The California native, with unforgettably bright red hair whose array of singles like “Ain’t No Reason” and “She’s Mine” met instant success, hasn’t been in the music scene that long either. After releasing his first, self-titled album in 2004, Dennen released his sophomore album “So Much More” in 2006 and so much more came out of it.
Dennen’s often-dubbed crooning vocals and indie folk guitar technique garnered him national attention, with several of his songs landing television spots in such popular shows as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House” and “Ugly Betty” to name a few.
National tours naturally followed, putting Dennen even further into the spotlight as he joined the ranks with John Mayer, Guster, Mason Jennings and Colbie Caillat.
And all the while, his philanthropy wasn’t put on hold. Dennen is an active member of the San Francisco-based non-profit organization The Mosaic Project, which instills in young children skills for thriving in today’s diverse world.
Being the rock star poster child, Dennen created an original music curriculum for the program, which was later released in 2003 on a full-length album, “Children’s Songs for Peace and a Better World.”
His work for The Mosaic Project won him a Children’s Music Web award and a Parent’s Choice Approved award, both in 2004.
Currently signed with Downtown Records, Dennen released his third album, “Hope for the Hopeless,” in 2008. The single “Ain’t Gonna Lose You” off that record went to the top of iTunes folk charts and received generous praise from several entertainment publications.
Paste Magazine called the album “historical fiction based in the early ‘70s sound of Bob Dylan and The Band, with Van Morrison and Neil Young dropping by.”
Later that year, Dennen collaborated with fellow indie/pop artist Jason Mraz on the song “Long Road to Forgiveness” for the “Survival Internation” charity album.
Such momentum has now brought Dennen to be announced as an act at the Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival, one of the biggest musical festivals in the country held in Manchester, Tenn. in mid June. Other artists in the current lineup include Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Phish, Wilco and the Beastie Boys.
Success has certainly found Dennen, but when it comes down to it, he’s just a guy with a guitar and lyrical modes that boast of heartbreak, love and looking out for another, marking his arguably most appealing aspect — honest music.
The show begins tonight at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Grand Sierra Resort box office or online at www.grandsierraresort.com for $18.