Nancy K. Dillon is a songwriter/performer and visual artist. Growing up in Oklahoma six blocks from Route 66, she soon headed out West and fell in love with traveling the open road traversing the mountains and the wide open spaces. Dillon is a former KBCS-FM (Seattle/Bellevue) Folk DJ and she operates a small niche radio promotions business, Rose Rock Music Services. Nancy has released three full-length studio albums and an EP, Live at The Royal Room. Her most recent CD, A Game of Swans, was released in the USA in January 2018 and the album debuted in the Top 20 on the Folk Alliance Intl. Folk Radio Chart. Subsequently, A Game of Swans was released to Europe and UK radio stations in December of 2018 to extensive airplay on the BBC and in Europe. Nancy’s 4th studio album, Cawker City Blues, is currently underway.
Nancy K. Dillon, an award-winning American songwriter/performer, possesses a warm expressive voice unique in revealing both strength and vulnerability. With a finely focused musical ear, Dillon mines a vein of avant garde Americana in her compelling tales of mythopoetic darkness and light melding past and future. Nancy has released three full-length studio albums. A 6-song EP (Live at The Royal Room) was released in September 2017. Two Christmas singles followed in 2017 (In the Bleak Midwinter) and 2019 (Coventry Carol). Dillon's newest full-length studio album (Cawker City Blues) is set to be released in 2023.
Dillon writes compellingly, poetically and sometimes mysteriously. This talent elevates her writing beyond the usual fare of singer-songwriters. She initially found inspiration in dreams and in traveling across vast landscapes in the western US. Then it was her family's history in Ireland, Scotland, Europe and Britain which yielded new inspiration and newly minted stories. She unearthed unknown facts along the way: Her musician father fought in the brutal Battle of the Bulge in World War II; her 7th great-grand-uncle in Scotland wrote a treatise called Lex Rex upon which the 2nd amendment was based.
Dillon grew up in Central Oklahoma in a musical family. Her composer/professor/jazz-saxophonist/church-choir-director father, Bob Dillon and her mother, Betty Lou, a former vocal teacher who sang hymns around the house, surrounded her with music. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, a move to Seattle led to travel, adventure and varied musical opportunity. Nancy performed in roots-based bands and was in demand as a backing vocalist and session singer until her decision to focus on songwriting in the New Millennium. In 2004, Dillon released her first solo studio album with Grammy Award-winning engineer, Garey Shelton. A rootsy outing of mostly original songs, Just Let Me Dream gained airplay around the world and was highly praised by reviewers.
The release of her 2nd album, Roses Guide To Time Travel (2010), began a musical exploration of Dillon’s American roots. She designed a haunting image of an old-time locomotive for the cover and dedicated the album to her great-grandfather Kansas trainman and BLFE Union Officer, Asa Dillon. She continued her travels throughout the West writing and singing songs of railroads, Okies, Texas tornados and lonely roads of red dirt.
Dillon's 2018 release, A Game of Swans was inspired and informed by her passion for genealogy. The album hearkens back to her immigrant roots in the Old Countries while fixing her gaze firmly forward. The 12 tracks on A Game of Swans reveal ancestral strains of Celtic folk music migrated to America, strains always flowing just beneath the surface of Dillon's music. A Game of Swans echoes with strengths and challenges of history, a promise of new hopes and dreams and draws out the ghosts of yet untold stories.
To achieve perfect colors, tones and authenticity for the album, contributing tracks from the UK and Scotland were blended with recordings made in the Pacific NW, USA. Continuing the magic born of the internet and several musical collaborations begun on Nancy's previous album, Roses Guide to Time Travel, A Game of Swans fulfills that promise and is a masterful showcase for Nancy K Dillon as a bandleader. She pulls together a cast of extraordinary players and guides them into creating the perfect sounds to fit each song.
Personnel includes UK musos, Gavin Sutherland (Sutherland Brothers & Quiver), Ian Lang (Small Change), Chris Parks (Any Trouble) and Ollie Collins (Badly Drawn Boy/Angie Palmer). They combine their prodigious talents with American contributors Stacy Phillips (Dobro), Michael Connelly (fiddle/uilleann pipes/penny whistle), Wes Weddell (mandolin), Chris Leighton (percussion), Garey Shelton (bass guitar/engineer) and harmony vocalists, Joy Mills and Tom Parker.
The time is Now for the next chapter...Have Songs - Will Travel...NKD