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The schedule for the 2013 Kent State Round Town Music Festival workshops is ready for prime time! There's something for everyone, check out the schedule and list of presenters.

The Bee String Band
will play Friday night (Free Friday) at the Little City Grill (formerly Diggers Bar and Grill), from 8:00 to 11:00 at 802 N Mantua St. in Kent. There will be music everywhere around town on Free Friday starting at 11:00 am.

It's a date: On the premise that regularity is a good thing, the Bee String Band will now play the dinner show following the Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Jam at the Blue Rock Cafe on the third Saturday every month. The jam starts at 3:00 and the band plays from 6:00 to 8:00. Since the Blue Rock is one of our favorite venues, we're delighted to make it a regular stop every month!

Well, the 46th annual Kent State Folk Festival and workshops are history. There were some issues with the move to downtown Kent and with last minute workshop cancellations, but overall it seemed to go well and a number of folks commented that they liked the change. Plans for next year are up in the air, but why should that be any different than everything else, eh?

I had a busy week - final preparations for 'Round Town and the workshops, playing with the Bee String Band on Friday afternoon, playing again with the band Friday night at the Bistro when Karen E. Reynolds had to cancel our gig, doing my Chord Progressions workshop Saturday and trying to learn a set of Tom Paxton's songs for Saturday night (I was offered the back up gig on Tuesday and got MP3's to work from on Thursday evening)... other than that it was pretty casual!

Flash: I'll be playing guitar for Tom Paxton in the Folk Festival show on Saturday night. Also on the bill are the Red Clay Ramblers and John McCutcheon.

We're looking for volunteers to help with the workshops on September 22 from noon to 5:00. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved, email me.

It's done! The schedule for the Kent State Folk Festival 2012 (September 21 and 22) workshops and Folk Alley 'Round Town (very unofficially known as F.A.R.T.) is complete, and up on the festival website now. Remember, the workshops are located in various places around downtown Kent this year. Here's a map of all the locations.

Here's where the Bee String Band and I fit into the festival: Friday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00, the BSB trio will be at the Acorn Alley Plaza; Friday night Knoxville singer-songwriter Karen E. Reynolds and I will play together at the Bistro on Main in Kent from 8:00 to 11:00. I've been a side-man/lead guitarist for Karen before (she's an incredible performer and songwriter) but this will be more of a duet kind of thing where we'll be playing songs from both of us.

Important note: the festival workshops are moving to downtown Kent this year. On Saturday, Karen will present three music business-oriented workshops, and I'll reprise "Chord Progressions Demystified", a topic I first presented in 2010. Both are scheduled for the Kent Free Library along with two other discussion-type workshops. The other workshops will be distributed among several other downtown locations, so be sure to check the festival website for more info soon.

Ok, it's official - we're ending all the name confusion surrounding the band. The collaboration between myself, Mike Pereira, Kathy Camille-Garrenton and Cathy Miller will be henceforth known as the Bee String Band whether Cathy joins us on fiddle or not (she's in so much demand she is unable to be there at every gig).

The Kerry Kean Trio played our first gig at the Lemon Grove in Youngstown Friday night, May 25, and we got a great writeup in the Youngstown Vindicator. Here's the link:
Thanks to John Benson of the Vindicator for taking the time to write such a nice piece.

The Bee String Band has arrived! Our new quartet includes fiddler, singer and all-round amazing musician Cathy Miller. She joined us at our most recent date at the Blue Rock Cafe in Hudson, and we had a blast! Cathy currently performs with the duo Grady Miller, with the Steelheaders band, and also with singer/songwriter Jim Gill but we're going to try to get her in on as many of our gigs as we can - her playing really adds a new dimension to the sound!

