Basic Folk 206 – Brett Dennen

Brett Dennen is a songwriter, painter and summer camp enthusiast. His camp experience was instrumental in developing his musicality. He attended Camp Jack Hazard in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where young Brett was enamored with the music his camp counselors would play on guitar around the campfire. He was introduced to Paul Simon, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and John Denver thanks to his counselors and his parents. He really developed as a songwriter in college at UC Santa Cruz. After school, he wove himself into the LA songwriter scene, which in the early 2000’s was a haven for musicians like himself, Alexi Murdoch, Damien Rice and Josh Ritter. He developed a large fanbase that remains loyal to this day.

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Brett talks about running his own summer camp, Camp Dennen, which allows him to create community through nature and art. He shares his experience of writing and thinking about being a dad and how that relates to the reality of fatherhood. And he talks about decidedly not being in the cool crowd and also not caring about it… well not caring about it as much as he used to. Brett’s written some of my favorite songs of the 21st century. It was an honor to have him on the pod!

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