The new live concert album is finished!
Sixteen songs and stories for absolutely everyone, of all identities, histories, and abilities, so that they can know that they are not alone but on the Hero's Journey.
“An enviable body of songs.. an intelligent and gifted writer.”
Bob Leslie, Transatlantic Conversations
September Album of the Month
Live Video (Caffe Lena, with Joe Jencks)
Press photos (hi-res 300 dpi for download)
One line summary
An evening of folk Americana on 6 & 12-string guitar concerning heroes and hope, so that everyone, absolutely everyone, of any identity, history, ethnicity or anything else, can know that they are not alone but are on the Hero's Quest.
The Midnight Commander Was Here
"Stories define us and how we see ourselves, and heroes are everyone," says singer-songwriter Kray Van Kirk. "All of us, without exception, have a verse in the shouted poetry of dawn.”
“The Alaskan singer-songwriter, in his Edinburgh debut, was not the reason I arrived early, but was certainly why I stayed late." - Daily Fringe Review, Edinburgh, Scotland
Kray Van Kirk left a career in the sciences to write songs in which everyone, of any identity or history or creed, can know that they are on the Hero’s Journey. A fine finger-style guitarist with a precise baritone and roots in the Celtic tradition, Van Kirk obtained his doctorate in quantitative modeling from the University of Alaska. Coming off five years of living in his van and playing music across the US and Canada, he thought that a career in the sciences might be a bit more secure than playing music for a living, especially as a single parent. Eventually, however, he realized that healing the world was primarily a matter of the heart, not the head, and he put aside his computer, picked up his guitar, and set out again.
"The evening’s act was Kray Van Kirk, whose 12-string guitar and soaring vocals were spellbinding. The Alaskan singer-songwriter, in his Edinburgh debut, was not the reason I arrived early, but was certainly why I stayed late."
Daily Fringe Review, Edinburgh, Scotland
Van Kirk, however, is not your average crying-in-your-coffee singer-songwriter. "Stories define how we see the world," he says, “and we need new myths and new stories for the 21st century to make it clear that humanity is all of us. All of us, without exception, have a verse in the shouted poetry of dawn.”
“Magical would be my word to describe it."
Portland Folk Music Society, Portland, Oregon
Thus his songs: Thunderbird resurrects the Phoenix in an empty desert diner in the American Southwest (yes, the Phoenix drives a Thunderbird), The Queen of Elfland plucks Thomas the Rhymer from the English-Scottish border in 1250 and drops him and the Queen into a subway car, The Library Song has Superman moonlighting among the stacks, and The Midnight Commander celebrates an insane old man leading the city of New York to take up arms (and underwear) against hatred.
Of this charming, Quixotic, and decidedly eclectic performer, the Borderline Folk Club in New York wrote “...it is what every singer-songwriter should aspire to.”