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.
- Bernie Sanders Throws the Gauntlet at Corporate America in Minneapolis
- The week's best concerts: Aug. 26-Sept. 1
- Happy Labor Day! Here are 10 pro-union songs
- Rockin' Pope to release actual rock 'n' roll album
- Ja Rule endorses Hillary; hipper rock stars favor Bernie
- Bernie Sanders and Killer Mike talking is a breath of political fresh air
- Bernifet Sanderfest: Punk rally for 2016's most punk presidential candidate
- Prof will be your bartender at Beers for Bernie rally
- Andrew W.K. aims to destroy two-party political system with the Party Party