music shows booking goodies home/blog

Sonoma Index-Tribune


A folk-music week at Murphy's Irish Pub

KENNI & COMPANY will bring their acoustic folk music to the Murphy's stage next week. The band includes, from left, Josh Greenberg, Kenni, Joshua Zucker and Ann Schrager.

06.17.05 - It's a big week for traditional folk music at Murphy's Irish Pub, so music fans should get ready for some fine finger-pickin' and serious toe-tapping.

On Saturday, June 18, the Perfect Crime serves its time by bringing its patented blend of folk, blues and ballads to the pub for an 8 p.m. show. Then on Sunday, June 19, at 6 p.m., the walls will ring with the traditional Irish music from Cork and Kerry from Irish-Sonomans the Cotters, who will be accompanied by Jack Walsh.

Finally, on Thursday, June 23, Kenni & Company, a San Francisco all-acoustic Americana/contemporary folk ensemble, make their Murphy's debut at 7:30 p.m. with an intimate, toe-tapping, old-timey concert like those of yesteryear.

Murphy's Irish Pub is located at 464 First St. E.

For more information, call 935-0660.

Taylor Guitars: Discover the Indies

Kenni, the radiant debut from San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Kenni, flows like a warm natural spring from her soul. Her melodic voice has a sweet, beautiful ache, a nakedness, a floating urgency, and is complemented wonderfully by Andrew Freeman's tasteful acoustic licks, Lance H. Inouye's sweetly trickling piano accompaniment, and Kenni's own buoyant harmonies. Violin and harmonica tinge several tracks with country and blues strokes. Above all, Kenni truly inhabits the poetic imagery of her lyrics, breathing into them what feels like real-time vulnerability. The expressive contours of her vocals call to mind the phrasing of Jonatha Brooke, whom Kenni credits as an inspiration and mentor. Her website also features links to the sites of such other influences as Susan Werner, Gillian Welch, "Patties" Griffin and Larkin, Livingston Taylor, and Chris Whitley.

"Kenni is one of the strongest writers I have seen򳍔a major talent򳍔. She will go far."
򳍕Pat Pattison, columnist for
Performing Songwriter magazine and author of Writing Better Lyrics

"... something new and different... great to listen to."
򳍕 Sonja Mortensen, WERS Boston

"... bright, hard-working, and gifted..."
򳍕 Richard Evans, Grammy-winning arranger

"...a gifted lyricist..."
򳍕 Jack Perricone, Chairman, Berklee Department of Songwriting

SF Art Magazine

A Beautiful Sound music writer Arthur Jefferson introduces us to the beautiful world and music of Kenni. (Photo by Marilyn Sanders)

Welcome to the wonderful world of Kenni. This is a world where notes that are sang flow as clear as a California breeze during the summer. Harmonious rhythms create a sort of euphoric state of being. Kenni Leigh Feinberg is the goddess of this world. Although physically she resides in the city of San Francisco, her music allows one to mentally travel to a world far beyond. And a beautiful world it is indeed. With her album titled "Kenni" released on her Noonday Moon Productions label, this guitarist/singer has been creating quite a buzz throughout the folk scene ever since she was performing throughout New England as a member of the duo Back to Back. Known for her phenomenal songwriting ability and her enticing, beautiful voice, Kenni won the 1996 and 1997 Berklee Songwriting Competition while attending Berklee School of Music in Boston. She also earned an award in the Eudora Welty Songwriting Competition in 1996. Kenni is sure to constantly reach higher grounds in music. So sit back and take a mental trip into this new, found land...Kenni's world.

AJ: Did you always foresee yourself becoming a musician and entertainer?

KLF: Although I wasn't always conscious of it, I think I did. I remember looking forward to music time every single day of third grade. I remember being twelve or thirteen and reenacting the entire "Hopelessly Devoted to You" scene from "Grease" around the jungle gym on the deserted playground of my elementary school. I remember being a member of the pirate chorus in the musical "Raggedy Ann and Andy" at around the same time. Clearly, I was drawn to singing and performing. The year after that, I picked up a guitar and have been playing ever since. However, it took me until after college to consider pursuing a career as a performing songwriter. I still have a hard time taking myself seriously! Every so often, I stop and say to myself, "Am I really doing this?"

