Folk Music: Comforting the Afflicted and Afflicting the Comfortable

Door County singer-songwriter Katie Dahl has made a name for herself nationwide as a songwriter whose work delves deep into the life of the heart as well as the life of the country. At the UU, she considers the question of what music’s role can and should be at a time of political turmoil. Is the role of a song is (in the words of humorist Finley Peter Dunne) “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”? Dahl will talk about the role of music in eras like the 1960s as well as at the present moment.

Singer-songwriter Katie Dahl has performed her original songs everywhere from the dusty cliffs of Mali, to the winding canals of southern France, to the cedar forests of the American northwoods. Though she’s particularly well-respected on her home turf of Door County, Wisconsin, Katie tours regularly and has earned accolades nationwide for the depth and power of her alto voice, the literate candor of her songs, and the easy humor of her live performances. In 2015, Katie’s song “Crowns” hit #1 on the Folk-DJ charts, and she was selected for Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious Emerging Artists Showcase. Katie is also a playwright whose musical “Victory Farm” premiered to high acclaim in 2012 and has since been made into a live cast album. Karen Impola of Iowa Public Radio says, “Katie Dahl’s music combines a love for her rural midwestern roots, a droll wit, and a clear-eyed appraisal of modern life, all served up in a voice as rich as cream.”

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