Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique – clear, cool, and collected. Over the course of 7 studio albums and thousands of live performances, Erin has developed and refined a distinct and challenging mix of American musical styles.
An active voice on social justice issues and culture, Erin was a 2011-12 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Recently, she’s also added radio to her resume- blogging and hosting for WNYC New York Public Radio. A former board member of the Future of Music Coalition, McKeown also works closely with Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) on immigration issues.
2015 finds McKeown in high demand as a teacher with a full studio of private students, and she has three records for other artists in production. She is currently writing an original musical with Tony & Pulitzer winner Quiara Alegria Hudes for the world renowned La Jolla Playhouse. Fingers crossed for a new solo record in 2016. Meantime, read about her latest record, MANIFESTRA.
Performed with: Amos Lee, Anais Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Ben Sollee, Carrie Rodriguez, Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Mike Doughty, and The Mountain Goats.
Appeared at: Bonnaroo, Newport Folk, Glastonbury, Oxegen, Winnipeg, Strawberry. Beacon Theater, Olympia Theater, Royal Festival Hall. Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Jools Holland, NPR, BBC.
Songs Placed: “Bunheads”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Awkward”, “Gilmore Girls”, “The L Word”, “Nip/Tuck”, “Roswell” , Tesco, Google, Ferraro Praline, Bose.
FUN FACT: She has written a song via text message with her friend Rachel Maddow.
FUN FACT: Since her debut album Distillation dropped in 2000, Erin has sold over 100,000 albums.
FUN FACT: Erin has made 6 episodes of her acclaimed “Cabin Fever” series of live webcasts streamed from her house in rural western Massachusetts. Described as “Wayne’s World meets the Judy Garland Show”, the series has garnered considerable attention for its entertaining exploration of the intersections of art, technology, and commerce. You can watch the whole series here.
“Her operative mood is effortless grace” - LA Weekly
“Her set had an exquisitely open airiness, rich and pastoral for being so stripped down.” - Philadelphia Inquirer
“That’s McKeown’s genius: her ability to take what is, twist it into something more relevant and maintain whatever it is about the music that makes it work. Smarter pop? Seductive commentary? REALLY? Yes.” - Paste Magazine
“In several distinctive ways- voice, dynamic subtlety, and sheer songwriting ability- Erin McKeown is in a class of her own.” - Sunday Times (UK)
“Her playing is so muscular, her arrangements so well conceived that she succeeds brilliantly. As with all truly great guitarists, the wonder is less in her chops than her choices.” - Boston Globe
****- Q Magazine for “Hundreds of Lions” (2009)
“Her clear mezzo-soprano sounds perpetually optimistic, and so do the syncopated electric guitar parts she picks and plucks through the sparsely arranged but fully realized songs. A degree in ethnomusicology, and African undercurrents, separate her from more rhythmically earth-bound folk-rockers.” - Jon Pareles, New York Times for “We Will Become Like Birds” (2005)
“Her voice slips into the territory of Florence Welch and Elena Tonra with its depth and texture, but stands alone in its complete clarity, a dinner bell ringing through a drafty home until the whole place is warm. She is, more simply, the kind of artist who will give you a varied, confetti-colored pocketful of secrets in return for a smile and some applause. She is easy listening without anything inherently easy about it.” - New Haven Independent
“She has as much to do with Fanny Brice as Bob Dylan.” - Horvandile