Local songwriter Dan Israel reviewed in Uncut


Longtime local troubadour Dan Israel has received his first major international press with a 4-star review of his most recent album, Turning, in the May issue of UK music mag Uncut. After nine studio albums and decades spent playing coffee shops and small-scale venues in the Twin Cities, Israel is elated by the sudden large-scale recognition.

"This is a moment to savor," Israel said in an e-mail. "Pretty big stuff for a small potatoes guy like myself." Israel joins the ranks of a handful of fellow local musicians who have received national and international attention this month (see: my previous blog post about local bands-made-good in the month of April).

Not only is the mention of Israel's album in such a well-respected magazine impressive, but the review is downright glowing:

DAN ISRAEL Turning Eclectone Records **** (4 stars) Ninth outing for self-effacing Minnesota rocker

Seven years ago, Midwestern rocker Dan Israel took stock of his relative obscurity, stripped his sound down to a lone guitar, and released Dan Who?, a withering examination of the troubadour's life in a hollow age. The world-weariest songs on Turning - the bluesy "Just Don't Know," the title track - continue to prick at the emotions and insecurities of the strive-a-day life with a graceful, eloquent brand of everyman's poetry, but when Israel blends those concerns with an innate pop sense worthy of Petty or Westerberg, as on "News to Me' or the driving chug of "Counting on You," he dazzles. --Luke Torn