Drew Kennedy & Mark Erelli
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Discovered at an impromptu 3 am hotel room jam at a music conference when just 23 years old, Mark Erelli finished up a graduate degree in evolutionary biology shortly after his self-titled debut was released in 1999. He has won several prestigious awards, from the Kerrville New Folk contest in 1999 to the 2006 International Song Contest, where a song he co-wrote with Catie Curtis bested 15,000 entries to win the grand prize. For the past 10 years, he has maintained a rigorous, international touring schedule, sharing the stage with Dave Alvin, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt and others, as well appearing at many major folk festivals, including Newport, Philadelphia and Shrewsbury (UK). In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman, accompanying artists such as Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to London's Royal Albert Hall. Erelli has seven records to his name, including collections of western swing (Hillbilly Pilgrim), lullabies (Innocent When You Dream) and songs of stirring social conscience (Hope & Other Casualties, WUMB Folk Radio's #1 record of 2006). In 2009, he was one of eight artists invited to the UK to take part in the Darwin Song Project, a collaborative release featuring songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin. Mark Erelli is anticipating two new releases for 2010, a collection of murder ballads recorded with Jeffrey Foucault called Seven Curses, and Little Vigils, his ninth full-length studio record.
I write songs for a living, and have been doing so since 2004.
I have three favorite guitars, one being a 1964 Gibson Country and Western, which (with the help of a fine luthier) I was able to return to a playable condition after finding it in a state of total disrepair. I love the way it sounds, and I think it likes having me around as well. My second guitar is a 2002 Morgan Rosewood Dreadnaught that found me before I could find it. I ended up writing and recording most of 2011’s Fresh Water In The Salton Sea with her. It was providence, or it was good luck. I personally think they’re both the same thing. My third guitar is a 2004 Gibson J45, which held a starring role in the movie Infamous. Unfortunately, Infamous lost the Hollywood Truman Capote Sweepstakes, and Capote beat it out of the gate. Infamous saw limited release and went to DVD pretty quickly. That being said, the guitar is probably still more famous than I am, even in all of it’s DVD glory. If The Smoking Gun ever publishes an extravagant concert rider with my name on it, rest assured that the requests for seedless watermelon slices and Caciocavallo cheese came from the guitar, and not from me.
I love music. I love hearing songs that are intelligent, thought provoking, and honest. They give me hope, and those who wrote them inspire me.
I released my sixth album, which I decided to call Wide Listener in 2013. I think it’s a clever title, but I am often wrong about these types of things. I published my first novel in 2011. Words, in case you were wondering, mean a great deal to me.
I live in New Braunfels, Texas with my wife, my son, three dogs, a cat, and a generous school of fish that I try not to forget to feed when my wife assigns me the task (the fish, that is… the dogs let me know if I’m forgetting about them in their unmistakable way). We like it here.
I travel a lot for my job. There’s not much of a point in writing songs if you don’t share them with an audience. Besides, the dogs can’t clap, I can’t hear the fish, and the cat generally doesn’t care about what I do… and everyone needs a little positive affirmation in their lives from time to time. So, I hope to see you at a show.
If you’d ever like to say hello, you can reach me via email (info at drewkennedymusic.com), smoke signal, telegraph, or carrier pigeon. Whichever is easiest for you.