Dennis Pearne, singer/songwriter/session musician

Dennis has been writing songs and performing his music for over 50 years. His themes display a passionate commitment to justice, peace, spirituality, and his daughters — along with many unusual and haunting love songs.

Photo by Tom Smith image

Dennis has performed in every major, and most minor folk venues in the Northeast, along with larger stages such as Sanders Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge, and Boston's outdoor Hatch Shell. He has toured cross-country several times, including appearing on national radio programs such as the Studs Terkel show in Chicago, Jim Post's concert series in the same city, and NPR. In the Northeast, he has played at clubs from Massachusetts' Club Passim and Iron Horse, to Greenwich Village's Bottom Line and Speakeasy. Nationally, he has toured through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., Washington state, and New Mexico. He has appeared on stage with many of folk music's legends, including Pete Seeger, Bonnie Raitt, Patti Larkin, Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens, and Tom Paxton. (Scroll down for quotes from those who have worked with Dennis or heard him perform.)

In May of 2011, Dennis accepted the position of booking manager for Harvard Square's Nameless Coffeehouse, the oldest all-volunteer coffeehouse in the United States. In October of 2011, the Nameless entered its 45th season — Dennis had played at the Nameless for the prior 36 consecutive seasons. Many of Dennis' works have been placed in the Smithsonian Institute (

Upcoming Music


Been Alot O'years

  • Red Convertible

  • The Last Word

  • The Last Trailer Park in Boston

  • Tragic Happy Ending

  • Ecstacy Called Love

New Performing Band

New Performing Band

Dennis' new band, Dennis Pearne and the Elastic Waste Band, is the current incarnation of the band by that name that Dennis has run since the late 1980's, varying from 2 to 11 players at different times. The current configuration consists of Dennis on 6-string, 12-string, vocals, and harp, Lillian Hastie on drums and percussion, and Michael St. Germain on fretless bass. Together, they take contemporary folk music sounds and textures into new and unexpected territories, with a variety of Dennis's original songs, a few carefully chosen covers, and surprising arrangements of traditional songs.

For bookings, please call Dennis at 617 877 8194

Media Reviews, and Comments by Folk Music Luminaries

Photo by Tom Smith

“Dennis Pearne addresses contemporary life in an entertaining, provocative, and musically exciting manner, representing the groundswell of tradition and idealism found in the best of folk music.” - Frank Hamilton (The Weavers).

“Pearne's versatility of styles and instrumental techniques has made him one of the most sought after musicians in the area…has been featured as musical backup for the majority of new folk artists in the area.” - Hingham Mariner

“Fine, up-and-coming singer/songwriter” - Jeff McLaughlin, Boston Globe (1983)

“Disturbing but powerful songs — everyone should hear them” - Folk legend Bob McCarthy, on CD “Whispers of the Spirit”

“You are my favorite bass player.” Chris Chandler to Dennis, after recording his “As Seen On NO TV” CD (produced by Rachel Faro)

“(Richie) Havens was joined by local studio musicians assembled by local guitarist Dennis Pearne and including flute and percussion…a stirring 80-minute set.” - Boston Globe (show at The Channel, Boston)

“Personal reflections and deep political convictions give this solo album a cohesive, autobiographical tone. Sounding like a cross Between Country Joe McDonald and Neil Young, Pearne balances angry protest songs with romantic ballads.” - Craig Harris, Boston Globe (On “Whispers of the Spirit”)


Photo by Tom Smith

In addition to the original works below, Dennis has made numerous appearances on the “Fast Folk Musical Magazine” record series, and other regional folk compilations. Dennis has over 100 credits as a session musician on bass, fretless bass, acoustic guitar, and vocals — including Mariah Sangiolo, Jim Infantino, Ellis Paul, Betsy Rose, Ruth Pelham, and Ben Tousley. Many of Dennis' works have been placed in the Smithsonian (

2005 “Woodwork at the Peace Abbey” Full length CD by full five-piece band. 10 live cuts, 8 studio cuts. Woodwork Music #003.

Hear Dennis' original songs
From Whispers of the Spirit:
  • Whispers Of The Spirit

  • Earth Meets Fire

  • The Closest Thing To Normal

Photo by Tom Smith

2003 “We Ain't No One to Talk” CD-single — two versions, rock and folk. Copyright Dennis Pearne, 2003.

2002 “Songs of the Tao” 8-song CD. Verses of Lao Tsu's “Tao Te Ching” put to music by Dennis Pearne, and recorded by Dennis with the full Woodwork band. Woodwork Music #002.

2000 “Woodwork Live” Full length CD by 5-piece band. Woodwork Music # 001.

Hear Dennis' original songs
From Woodwork Live:
  • Fractions Of An Email Love Affair

  • Water Song

Photo by Tom Smith

These four CD's display the spiritual bent in Dennis songwriting. However, be prepared for some hard-hitting social commentary too.

1993 “Mother Earth is Choking,” b/w “Carol's Song.” Two-song cassette single. Good Company Productions # GCP019.

1989 “Whispers of the Spirit” Full length CD of mostly original songs by Dennis Pearne. Good Company Productions # GCP009.

Hear Dennis' original songs
From Woodwork at the Peace Abbey:
  • Dim Brightness

  • Returning

  • Like Water

Photo by Tom Smith

1986 “Ecstacy Called Love,” b/w “Gentle and Strong,” R&R 45 RPM single with band “Lion-in-the-Road,” including Marienne Kreitlow,, Good Company Productions #GCP008.

1983 “Rising Tide” Full length LP with band of the same name. Good Company Productions # GCP001.

Hear Dennis' original songs
From Songs of the Tao:
  • Second Chance


Contact Dennis at to request copies of items on this page. For “Songs of the Tao” also see

Past Achievements

A Special Honor...Woodwork, officially named House Band of the Peace Abbey, Sherborn, Massachusetts, 2005.

Dennis with Good Company Productions

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Dennis with the Elastic Waste Band

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Dennis with Rising Tide making a hit out of Rick Goldin's gender-busting song, "Act Like a Man"

The Jack Hardy Story

On March 7th, 1985, Dennis was locked in a hot attic room, with a make-shift recording studio by Jack Hardy for six hours in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, and was made to overdub bass parts and some lead guitar parts on almost every song of the 2-LP Boston Edition of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, even though Dennis had never heard most of the songs.


Hear Dennis Play Bass


From the CD "Reverse Speed" with singer/songwriter Ellis Paul:

  • New Light On Your Halo

  • This Old Car


From the CD “Live at the Masquerade Ball” with singer/songwriter Dan Cloutier (photo above)

  • If I Was Rembrandt

  • Jeremiah

  • The Great Molasses Flood

Sophie Rich


Performing with daughter, Sophie Rich, at the Nameless Coffeehouse, Harvard Square, Cambridge.

"I've been in show business for 40 years, and my 14-year-old daughter has already left me in the dust..." - Dennis

Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham, MA

Above photos by Jon McAuliffe

The Dan Cloutier Show at Amazing Things

Above photos by Michael Moran

Above photos by Jon McAuliffe