Ken’s Music Pick: Bryan Dunn at Rockwood Music Hall

Bryan Dunn

There’s a lot that I like about songwriter Bryan Dunn’s style, and it’s not just that he’s from my hometown of Austin, TX. Although, if you discover this particular piece of trivia after hearing him play first, it does make a lot of sense. Dunn’s music does that great Texas thing — mixing pop and rock with old-school blues and country, so confidently that you’re sure he’s been surrounded by those sounds his entire life, and the life before.

Not that Dunn is all twang and grit. He certainly has a clear and equal appreciation for the” folkies” of his parents’ generation and the rockers of his own.  He’s a sharp lyricist.  Songs like “The Ballad of Emily Rose” give many a nod to the troubadour styling’s of Bob Dylan, while “You South Dakota” shows the influence of Tom Petty’s more melodic work.

Bryan Dunn

Dunn has been making and playing music in New York for several years now, and one of  his most regular gigs is the beloved Rockwood Music Hall on Allen Street. This weekend’s show marks the debut of his third album, “Sweetheart of the Music Hall,” an homage to the Rockwood itself.  Other frequent Rockwood performers make appearances on the album, including Misty Boyce, who plays piano on the recording, and one of the bartenders graces the cover. With that kind of tribute, Dunn really couldn’t have his CD release show anywhere else.

Friday, April 6 // 7pm  // FREE // 196 Allen St

Splitting his time between performing and producing, contributor Ken Beasley primarily plays with his own roots/rock band, Ken Beasley & Co., as well as the power punk outfit, Missy Sport, while also curating the Underground at the Abrons music series on the Lower East Side.