Member of The Dead South accused of sexual misconduct returns to group


Regina band The Dead South is reuniting with its cello player, who last year faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Cello player Danny Kenyon, far left, is pictured singing on stage with The Dead South. Kenyon stepped down from the band last year after being accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. He has since been welcomed back by the band.(Eric Kozakiewicz Photography)

Regina band The Dead South is reuniting with its cello player, who last year faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The band's website features a statement from the group welcoming back original member Danny Kenyon.

One of the women who made an allegation against Kenyon in July 2020 says she feels like the band is sending a message that victims don't matter.

The Dead South (TDS) is a Saskatchewan-based bluegrass quartet. In 2014, the band was picked up by a German record label and has been touring overseas ever since.

On June 18, 2021, the band posted a statement to the about section of its website saying the past year was "a time of reflection and learning."

"What we know for sure is that TDS just isn't TDS without the four of us, so we want to continue this journey with Danny," the statement said.

"We look forward to playing shows again and we look forward to doing this with our original lineup."

'I don't think reflection is enough'

In 2020, CBC News reported accounts from three women who first came forward by writing anonymous posts detailing alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour by Kenyon on an Instagram page for survivors. None of the allegations against Kenyon has been investigated by police or tested in court.

CBC News spoke with the women who wrote the posts and independently confirmed their identities and corroborated their stories.

The first woman who wrote a post alleged that Kenyon took advantage of the fact that she was intoxicated one night while on a Tinder date. She said the next day she woke up to him masturbating in her bedroom and he ejaculated on her without her consent.

"It feels to me, one of Danny's victims, that the band and record label endorse men who hurt women," she told CBC after hearing the news that Kenyon was again touring with The Dead South.

"It says that we don't matter. It says that we deserve it. It says that I deserved it."

She said she wants to know what Danny has done since the allegations came out, specifically if he has gone to counselling.

"I don't think reflection is enough when it comes to something as serious as this," she said. "I'm not on a big crusade against him, but I'm not confident that it has been addressed properly."

She told CBC she is concerned about the safety of other women with the band going back on tour.

Kenyon, who did not respond to requests from CBC News in 2020 when the initial allegations came out, commented on her post when it was published on Instagram.

"Your courage in sharing this is appreciated. Thank you for bringing this to light, and I see now that my actions caused harm. I wish you healing. I am sorry, and I will do better. Also, I'm sorry your original post was taken down — you deserve to have a voice," he wrote.

No word on consent training

The band released a statement on Aug. 19, 2020, saying it "is opposed to, and does not condone, harmful behaviour of any kind."

"We have begun to train our band members and team members on consent, professional conduct, and creating safer spaces for our fans and our team," the band's statement said.

Six Shooter Records, which represents the band, said on its website that same day that training sessions on consent were scheduled for the next week. It said it invited and encouraged all staff, artists, crew and agents to participate.

"This training is essential, and one of the many steps we will take as a company toward creating safer environments for our community," said the record company at the time.

CBC reached out to Six Shooter for comment on this story, but did not get a response. It didn't answer questions about what the consent training entailed or if Kenyon was present.

The band will embark on their Served Cold tour starting in Alberta in August 2021. It will go on to locations in the U.S. and Europe over the next year.

Kenyon did not respond to CBC's requests for comment.

With files from Bryan Eneas

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