Erin McKeown: Singer-Songwriter on Practice

Music is unique. The more I know about how it works, the deeper it gets; the better it becomes.

~ Erin McKeown, from the Interview


Interview: Erin McKeown on Practice

Check out what the excellent singer-songwriter Erin McKeown has to say about music practice. I’ve been a fan of Erin’s since hearing Distillation in 2000. Erin is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist; she plays guitar, piano, drums, and bass. I learned of Erin McKeown’s music about ten years ago through one of many appearances on NPR, this one on  The World Cafe, a most excellent show hosted on WXPN in Philadelphia and hosted by David Dye. Great stuff!

Erin’s got 12 albums out, and they’re all worth owning. My favorite 3 albums are Distillation, Grand, and,  Hundreds of Lions, three songs from which are re-arranged for her latest release, Three Songs. The arrangements are well-crafted and spare, and I think I enjoy them more than the originals, though that’s a tough call. Erin puts on an energetic live show, too.

Erin’s got a tasty mix of many of my favorite styles: Django, tin-pan alley, singer-songwriter, punk, as well as some old-timey and rockabilly overtones, and when the mood strikes her she might just whip out a Grateful Dead cover. She also sings and  plays from the Great American Songbook as well as crafting her own clever and playful originals. If you haven’t heard of her, you should most definitely buy some of her music. Samples below. I mean, how can you not want to hear someone who is inspired in part by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. Erin has some interesting things to say about practice.

Here she is singing one of her songs, The Taste of You.

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice or give a great gift to someone who does? The Practice of Practice is published and is consistently one of the top music books on Amazon. Practice Like This is similar but with more pictures and less words.

photo of Erin by Nancy Palmieri
photo by Nancy Palmieri

Erin’s Web Site

Listen to Samples of Erin’s Music

Videos of Erin
…..past Cabin Fever shows

Mentioned in the podcast

Other Resources (links from Erin’s Wikipedia Page)


And, as a special bonus in tribute to one of Erin’s musical influences and because physical humor is funny, here’s a 10-second clip from the movie version of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (both the books, and the audiobooks are better than the movie):

Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

If only this happened every time we thought too much….

Have fun and good luck with your practice.


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