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Epiphany In Brooklyn

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Album Review

Brenda Kahn's Epiphany in Brooklyn takes the same approach to lyrical content as Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, in that her songs paint portraits of characters from all over the landscape of the United States. Her main setting is New York City, which is captured appropriately in the caffeine buzz of the first track, "I Don't Sleep, I Drink Coffee Instead." The album closes with "In Indiana," where she sings, "Brooklyn is a long cab ride away." In between, her destinations include the Mojave desert, Ohio and the Bible Belt. The albums mood fluctuates between excitement (the Dylanesque "Mint Juleps and Needles" and "She's in Love") and the despair caused by relationships ("My Lover" and "Lost"). The bleak "Sleepwalking" is a subtle masterpiece, with its observations of the contradictions inherent in the United States of 1992. Brenda Kahn's folk-punk sound and highly energized lyrics make Epiphany in Brooklyn a hidden gem.


Born: 1967

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the major singer/songwriters of the anti-folk movement, Brenda Kahn shared all the DIY ethics and punk attitude typical of its leading figures, as well as its dissatisfaction with the ever more conservative folk establishment. What was more, Kahn sometimes made her punk roots even more explicit -- and rankled purist sensibilities even further -- by delving into full-on electric rock & roll; at various points, she also blended touches of jazz, country, and spoken word. She enjoyed a brief major-label...
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