Listen to Bernie Sanders' ridiculous '80s folk album


Throughout today, the Democratic National Committee holds its summer meeting in downtown Minneapolis. The top 2016 Democratic presidential candidates are in attendance, including 73-year-old Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

You may know Bernie Sanders as the firebrand socialist, the rare principled candidate who — defying all U.S. political convention — actually believes the things he says.

But there's a Bernie Sanders you might not be familiar with: Bernie Sanders, the spectacularly terrible folk musician. Way back in 1987, while serving as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, the hell-raising independent senator, for some inexplicable reason, recorded a five-song album of folk standards.

Here's a taste:

Amazing, right? The near-shouted delivery of "wheat fields waving!"; the contrast of the soulful choir; the arbitrarily reggae-spiked guitars; the pronunciation of "schtrolling." Bernie's interpretation of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" is everything. It's like William Shatner's spoken word, but with 100 percent sincerity and conviction — all in blaring, East Coast monotone.

Burlington-based musician/photographer/author Todd Lockwood came up with the idea for Bernie's We Shall Overcome EP, according to Vermont alt-weekly Seven Days. He didn't know Sanders, and admitted to being surprised when his cold call to the mayor’s office was returned.

“As talented of a guy as he is, he has absolutely not one musical bone in his body, and that became painfully obvious from the get-go,” Lockwood tells Seven Days. “This is a guy who couldn’t even tap his foot to music coming over the radio. No sense of melody. No sense of rhythm — the rhythm part surprised me, because he has good rhythm when he’s delivering a speech in public.”

You can buy the physical CD on Amazon for the bargain price of $18.47 or download it for $4.95 on Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby.

For additional Sanders-related guffaws, check out this hilarious impression by comedian James Adomian.