Ron Kemp

Ron Kemp

 Olney, Maryland, USA

I'm often compared to Gordon Lightfoot and Darius Rucker. However, my sound and style is unmistakeably my own. It's music from the heart, music about life and love, and music you can taps your toes to.


From street to career started as a busker in San Francisco, at one point earning "local legend" status in Berkeley, on and off the campus. A persistent and destuctive substance abuse problem kept my career from moving from street to stage for many years. Finally forced into rehab, I started writing. "Too Far Gone" is a reflective lyric about where drug addiction had taken me. The upside is that I'm now working on my third year of sobriety, and that's finally led me from the streets to the stage.

Probably a carryover from being a busker, which I still do in between shows, I tend to play long sets. Typically, I'll play a two-hour show straight through; three-hour shows get only a 20 minute break in between. I love to play, entertain, and connect with my audience.

When you're 52 years old and release your first CD, you name it "Better Late Than Never". When you lose too much time to substance abuse, you name your first CD "Better Late Than Never". My lyrics tend to read like an autobiography. My shows are high intensity, high energy, and deeply personal. I love entertaining. I love making people smile. I love seeing people sing along with songs I created. And, when the evening is done, I love being able to see that everyone got what they came for.


"Better Late Than Never" - CD - released August 2009

Set List

For a two-hour show, I typically go straight through:

Keepsake - Ron Kemp
Kiss Your Ring - Ron Kemp
Crocabye Way - Ron Kemp
Reconcilable Differences - Ron Kemp
Bright Blue Eyes - Ron Kemp
First-Sight Love - Ron Kemp
#17 - Ron Kemp
Too Far Gone - Ron Kemp
Loving You - Ron Kemp
Full Circle - Ron Kemp
So Close - Ron Kemp
Love Without Trust - Ron Kemp
Reason to Live - Ron Kemp
I Can't Pretend - Ron Kemp
What Could've Been - Ron Kemp
One Last Chance - Ron Kemp
Just Reminiscing - Ron Kemp
Angelface - Ron Kemp
a final note - Ron Kemp
Coffee Break - Ron Kemp
A Song for You - Ron Kemp
Great Wide Open - Tom Petty
If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot
The River - Bruce Springsteen
Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
Man on the Moon - R.E.M.
Ripple - Grateful Dead
Sister Golden Hair - America
Sandman - America
Horse With No Name - America
Good Riddance - Green Day
I'm on Fire - Bruce Springsteen
Hungry Heart - Bruce Springsteen
Hotel California - The Eagles