Emily Kinney has some diehard fans. Quite literally.
The singer-songwriter’s gentle, breezy folk-pop – as heard on the EPs “Blue Toothbrush” and “Expired Love” – seems to soothe the zombie beast, she discovered during a performance at a Walker Stalker Convention in Atlanta for devotees of the AMC TV series “The Walking Dead.”
The actress, who plays Hershel’s daughter Beth Greene on the program, found the convention crowd – with many sporting elaborate undead makeup – unusually respectful as she trilled her signature song from the show, a cover of Tom Waits’ “Hold On.”
“Those conventions are so crazy – most of the people there have traveled from someplace far, and they’re walking around all day. My music is really a little calmer in certain ways, so I think by the time I went on, a lot of people were like ‘Ah! It’s so nice to just sit and listen to somebody sing,’” says Kinney, who appears in concert in The City on Monday.
Kinney, who will record a studio version of “Hold On” for single release next month, enjoyed the convention experience so much, she signed on for another one in Chicago in March.
But mostly, she is pleased with the cross-promotion. “‘Walking Dead’ fans are just so excited, and most of them at least have some sort of series swag on, like T-shirts,” she says. “So it was a really good turnout for the show, and I think it introduced some people to my music. Plus, it was really, really fun.”
The music bug bit the Nebraska native first. She sang in church, at talent shows, local theater. By 2008, she was living in New York, playing Anna in the smash musical “Spring Awakening,” and acting started to take over, until a bassist with the production urged her to record her quiet compositions.
As she finished “Toothbrush,” the youthful-looking 28-year-old was cast as teenager Beth, and her career skyrocketed. Last week, she taped a cameo on one of her favorite whodunits, “The Following.”
Once-naive Beth has matured rapidly. In December’s mid-season finale, she watched her father get beheaded by the ruthless Governor, while her fellow survivors fled their zombie-overrun prison haven for parts unknown.
“The second part of season four is even crazier, and you really get into Beth’s head more,” promises Kinney, who just penned an apocalypse-themed crossover song, “Last Chance.” She adds, “I mean, it really is such a strange world for her to be growing up in!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St., S.F.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
Contact: (415) 800-8782, www.brickandmortarmusic.com