Dawn Kenney / Blog

Heading Into The Holidays, November 2012

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday surrounded by family and friends. I had the opportunity to take a short break and reflect a bit on 2012. It has been a wonderful year for me and I truly have so much to be thankful for.

And....it isn't even over yet!

We are heading off to New York City tomorrow for our perfmormance on Friday evening on Tim Janis' "The American Christmas Carol". The band is all practiced up and ready to hit the stage. I have heard that there may be a few surprise guests appearing in addition to the amzaing line up, but we will have to wait and see. I have had so many requests for updates from Carnegie, that we are going to see if we can't post a backstage video to Facebook sometime during the day or evening. So, keep an eye out for that at www.facebook.com/dawnkenneymusic.

We had two other performances scheduled in NY for this upcoming weekend in Brooklyn but the show at 68 Jay Street was unfortunately cancelled due to the impact from Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those folks that are still being impacted by the Superstorm, it's easy to forget them as this info falls out of the news cycle. Thank goodness for organizations like the Red Cross and others that are still on site, providing aid to those that need it.

We will be at Superfine on Sunday evening, a terrific mediterranean restaurant in Dumbo/Brooklyn, just under the bridge. Superfine features seasonal ingredients, a menu that changes daily and has been hailed as a "Critics Choice" by New York Magazine. So come and join us if you are in the area. www.superfineNYC.com

The new CD "Sing Me Home" has been very well recieved and I am happy that so many DJ's are playing it on their shows here in the USA. We are getting great feedback from Europe and Austrailia too! Keep in mind that CD's & song downloads make terrific holiday gifts! One terrific fan just bought 15 CD's to round out her holiday gift list, so please join her in a gift of original music this holiday season. You can find "Sing Me Home" at your favorite Music Download site or at my store

We launched a new website last month at www.dawnkenney.com where you can stay up to date with the schedule, new music and the latest news. My friends at Heart Roots Music are working harder than holiday elves putting together a performance schedule for next year, it promises to be a fun festival season.

Thank you for your support, I am so greatful for all the folks that come out to see our shows. It is so wonderful to have made so many new friends this past year and to see friendly familiar faces in the audience.

Hope to see you down the road, enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!


September 2012

Winds of Change are in the air..... I just returned from a lovely end of summer "last harrah" on Martha's Vineyard. The sun is hanging a bit lower in the sky and there was a chilly nip in the evening air. Sure, technically...it is still summer, but there is no denying that fall is upon us here in New England. Sitting on the upper deck of the ferry for the voyage back to the mainland with the sun warm on my face, I was thinking about how it won't be long before we are seeing flurries in the air. I had a had a fun show with bass player extrordinaire Don Barry Sat night at the Pit Stop in Oaks Bluff, sharing the bill with Marc-Alan Barnette from Nashville - a terrific performer and master class song writer. It has been a year full of exciting happenings, I have a lot of news to share: My new EP is done and was sent sent to the printer last Friday. Discs should be back and ready for release on the Heart Roots Music Label within the next week! The disc contains 6 songs and was produced by Grammy Award Winner Louisa Branscomb. The final mixes sound terrific and feature special guests Jeanette Williams (SPGMA 2012 Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year), Louisa Branscomb, Jennifer Strickland, and Troy Engle. I am happy to announce that I have signed with Heart Roots Music, LLC for artist management and publishing. It's exciting to be on the Heart Roots artist roster & label, which includes artists like the amazing Jim Hurst (www.jimhurst.com). Heart Roots will be representing me with booking, promotion, publicity and publishing. It has been a fun year for songwriting and I have had the opportunity to cowrite with such talented folks as Louisa Branscomb, Rick Lang, Tim Janis, Terry Kitchen, Jon McAuliffe, Liz DiSessa & Don Barry. As a result I have a great new mix of songs for you to hear next time you see me. Some of the songs have made it on to the new CD and some are slated for another release next year. In June, I had the pleasure of recording the vocal for the song "Podunk Family Reunion" - the new theme song for the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival, held annually in Norwich, CT. The song was released as a single in July and is available on CD Baby/Itunes with all proceeds going to support the festival. In July, the band and I played the main stage at the Podunk Festival and were well received. It was a joy to share the stage with such talented folks as Dale Ann Bradley, The Grascals, Dailey and Vincent and Kathy Mattea. We have some BIG shows coming up.... Next week I will debut the new CD in Nashville at an after hours showcase at the IBMA World Of Bluegrass. The showcase is scheduled for 10pm Monday evening and is hosted by the Boston Bluegrass Union. I will be backed by an awesome band, with quite a few musicians from the CD. We'll even have Jeanette Williams and Louisa Branscomb on board as special guests. Heading back to New England...on 9/29, I will be joined by Don Barry and Eric Kilburn to do the opening set for one of my all time favorite artists and songwriters, Lori McKenna (http://lorimckenna.com) at the Stone Soup Coffeehouse In Pawtucket, RI (http://www.soup.org). On November 30th, I will be appearing with the band at Carnegie Hall in NYC as part of "Tim Janis An American Christmas Carol, a fundraiser for the Golden Hat Foundation". I am honored to be able to contribute to this fundraising event for Kate Winslet's Golden Hat Foundation. The Golden Hat Foundation is committed to eliminating barriers for individuals with autism. Also on the bill for the evening is Grammy Award Winner Sarah McLachlan, internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Loreena McKennitt, multi-platinum selling Irish singer Andrea Corr, classical crossover sensation Hayley Westenra and other special guests, The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys and Amy Petty.