Musical groups
being the chameleons that they are, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Two Far Gone is actually...too far gone. Mike Pereira joined Dave Howard and me and solidifed the groove earlier this year on upright bass and mandolin. Then Dave departed, and now Kathy Camille-Garrenton has added her wonderful voice and rhythm guitar to the group, which is now known as the Kerry Kean Trio (at least until we come up with a name that we all like, and that says something about who we are). We're playing a brand of "anything-goes-if-we-like-it" Americana, with elements of country, swing, blues and bluegrass. It's somewhat similar to what Two Far Gone played, with a strong emphasis on three-part harmony. We recorded the video above at the Barking Spider in early December, and I'll post more samples of the group as time permits. The Schedule page lists where we'll be playing, so come on out and give a listen - we'll all have a great time!

Like any habit that's hard to kick (and a whole lot better for me than some!), I'm back in a bluegrass band again. I've joined Top Rail Bluegrass, a band that's been around in different forms since 2003. Jim Gornall plays bass, Jeff Gell is on banjo and mandolin, I'm on guitar and we all sing. The last couple of gigs we've added Jimmy Haynes on mandolin. I'm having a ball playing with these guys, and I see a lot of possibility for the band. The next gig is September 17 at the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Brunswick, see the schedule for details.

2011 Kent State Folk Festival: I've finally finished the workshop schedule for the 2011 folk festival (September 24). I'm really excited about this year's lineup; we've added an extra room and a number of new workshops. More of them are interactive than ever before, including a two-part hands-on songwriting workshop directed by Laurie Caner and Kathy Johnson, a community sing with Matt Watroba, WKSU's new folk DJ, and group lessons on mandolin, banjo, ukulele, guitar and lap dulcimer. We've got classes in hula dancing, clogging, contradance, and several classes aimed specifically at performing and aspiring musicians on music business, injury prevention, maintaining your string instrument, and of course, performances by many of the best musicians in the region and beyond! And best of all, IT'S ALL FREE! So put it in your calendar, Saturday, September 24 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm is the day. And I didn't even mention all the great evening festival perfomances! The workshop schedule is available here:

2011 Workshop Schedule

And visit the festival website for the evening perfomances:

2011 Kent State Folk Festival

See you there!

Too Far Gone (formerly Two Far Gone) has made a key addition, with Mike Peirera joining Dave and Kerry on upright bass. Mike is from Cleveland where he plays mandolin with the Silver String Band, and we didn't even know he played bass until he sat in with us one night at the Barking Spider. He provided such a solid beat we immediately recruited him! Watch for us soon in a venue near you.

Workshop redux: The Summit County Songwriters Circle has invited me to reprise the workshop I presented at the KSU folk festival last year. It's called "Chord Progressions Demystified", and it's an explanation of how harmonic structures and the major scale work together. This basic musical knowledge is important for anyone who wants to write songs or improvise, and can also help in understanding, learning and anticipating chord changes in any kind of music. The workshop takes place on Monday, January 17 at 7:00 and is free and open to the public. Directions and more are available on the SCSC website at

2010 Kent State Folk Festival:
I was asked to direct the workshops this year at the KSU folk festival, and I think they're pretty well set. The festival runs from November 17 - 20, 2010, with the workshops happening on Saturday afternoon, November 20, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you've attended the workshops before, you'll find much that's familiar as well as a few new wrinkles. If you've never been, well, you've just gotta come! We've got five rooms plus the Kiva filled with some of the most talented local and regional musicians you'll ever hear. Some of the workshops are educational, some are interactive, and others are just some fine players doing what they do best, making great music. Come listen, dance, learn and have fun!

2011 Kent State Folk Festival - September 20-24
2011 workshop schedule: coming soon!
2010 workshop schedule

Tour Update: Things are slowly coming together for the May/June tour. I'm actually going to be on the road more than I thought originally, starting in Knoxville, going out to the west coast and back through Colorado. I have a few anchor gigs scheduled and some more tentative, to be (hopefully) filled in with lots of coffee houses and other small venues. Anyone who has suggestions for places to play on that approximate route, please let me know. This will be the most extensive performance tour I've made since I used to play with a travelling show band, and that was a loooong time ago! With any luck, I'll run out of CDs...

