(I almost feel like I should apoligize for posting so much great new music. Sorry no one else is covering this stuff. There’s so much great music out that is not being written about. Eventually (like early November) it’ll quiet down around here as the music industry goes on it’s annual winter break.)
I could be wrong but I think of Dan Bern as a politically motivated songwriter and singer first and foremost. Whether I’m just plain wong or Dan has altered his output somewhat, the fact is his new release Breathe (Messenger Records, Sept. 19) i9sn’t spewing the overt, left-wing, political propaganda that previous releases have had and I’m a little let down about that. I can’t get enough of the Bush bashing, anti-war songs that I have featured here on Songs:Illinois.
As a result Breathe is a more personal record than I would expect from Dan Bern. The title track “Breath” still sounds like a Dylan outake but it is more simply autobiographical than most of that poet’s work. The song is about how you can keep going in the face of everday obstacles. I imagine a lot of artists face some of these same hurdles after they have released several albums and maybe feel they have used up the well of creativity. But for a songwriter of Bern’s stature and skill that well is never completely used up, especially like in the song “Trudy” where he created an entirely new character. Pre-order Breathe here.