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The Midnight Commander was here: Kray Van Kirk in concert at Cafe Carpe

August 31 @ 8:00 pm10:00 pm


Master singer-songwriter brings new myths to Fort Atkinson to tilt at 21st century windmills.

A fine finger-style guitarist with a precise baritone, Kray Van Kirk has a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska, but he put science aside to write songs, tell stories and summon heroes. He will bring those songs and stories to Cafe Carpe in concert on Saturday, August 31st. The summoned heroes can be found in the audience.

“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

“We are driven by myth and the seasons of the heart,” he says, “and the stories are all true. There is a dark cave inside each of us, and monsters of all kinds lurk there, all the more lethal for being hidden. The quest is to journey inside, render the monsters powerless, find whatever it is that burns at the core of your soul and bring it back into the light. In a world divided it is critical to write songs and tell stories that show absolutely everyone they get to be the hero. Nobody is left behind.”

“An enviable body of songs.. an intelligent and gifted writer.” Bob Leslie, Transatlantic Conversations CelticMusicRadio.net

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, Rosa and Hector ride through Sherwood Forest on canes and a wheelchair, 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.”


August 31
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Cafe Carpe
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Cafe Carpe
18 South Water Street
Fort Atkinson, 53538
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