ARTIST: Dan Bern
TITLE: Dan Bern
YEAR RELEASED: 1997
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Those that like neo-folkie wiseasses would know.
LINEUP: Dan bern, Jennifer Condos, Gary Mallaber, Dean Restum, Marshall Thompson, Josh Zawaduk
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First full-length album from folkie with several songs with wry, witty or smartass lyrics.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Bern now has a comfortable cult following, and in listening to this first full length record, he hasn’t changed his modus operandi much. Take a basic folk song template, add literate lyrics (either serious, silly, or sardonic), and use either a solo acoustic or a full band, depending on the song or style needed.
Because of the variety of styles and music in this album, which means a rather novice non-immersed-in-folk listener can more easily gravitate towards songs and grasp them without them all blending together in the same style.
If you’ve had friends talk about him, check this first effort out. The side of Bern I like the most is the humorous side, and the cut I love is “Marilyn”, about what would have happened if Marilyn Monroe married Henry Miller and not Arthur Miller. That’s a joke only lit nerds would really get. Or there’s “Estelle”, which follows in Dylan’s talking blues footsteps, except with a full band.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He recorded a record in 1994 that wasn’t released until 2007, and an self-released EP in 1996 that’s vanished, I think, or at least I haven’t found it yet.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: It’s a good listen – and the variety really helps keep the listener’s attention.