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Dan Bern

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Album Review

Everyone knows that hype kills, and being touted as the next anything, especially "the next Bob Dylan," is usually, for the most part, the kiss of death. So for those of you turned off by such things, we'll skip those kinds of superlatives, because this record should not be missed. In a genre that on the surface seems to be progressing, but in reality is becoming staler every year, Dan Bern's take on folk music is refreshing to say the least. Bern doesn't treat the music with kid gloves, nor does he try to beautify or jazz it up. He simply attacks the music, much in the way Dylan did, from the solo acoustic "Jerusalem," to the punkish "Go to Sleep" or the spoken melody of "Estelle," which hearkens back to Dylan's own "Brownsville Girl." Lyrically, whether proclaiming himself the Messiah or merely the "king of the world," Bern's acerbic wit and surprising poignancy will pull you back time and time again. So don't listen to those anointing him with phrases like "the next Dylan" or "the best singer/songwriter in years"; just listen to Dan Bern's debut and see for yourself.

Customer Reviews

buy jerusalem it's funny

just buy jerusalem

Bob Dylan is copying Dan Bern

I first saw Dan Bern like a decade ago at Falcon Ridge Folk festival. He was invited up to do one song by Greag brown & slammed out Jerusalem & left. I was like "ummm...what was that?!" Then I bought the album and was like "That was that!". Dan's music is smart, deep and sharp. I have followed his growth and seen probably about a dozen shows- best one: some punk club in New Haven with smashed TVs and black walls- Dan gave out olives like giving communion to the crowd. Always entertaining. Wasteland is my favorite- I saw the best of my generation playing pinball.

The best lyrics ever written.

If you haven't heard Dan Bern..... where have you been? This is the album to start with. His song writing roots ground deeply here. I love every song on this album. It is the reason everyone fell in love with him.


Born: July 27, 1965 in Mount Vernon, IA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

With the release of his 1997 self-titled debut, Iowa native Dan Bern became the latest, following the likes of John Prine, Elliott Murphy, Steve Forbert, Loudon Wainwright III, and numerous others, to wear the "new Dylan" mantle. With an acoustic guitar, a batch of sharp, witty, insightful songs, and a delivery reminiscent of the man himself, Bern left his home in the Midwest for L.A., where he assaulted the local folk scene. He subsequently made his way to various clubs and festivals nationwide,...
Full Bio
Dan Bern, Dan Bern
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Customer Ratings


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