Dennis Pearne

Dennis Pearne


Five piece accoustic/electric string/wind/percussion band with five vocals performs original musical arrangements of verses based on Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching". Versus sung in both Chinese and English. Band also performs various other world music.


Dennis Pearne has been writing songs and performing his music for over 40 years. His themes display a passionate commitment to justice, peace, spirituality, and his daughters -- along with many unusual and haunting love songs.

He has performed in every major, and most minor folk venues in the Northeast, along with larger stages such as Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, 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.)

"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

"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 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")

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Dim Brightness

Written By: Lao Tzu, Ursula Le Guin, Dennis Pearne

heaven will last
earth will endure
how can they last so long?
they don’t exist for themselves
and so go on and on
they don’t exist for themselves
and so go on and on


so the wise souls
leaving self behind
move forward setting self aside
stay centered setting self aside
let the self go to keep what the soul needs (many x, as a chant)

the sound of my daughters’ laughter is my soul food


Written By: Lao Tzu/Dennis Pearne

(2 verses recorders)

(Dennis sing)
fuan jua tao che tung
vua jua tao che yung
teen sya-vao mu shun-yee
yo shun yu -u

(add Brett, Dan, harmony)
Returning is the motion of the Tao
Yielding is the way of the Tao
The ten thousand things are born of being
Being is born of not being

(repeat 2 verses)
(last line 2x Chinese)
(2 verses recorders)

Like Water

Written By: Lao Tzu, Dennis Pearne

True goodness is like water
Water is good for everything
It does not compete
It goes right to the love loathesome places
And so finds the way

In dwelling stay close to the land
In meditation go deep in the heart
Dealing with others be gentle and kind
In action attendto the timing
No fight no blame
No competition no blame


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 Maria Sangiolo, Jim Infantino, Ellis Paul, Betsy Rose, Ruth Pelham, and Ben Tousley.

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

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.

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.

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.

Set List

Our set list can be taylored to the situation. For the Beijing concert we will lean to selections from Songs of the Tao, and depending on the length of the set, other world folk music selections.