Phew.....looking back at this year, it sure has been busy!

Guitar Envy - The Green Monster (and I am not talking about Fenway Park).

Warning - acoustic guitar geek obsession follows. If you are not a guitar fanatic or if you don't have GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) you just might not get it! But those of you with similar afflictions will surely understand and commiserate.

Well I have been in the studio this week with Eric Kilburn (wellspringsound.com)who plays with me. I was working on some new tunes with Eric on Engineering/Mando/Dobro & Don Barry on Bass - and one of my dirty little secret pleasures is playing with all the incredible instruments he has in the studio. I usually bring my Collings D1A but it just ends up spending the day forlornly tucked away in it's case against some wall while I play through as many things as I can get my hands on. I ended up recording with a '49 Martin D18 which had a killer bluegrass sound. After about 1/2 an hour of play time, the guitar warmed up and came alive in a whole new way. Sure, it's not "pre war" but it did have an adirondack top and a very cool vintage mojo vibe. He has an awesome Collings Baby (LOVE IT) and a Collings Brazilian Rosewood OM that is to die for. And one of his new acquisitions has brought the old green envy out...a martin Amberburst 000-18GE. Short scale, incredibly responsive to the lightest touch....great balance across the spectrum and a wonderful warm bass - from a 000 size Mahogany/Adi blend. I am close to caving in to a custom order for one of those - can't seem to find a used one with the right neck width/neck profile for these dang small hands of mine. But no matter what....I always come back to the Collings Brazilian - think that is my absolute fav in the stable. There must be some kind of Self Help / 12 step group for this.

Don't even get me started on the microphones.....when you hear your voice through a top of the line vintage mic, next thing you know....you are thinking you are all that. But then your voice cracks, you cant get to the vocal or have to call in the pitch corrector for back up and then you get brought right back down to earth.

Ah...if so many of us didn't have to make a living and could play music / make art all day. Where are the Medici's for the New Millennium?

October 2010

Summer festival season is passed, foliage is starting to turn and it has been pretty chilly here in New England, even for October - we might have frost this weekend. But the coffeehouse music schedules are kicking off and there is lots of great music happening everywhere. Before we know it, the holidays will be here. I am heading back into the studio with my bandmates in the next couple of weeks to work on a few new songs as we keep plugging away at that new CD. We have two new rough mixes of a couple new tunes posted here on the site for you to check out, "Night Like This" and "Out the Door". Feel free to let me know what you think.

I am happy to have been asked by my friend Mary Lorraine Traynor to contribute to her first CD of original music. We are going to be doing a little co-writing and my voice might just pop up on that CD with some harmony vocals.

One of the things I love about New England is the Cape (Cape Cod for the uninitiated) and Islands off season...once the tourists have headed home. I am thrilled that we have been invited over to Martha's Vineyard by my friend Liz to do a house concert in West Tisbury. This has actually turned into a big weekend long bash with different activities planned and lots of folks coming from off Island. I am excited to be going over to spend a weekend on the Island, but to be able to go visit AND play music with my favorite guys....well, it just don't get any better than that!