AJ: Tell me about your musical background.

KLF: I was absolutely surrounded with music from as early I can remember and, no doubt, before that. My parents are both actors and singers. My mother also plays the piano. Singing and listening to records were daily occurrences in our household. I remember sitting on the piano bench with my feet dangling well off the ground, picking out melodies that I knew. "The Entertainer" was an early favorite! I never learned to play the piano, but I did start playing the flute when I was nine or ten, and I studied that instrument all the way through high school. I started playing the guitar in high school because I wanted to be able to play and sing all the classic rock songs I had come to love... Fleetwood Mac, the Police, the Beatles. For the next several years, I was what I call a "bedroom performer." I played and sang all the time, but I never dreamed of playing in front of people. Finally, in 1994, I answered an ad in the Boston Phoenix (I went to college in Boston) and went on to become half of a contemporary folk duo that was quite successful in New England. We were opening for performers whose work I knew and admired: The Story, Livingston Taylor, Patty Larkin, Patty Griffin. In that act, I was a harmony vocalist only (I wasn't writing or playing guitar), and I started to realize that I simply wasn't prepared for the kinds of opportunities I was having. I decided to go to Berklee College of Music, and after three years of the most intensely rigorous and inspiring training in songwriting, arranging, and general musicianship, I moved to San Francisco, where I've been writing and performing ever since.

AJ: What was the inspiration behind the song "A Thousand Heartland Acres"?

KLF: That song was inspired by Jane Smiley's book "A Thousand Acres." I took some artistic license with the ending! It's funny you should ask about that song. It was the first song I wrote when I began the songwriting program at Berklee...

AJ: Explain a little about the origins of Noonday Moon Music.

KLF: I created Noonday Moon Music, the music publishing sibling of my record label, Noonday Moon Productions, because I believe that "the song is king." Let me tell you what I mean. During the last half-century, the line between performing artists and songwriters has blurred more and more. That's happened largely, I believe, because of the behemoth record labels, which exploit artists by cross-collateralizing every revenue stream... except the songwriting royalties. Songwriting money is one of the only remaining sources of income available to artists. Performers feel pressure to be songwriters for this reason... and the ripple effect begins! In most genres, performers are now writing their own material, and so songwriters turn to performing because it's the only way to get their songs recorded and heard. No one expected Ella Fitzgerald to write her own songs, and yet now only the rare non-writing singer is accorded the same respect as the performing songwriter. The result of most performers writing and most writers performing is a dilution in the quality of both disciplines. I hope that in the future, songwriting and performing will regain to some extent their independence from one another. This is not to say that there are not individuals who excel at both--there's a Susan Werner (see question #8) for every Ella Fitzgerald--but I think people should do both because they have the drive and ability to do so, not just because they feel it is expected of them. So, back to my publishing company! The goal of my publishing company is to assemble a catalog of high-quality songs in preparation for the return of the song as a valuable commodity, not just in country music and in r&b/pop, but in all genres. It is the goal of all music-publishing companies, of course, to assemble a catalog of high-quality songs, but I plan to go about it in a way that will protect and nurture writers. Right now, Noonday Moon Music is the publishing company for my songs. The song-mining project is way, way down on the priority list!

AJ: Approximately how long did it take you to put together and record material for the album "Kenni"?

KLF: From penning the first song, to getting the boxes of shrink-wrapped cds? I guess about three years.

AJ: The album received great reviews. Does that bring more creative pressure for a second album?

KLF: Strangely, no. I mean, I feel a certain amount of TIME pressure, but I don't think that's what you mean. I think you are asking if I feel pressure to match the quality of the first record. I've never worried about that, really, because I believe that the more I write, the better writer I will become. I believe the songs on the next record can't help but be better, because I am continually growing as an artist and craftsperson.

AJ: Your phenomenal songwriting ability has earned you several achievements. Has there been any offers to write or co-write songs for other artists?

