Marian Runk was born in Dallas, TX, to a symphony musician and a science teacher. During childhood road trips to the Texas hill country, she learned the Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt “Trio” album word for word. Those country harmonies lay dormant until the late aughts, when she started singing and playing guitar & banjo in Chicago. Today, Marian writes songs about love, loss, death, restlessness, and the natural world. Her debut album, A Few Feet from the Ground, hovers in and around the genres of country, folk, and blues. It offers both lush full band and spare solo arrangements that highlight a clear voice and emotional arc. Also an Ignatz-nominated cartoonist & illustrator, Marian is happy to be creating music and visual art in a vibrant corner of the Midwest.
“[A Few Feet from the Ground] sounds like poetry set to classic country music— like Joni Mitchell doing a Hank Williams thing. Runk’s soprano voice is like honey and her tunes are full of hooks.”
—Tony Breed, CHIRP Radio
“Marian Runk writes uncannily vivid lyrics. The lovely country- and folk-inflected songs on her recent debut album, A Few Feet From the Ground, make it easy to picture her characters: the undertaker with a bad toupee in the sparse, dusty "Crowell," for instance, and the lovelorn snow goose pining for a missing companion in the moving ballad "The Loneliest Birds."
-J.R. Nelson (Gossip Wolf), Chicago Reader
NEWS & press
CHICAGO CROWD SURFER #53
I talked to Chicago Crowd Surfer ahead of my album release show, in March 2019. We discussed my debut album, “A Few Feet from the Ground,” what I love about songwriting, indie comics, and the country music scene in Chicago.
STUDIO VISIT with REBECCA MIR GRADY
Rebecca Mir Grady and I talked about my new album, balancing art and music, birdwatching, and of course my cat, Rosie.
GOSSIP WOLf, CHICAGO READER
J.R. Nelson at the Chicago Reader shared some kind thoughts about my debut album, “A Few Feet from the Ground,” ahead of my album release show at the Hungry Brain.