About DK

DK and the Joy Machine brings you innovative music on mountain dulcimer to move your soul. Her new album, SHY ONE, has been described by Curve magazine "as quirky and smart with sultry vocals " and AltCountry Forum as "anti-folk and rootsy Americana...that directly touches the heart and convinces in pure beauty with traces of the deep south and an expressive voice reminiscent of Patti Smith with an obvious kinship with PJ Harvey, Indigo Girls, and Lucinda Williams.”

Known for her well crafted songs and genre-blending, innovative work on mountain dulcimer---plucking, strumming, bowing and “rocking out” on this trad instrument, “DK”'s music is at turns evocative, moving, playful and fun. Her "quirky and smart" songs celebrate all the crucial things in life: unrequited love, falling in love with feral cats, and treating yourself with kindness. "Love Harder," her first studio recording, was described by VENTS magazine as "an album with heart, ...beauty, and passion. In every chord, note, or string you can feel poetry, sincerity, greatness... a record to closely pay attention to and be delighted by." 

Mid-East Mountain Dulcimer champion, “DK“ also won first place on “The Joy Machine” in the Great Trails Dulcimer contest in her 20s. After being on hiatus for 18 years, she came back to performing with gusto in 2012, writing new, innovative material and further pushing the boundaries on this trad instrument.

As a teen, "DK" made her first dulcimer out of cardboard, from a kit, with fret wires out of bent nails. Once she got her hands on a real wood dulcimer, she gave up guitar to focus exclusively on the instrument that stole her heart. “The dulcimer is sweet, earthy and mournful, haunting and unique in the West (other than the hurdy-gurdy) as being the only stringed instrument with a drone (like a Western sitar or stringed bag pipe). So many singer-songwriters play guitar---I was drawn to something different. I still am.”

Already an accomplished songwriter and composer, for eight years, while living in Dublin, Ireland, she adopted Irish tunes for dulcimer, playing in trad sessions and traditional Americana on the stage, including with Hank Halfhead and the Rambling Turkeys. After returning to the US and winning first place in several dulcimer contests, she went on hiatus for more than a decade. During this time she worked as a writer, union organizer, and activist. After being told by her cat (via a cat whisperer) that she should sing more and a statue of five Ganesha miraculously appeared in her home via an Indian holy man---each playing an instrument, DK took this (and other signs, such as encouragement from Terre Roche, of the Roche Sisters) as divine intervention and began singing and playing again, writing new material and performing out on dulcimer since April, 2012. Since then, she has been a featured performer at venues and festivals in NYC (including Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End, Union Hall, and the Dixon Place HOT! Fest), Paris (France), Germany, Cambridge (MA), Washington, DC, and in the South.

In addition to creating own music, DK is also an arts activist, curating THE SONGBIRD SERIES creating visibility for women artists: https://www.facebook.com/SongBirdSeries and is curating the first ever NYC dulcimer festival to be held at the Jalopy Theater in 2017.