - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

The Listing Loon, 4124 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH

Unfortunately, due to the continued Canada-U.S. border closure due to Covid-19, I regretfully have to cancel this show.

A cool bar with a mellow ambiance & nightly live music, plus bottles of wine & craft beer to go, The Listing Loon is where I would have been spreading my musical message of love and peace. When it re-opens, please support this awesome venue for the "earliest show in Northside" Cincinnati!

Thornbury, Ontario - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

House Concert, Thornbury, Ontario

Anna and I were looking forward to our Thornbury return, and another intimate house concert this spring thanks to the amazing hospitality of MaryJane McCrae! Alas, a tiny virus has forced the province into a state of emergency well beyond the concert date. However, I am planning a series of online concerts. Stay safe everyone!

Brandon, Manitoba - COVID-19 CANCELLATION

Lady of the Lake, 1608 Park Avenue, Brandon, Manitoba

I was going to be heading across Western Canada in the spring with a stop at this sweet spot in beautiful Brandon, Manitoba! Alas, a little virus had other plans. Instead, I will be putting together a series of online shows. Stay safe, everyone!