KLF: I don't think my music is yet well disseminated enough to generate that kind of interest. I do hope and believe that the offers will come one day. One of my goals as a writer is to write a song so good that Bonnie Raitt wants to cover it. I chose her as my barometer not only because I love her music and her voice, but because she has, in my opinion, the best song-finding and song selection skills of any recording artist today, notwithstanding the Reba McIntyre's and Celine Dion's of the world (whose producers are constantly trolling for material). Writing "on assignment" is very rewarding for me, and co-writing would be an extension of that. It would also be a great way to challenge and expand my writing style, which is very slowing, methodical, and meticulous. An interactive writing situation doesn't lend itself to that approach.

AJ: What other musicians would you like to work with?

KLF: I have to say, first, that I am so happy with my band. I can't think of any musicians I'd rather play and sing with day after day, week after week. Josh Zucker, Josh Greenberg, Trisha Varley, Anne Schrager, and Andrew Freeman are an incredible group of musicians. In fantasyland? I would love to sing duets with all my musical heroes!... Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, Jonatha Brooke... Stevie Nicks! That list would go on and on. Loftier ambitions here in the real world?... There are so many musicians that I respect and admire that it's hard to pick a handful. I would love to do a record with producer/keyboard player extraordinaire Alain Mallet. I'm very interested in up-and-coming singer-songwriter Garrin Benfield. I'd like to work with him in some capacity.

My biggest collaborative ambition is to write a full-length Broadway musical with a leading role for Susan Werner. She is, without a doubt, the most skilled and talented performing songwriter I ever hope to see. She deserves a chance to do some legit singing in front of very large, appreciative audiences in a non-singer-songwriter context.

AJ: Do you remember your first stage performance? Where was it and what was your feeling inside?

KLF: Although I performed a great deal on the New England folk circuit, I've always thought of my first performance as being the first time I took the stage as a solo singer-songwriter. That was in San Francisco, at the famous Blue Lamp open mic. I felt all the clichd emotions--nervousness, excitement, etc.--but I also felt oddly stoic and resigned. Being a subscriber to the Livingston Taylor view of the performer-audience relationship, (every performer should read his book, "Stage Performance"... twice) I thought, "Ok Ken, you have to get up on this stage as much as humanly possible and work through this stuff so you get to the point where you can really be there for the audience. You have to learn to make them more important than your hang-ups." Then I took a deep breath and started my first song. My hands shook, and my voice wavered, but I tried to let the audience know with my face that I was ok, that they didn't need to take my nervousness on for me. I like to think I've come a long, long way in that regard, but I'll always have further to go.

AJ: What moves and inspires you day to day?

KLF: If I had to put it in a nutshell, I'd say beauty, in all its many forms. That fits for a Libra, eh? When I watch my dogs play in the waves with the sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands in the background and Venus and Saturn hanging in the blue twilight, that inspires me. When I read or hear beautifully crafted writing, that inspires me. I am always moved by unsolicited acts of love or kindness or generosity. I guess I'm pretty much like everyone else! I am also inspired and driven, from moment to moment, by the thought of doing the work necessary to bring some little piece of beauty to the world myself.

AJ: What's next for Kenni?

KLF: The top priority at the moment is finishing the second record. Band members Josh Zucker, bass and harmony vocals, and Josh Greenberg, drums and percussion, are engineering the recording and mixing using their equipment. This is a "home-based" effort, for both financial and creative reasons. The recording is coming along well. I'm hoping for a winter release date. The concurrent priority is continuing to polish up the band, both in the rehearsal studio and out on the regional club circuit. We are planning mini-tours up to Seattle/Portland and down to L.A./San Diego in the late summer and early fall. A writing retreat is in order too... SOON!

Noonday Moon Productions
760 Market Street, Suite 315
San Francisco, CA 94102

Or you can send an email to: agent [at symbol]

A barebones electronic press kit is available if you click on the link to the right. It will take you to the electronic press kit heaven that is If for some reason you want to go directly to the epk, you can always type or paste into your browser.

Also contact Noonday Moon Productions if you're interested in licensing material for film or television.