Mark Twain's Dog


Mark Twain's Dog
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Who is Mark Twain's Dog?

  We are:                  

Photos Copyright © 2005 Tom Hopkins

     Gerry Monks                 Ken Zans

                          Vocals/guitars/mandolin/bass                     Vocals/guitars/harmonica/percussion




 Mark Twain’s Dog is an acoustic duo based in Kansas City that leans heavily towards modern folk and Americana. But this mutt ain’t no purebred! Leave the back gate open and he’ll dart out and wander the entire neighborhood, stopping to watch a car pass by with the radio on, then on to the harbor, for a little sea chantey. He’ll scamper off for some rockabilly, then show his humorous side by pondering the question, “If Mark Twain had a dog, what would he look like?” Through an open screen door, he sees the kids gathered around the TV watching a cowboy yodeling. There’s a couple of train tracks to cross, a visit with Mileva and then this dog heads back home to the classically influenced sound of angels. 

Mark Twain’s Dog is the songwriting team of Ken Zans and Gerry Monks.

Singer/songwriter Ken Zans started performing in Texas. While attending college in Austin, he played everywhere from coffeehouses at the local church to bars along “the drag,” honing his writing skills and catching local artists Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and Alan Ramsey at local clubs. “I’ve always liked songwriters who are poets as well,” Ken says, “writers who can really turn a phrase.”

Singer/songwriter Gerry Monks started performing in garage bands in high school in Kansas. He played guitar, bass and sang in various cover bands and was an award-winning jazz bassist in college. Like Ken, his solo performance experience began in church coffeehouses, while he learned the craft of songwriting by listening to everyone from the Beatles to James Taylor, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and everything in-between.

Ken’s finger-picking guitar style is the perfect compliment to the big chords and melodic lead lines that Gerry provides. Add Ken’s harmonica and Gerry’s mandolin and you have the sound of “the Dog.”

With a mellow, expressive voice, Ken Zans makes sense of what he has seen and felt, sprinkles it with a bit of humor, and lets us in on the joke. Gerry adds a cynical edge to the mix and with a “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” makes you wonder if the joke meant what you thought!

So grab a bag of Milk Bones, a tall glass of toilet water, curl up on your favorite rug, and have a listen!


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This site was last updated 06/28/09