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 last 20 years, she has performed around the world, released 10 full length albums, and written for film, television, and theater, all the while refining her distinctive and challenging mix of American musical forms.
Her first musical, Miss You Like Hell, written with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2018. It was nominated for 5 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Lyrics, Best Music and Best Orchestrations, and The Wall Street Journal named it Best Musical of 2018.
Leading her own band, she has performed at Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and the Newport Folk Festivals. A familiar presence on NPR and the BBC, McKeown’s songs have also appeared in numerous commercials and television shows.
While a student at Brown University, Erin was a resident artist at Providence, RI’s revolutionary community arts organization AS220. A 2011-2012 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, she is also the recipient of a 2016 writing fellowship from The Studios of Key West and a 2018 residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
McKeown is the 2020 Professor of the Practice at Brown University.
Performed with: Amos Lee, Anais Mitchell, Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird, Ben Sollee, Carrie Rodriguez, Jason Isbell, Joan Baez, Josh Ritter, Kris Delmhorst, Lake Street Dive, Mike Doughty, Richard Thompson, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, The Mountain Goats, and Welcome To Night Vale.
Appeared at: Bonnaroo, Newport Folk, Glastonbury. Beacon Theater, Olympia Theater, Royal Festival Hall, Sidney Opera House. Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Jools Holland, NPR, BBC.
Songs Placed: “The Good Fight”, “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: Erin has made 8 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.
FUN FACT: #mynameiserinfuckingmckeown
“Her operative mood is effortless grace” – LA Weekly
“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
“It’s fun, it’s flirty, it’s morbid, but it also bangs.” – Brightest Young Things for “Pretty Little Cemetery” (2017)
“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.”– Lucy Gellman, New Haven Independent