Dan Bern: New American Language (2001)
Producer Chuck Plotkin (Dylan and Springsteen) does a fine job with Language. His touch gives the album a clean, crisp sound that manages to escape the redolence of overproduction. Even the tracks that "rock" possess an untried feel despite a moderate amount of polish. Devotees, however, may be quick to point the finger at Bern for the album's more cultivated "pop" tendencies given the less refined quality of his earlier work. But before joining the naysayers consider this: maturation does not always beget compromise.
Track Listing: 1. Sweetness 2. New American Language 3. Alaska Highway 4. God Said No 5. Turning Over 6. Black Tornado 7. Albuquerque Lullaby 8. Tape 9. Honeydoo! 10. Toledo 11. Rice 12. Thanksgiving Day Parade
Personnel: Dan Bern- guitar, harmonica & vocals; Wil Masisak- Wurlitzer, Hammond, Mellotron, piano, accordorgan, guitar, percussion, clarinet, glockenspiel, vocals, bass on "Sweetness"; Eben Grace- guitar, pedal steel, banjo; Colin Mahoney- drums & percussion; Brian Schey- bass guitar, vocal; Paul Kuhn- Cellocaster, violin, vocal; Jake Coffin- drums on "Sweetness"; Clark Jamison- percussion & chanting on "Rice"; Brent Berry- digeridoo & percussion on "Rice"; Scott Watson- tuba on "Thanksgiving Day Parade"; Randy Kaplan- background vocal on "Black Tornado"; Lisa Donnelly- background vocal on "New American Language"
Record Label: Messenger
Style: Beyond Jazz