Kevin Dunn (musician)
Kevin Dunn (a/k/a Kevin McFoy Dunn), born 10 October 1951 in Jacksonville, Florida, is a guitarist, producer, and songwriter who first came to public notice in context of the fertile new wave scene that arose in Athens and Atlanta, GA, in the late 1970s. In 1975 he and collaborator Alfredo Villar formed the Fans, one of the first Southeastern bands for whom the influence of blues or country music was not primary, their chief inspiration lying instead in the British art rock of the era (Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Robert Fripp, etc.). The band issued three singles — the second of which, "Cars and Explosions" (b/w "Dangerous Goodbyes"), was produced by Mark Miller-Mundy and released on Dai Davies' Albion label — but, destabilized by artistic differences between the principals and disheartened by the failure of a protracted dalliance with A&M Records that had been championed by the label's then-head of A&R John Anthony, they disbanded in 1979.
As the Fans wound down, Dunn was concurrently pursuing a solo career as both performer and producer. In 1978 he co-produced for the independent label DB Records The B-52s' landmark "Rock Lobster" 45, the success of which was instrumental in setting the stage for the Athens quintet's subsequent stardom. In the following year Dunn co-produced the first single by the influential Athens band Pylon, "Cool" (b/w "Dub"). In 1979, he released his first solo single "Nadine" (b/w "Oktyabrina"). In 1980, he co-produced Pylon's first LP, Gyrate. Dunn's first solo album, The Judgement of Paris, received a joint release by DB and the UK label Armageddon in 1981. He followed that with the 1983 maxi-EP C'est Toujours La Même Guitarre; released on Peter Dyer's Press Records, it was widely reviewed; with one positive notice, by Robert Palmer of the New York Times, comparing the artist's distortion-and-modulation-heavy guitar sound to "angry animals and natural catastrophes". Released in 1985, Dunn's second LP, Tanzfeld (also on Press) earned a B+ from Robert Christgau in the Village Voice.
From 1985 Dunn restricted himself to local live performance — chiefly solo guitar, featuring ambient pieces and baroque repertory performed on a replica 17th-century instrument. A comprehensive anthology titled No Great Lost: Songs, 1979-1985 was released on the Boston-based label Casa Nueva in May 2010. In September of that year, encouraged by the tenor of the retrospective's critical reception, Dunn mounted a mini-tour of the Northeast, with dates in Washington, D.C., Manhattan and Brooklyn, Cambridge and Amherst, MA, and Durham, NC; it was the first time in 30 years that he had played live outside the Atlanta metropolitan area. The following December, plans were laid with Casa Nueva for the release of Dunn's first collection of new material since Tanzfeld, but though the audio component of the album, titled The Miraculous Miracle of the Imperial Empire, was completed in mid-2012, a series of reverses later in the year led to the effective dissolution of the label as a going concern, and the project stalled out; however, momentum was regained when Dunn issued the collection digitally on the Bandcamp site, where it has as of July 2013 been on offer on a pay-if-you-like basis.
- Brown, Rodger Lyle. Party Out of Bounds, 1991
- Flagpole, March 3, 2010; http://flagpole.com/Weekly/Threats/Threats-3Mar10
- Mother Jones, May+June, 2010
- Blurt magazine, September 3, 2010