I got another great review on the new cd from FolkWorld:
"A strikingly beautiful rendition of the John Dowland piece “Flow My Tears” seems to bring out the best of Kean’s guitar playing, matched only by his original piece “After the Harvest”, for which Kean won the 2008 Kent State Folk Festival talent contest..."
Check out this one and many more on the Press page!

NEW! VIDEOS! ( case listening wasn't enough!)

NEW! Now on MySpace! (...more "in case that wasn't enough!")

Woodchoppers Ball - Saturday, December 12 at 7:00 pm
I'm not playing in it this year, but one of the best shows for acoustic guitar fans is Brian Henke's benefit for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the Woodchoppers Ball. Featuring nine top guitarists from around the country and beyond, these shows are tops in "Wow factor" and support a good cause as well. More info:

WOW! Rave reviews and boffo kudos! The New York Times gushes, "One of the top two or three hundred acoustic guitarists in Kent Ohio..." Well, OK, not really, but I did get a couple of nice online reviews recently for the new CD - check 'em out on the new Press page. In the interest of more shameless self-promotion, I've added a few of the more complimentary comments folks have sent me (somehow, the catcalls and scathing remarks have been lost...). If anyone feels like saying anything else, I'd love to have you add your glowing review to the New River Guitarism page at CDBaby. And thanks!

It's Here! : The new CD is out and available at last! For all who've expressed interest I appreciate your patience and I hope you find it worth the wait. The name is "New River Guitarism" and several of the songs were inspired by the New River Gorge in West Virginia where I've been going for years to rock climb, raft and just enjoy the beautiful scenery. Please check it out, listen to the sample clips here or on CDBaby and let me know what you think! The music is all guitar, mostly fingerstyle and mostly original, with a fiddle tune and a renaissance song tossed in for good measure. I like it, I hope you will too.

New combo.
..Dave Howard and I are working as a duo these days. Dave is well known around Northeast Ohio as a luthier and guitar repairman as well as a fine guitarist. He also plays mandolin, and he and I are doing an eclectic mix of originals, fiddle tunes, swing, blues and country songs that'll keep you guessing as well as tapping your foot (multiple feet are also encouraged!). Check out the schedule page for dates or sign up for the newsletter for up-to-date info. Also, you can see us on YouTube doing the traditional "Salt Creek" and one of my tunes, "One More Tear" along with a couple of videos of my solo work.

Free! New Music! "After the Harvest", performed at the Kent State Folk Festival
I was honored as the winner of the Kent State Folk Festival talent contest this year, and my prize was to open up the Nanci Griffith show on Saturday night. It was truly a rewarding experience, and I got some wonderful feedback from my performance. I almost didn't make it to the contest on time because I was playing in the Fiddle Tunes workshop in the 4-5 o'clock slot and apparently the contestants hit the downbeat right at 5 ( I rolled in as #4 was finishing up). Fate was kind, however, and they had me at the #8 slot, and the rest is (minor) history. I played one of the songs from the CD I'm currently recording, and here it is for free download.

Video on Youtube! The Summit County Songwriter's Circle has put a couple of videos of yours truly up on the most addictive site around. If you can take the multimedia onslaught of seeing and hearing me at the same time, you might want to check them out (if for no other reason than to see me make funny faces when the monitors starting fuzzing out in the middle of Just One Dream!)

Seneca Rag
Just One Dream

I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me and my music. As most of you know, I've been struggling with tendonitis in my left arm (guitar elbow?) but we seem to have come to a truce these days, and I am playing again. So again, thanks for your support and I hope to be back to what passes for normalcy again soon.

Many thanks to all those who voted for me in the Open Mic contest. I didn't win, but I turned in a respectable showing, especially for an instrumental. If you haven't been there yet, Folk Alley is a radio website that plays folk/acoustic music around the clock, good stuff! Check it out at:


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