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,

“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




5/18/19 Chicago Zine Fest
Plumbers Union Hall 11-6

5/23/19 …on the radio
WZRD 88.3 “Thursday Night Live,” 10pm

5/26/19 Chicago, IL
Wishbone North, 7pm

6/1-6/2/19 CAKE Chicago (comics!)
Center on Halsted 11-6

6/23/19 Chicago, IL
The Hideout
"A Day in the Country" Festival

7/5/19 Toronto, ON
Southern Cross Lounge at
Tranzac 7:30pm


NEWS & press

Photo by Gillian Fry

Photo by Gillian Fry


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.

Photo by Rebecca Mir Grady

Photo by Rebecca Mir Grady


Rebecca Mir Grady and I talked about my new album, balancing art and music, birdwatching, and of course my cat, Rosie.

Album artwork by Marian Runk

Album artwork by Marian Runk


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.