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 a 2020-21 Professor of the Practice at Brown University.
Singer-songwriter Steve Slagg has self-released music since 2011, both as Youngest Son and under his own name, in addition to playing keyboards for ten years with Chicago mainstays Mooner. Slagg’s tender, funny and beautifully complex songs explore faith, queer sexuality, and the beauty of the natural world. His third album Strange Flesh is the culmination of Slagg’s life as a musician and his work in marginalized queer Christian communities. A lot of these songs’ “I”s are really “we”s, and in their triumphs and tragedies, love and rage, excommunication and communion, they aim for truth, whether through memoir or fiction. The song’s settings draw out the inherent camp and humor in these stories, with arrangements that pay tribute to the baroque pop singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s, as well as queer-of-center artists from Queen to Judee Sill to Labi Siffre. Slagg’s shared the stage with artists as diverse and hip as Over the Rhine, the Flamin’ Groovies, the Vulgar Boatmen, Erin McKeown and Aaron Lee Tasjan.