Bern and the IJBC The Charlotte
Dan Bern hails from the Mid West coast of America and has emerged from
the neo folk scene that spawned many excellent acts in the early 90s (such
as The Throes, Lisa Loeb). He is presently touring promoting his Fleeting
The tour landed at Leicesters Charlotte on Friday 9th
May. Unfortunately the turn out at the gig was quite poor only
15-20 people. This in a way turned the event into something special
intimate does not even begin to describe it. Indeed at the end of the
gig all band members left the stage and had time to shake the hand of
every member of the audience and exchange words with them!
Dan Berns music is passionate, energetic and contains well-worded
lyrics with a meaning. Whether it is the love of music, and the music
of love celebration that is Bye Bye Baby or the personal psychology
of Crow, the songs cannot fail to tug and get inside you.
Musical comparisons would include Bob Dylan vocally and lyrically,
at times early passionate Springsteen and Elvis Costello
in terms of song writing. These are complimentary comparisons this
folk rock music tends to sound traditional and routed in song. When combined
with a performance laden with feeling, it really does take some beating.
The band is excellent tight, together, feeding off each other.
Dan Bern takes on the vocals, harmonica and acoustic guitar. Jake
Coffin is the drummer with the huge personality, Brian Schey
plays bass, Eben Grace handles electric, acoustic and pedal steel
guitars, whilst keyboards are taken care of by Will Masisak.
Plenty of high points to the set I must admit to not knowing the
full extent of Dans back catalogue, but Chain Around My Neck,
Jane and Eva stood out for me. A mixture of stomping
folk, heartfelt ballads and earthy grooves.
Hopefully Dan Bern will play to lager crowds on the remainder of his tour,
which will have culminated at the Borderline in London. His band, and
songs, deserve to do so.