PK Dwyer is an established and respected artist who travels a different road than most musicians in a modern day world. He continues to be an innovative force on the acoustic roots and blues music scene with an eclectic career that now spans well over 40 years. PK Dwyer is a consummate and constant performer who continues to write all his own material.
PK Dwyer originally hails from Mill Valley, California but is often thought of as a Seattle native. The waters of the Puget Sound must have gotten into his blood over the years as PK has once again returned to make his home in Washington State and now resides in the beautiful waterfront city of Des Moines.
PK Dwyer has a long music history connected to the Seattle area and the distinction of being the first busker at the Pike Place Market in the 1970's. In 1975 acoustic duo PK Dwyer & Donna Beck had a Northwest radio hit with PK's original tune Dandy Annie. The later '70's saw the rapid rise and demise of Dwyer's ground breaking electric quintet The Jitters. The Jitters are considered by many to be cow punk ancestors of alt-country. [Grant Alden]
PK Dwyer left Seattle for Europe in 1980 and spent a few years gaining notoriety as a street performer in Paris and Amsterdam before relocating to New York City. Once settled in New York PK joined the 'Fast Folk' scene in the Village and quickly became known as a colorful and controversial artist with his acoustic cabaret act: The Hollywood Dick Doll Revue. Folk music purists in the Village protested and wanted Hollywood Dick banned from the scene but others saw PK's raw talent and became avid supporters. Suzanne Vega, David Blue, Richie Havens and Dave Van Ronk were fans of PK Dwyer's eccentric act.
The 1990's were a restless time for Dwyer and he lead a variety of bands and projects both in Seattle and the Los Angeles area. The year 2000 brought salvation when PK was visited by the ghost of Jimmy Reed and brought back into the fold of folk and blues.
PK Dwyer has since released four well loved roots & blues Cd's in succession: Up To My Balls in the Blues , Blues Guy Now , Healed , and Rough Shod .
After seven years spent touring the Southeast and making a living busking his original blues in New York City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, PK Dwyer returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2012. He is once again a premiere busker at the Pike Place Market in Seattle and prefers performing in the great outdoors to the grind of the bar & club circuit. PK Dwyer continues to travel the backroads of the west coast and beyond with his wife and trusty dog bringing his Cosmic American Blues to street corners everywhere.
Notable moments . . .
1970: PK is discovered busking in Los Angeles and is tapped to write and record the music for Jac Zacha's film Walk The Walk.
1972: PK Dwyer is the first to busk at the Seattle Pike Place Market.
1979: The Jitters are the critics darling and on the verge of commercial success. PK chucks it all to go to Europe and perform on the streets.
1981: Winner of the First Annual Amsterdam Street Performers Competition.
1982: PK Dwyer joins the Fast Folk movement in New York City. He creates his infamous alter ego Hollywood Dick Doll and folkie purists try to have Hollywood Dick banned from performing at The Speakeasy. Others with taste champion PK's cause and the Hollywood Dick Doll Revue ends up sharing the stage with such greats as Dave Van Ronk, Peter Tork, David Massengill, and even the band War!
1997: The Jitters: After All it Is 1980! is remixed, remastered and re-released on Cd with revamped art work by Seattle's own Art Chantry.
2000: The ghost of Jimmy Reed appears to PK.
2002: The songs Lookin for a Woman and Time to Try are used as incidental music on MTV's reality show Made.
2004: Vintage Guitar magazine does a feature article on PK Dwyer and calls Blues Guy Now a modern blues masterpiece.
2005: PK Dwyer is nominated for a Seattle Weekly Music Award in the Blues category [the only solo acoustic artist nominated!]. He doesn't win but his live performance at the awards showcase earns him a grant from Seattle's Art Patch that enables him to record and release Healed. In December PK & Mrs D decide to leave Seattle for the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and end up in a hillbilly shack on Black Mountain.
2006: After 6 months in North Carolina PK is compelled to relocate to New York City once again. This time around PK sticks about four years and makes his living busking his original blues in the subway and Central Park. Folks on the street recognize PK from the old days and call out Hey Hollywood!!
2010: The Dwyers need a change of scene and move to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tragedy strikes when PK's arthritis is complicated and made worse by an injury that leaves him without use of his left hand. PK is unable to play guitar and it seems the end of his performing days have arrived. After six months of treatments and not much progress PK teaches himself to play guitar without the use of his left index finger and is out performing again in August.
2011: PK Dwyer is back at a high performance level and records Rough Shod at Garey Shelton Productions. He busks regularly at University of New Mexico where the students and faculty fall in love with PK and his lively tunes. PK Dwyer becomes the subject of many a term paper and student film project. Come December it's bye-bye Albuquerque and the Dwyers are on the move again. This time returning to Washington state.
2012: The chickens have come home to roost and the Voice of the Puget Sound is back at the Pike Place Market . . . welcome home PK.