My parents have a vacation house in Hazelhurst, Wisconsin which is close to Minocqua. One day my daughter and I were browsing the shops in the Boardwalk Shops of Minocqua. We both love books and were happy to find a bookstore there. We walked in and were greeted with the smell of old books, coffee and familiar music coming over the sound system. Clare immediately said – Mom! It’s Dan Bern. I replied that it couldn’t have been Dan Bern. Not here in this small bookstore in Minocqua. I said it was probably a Dylan song that sounded like one of Dan’s. As I walked further into the store I realized that the song was indeed by Dan Bern (I don’t remember which song it was) and cried out. DAN BERN!
The shopkeeper, who was helping another customer, looked up and said, “Yes. Dan Bern. Do you know his music?” We then chatted for 45 minutes about how we knew about Dan and what albums we owned. (In my case it was every album plus hundreds of bootlegs and live recordings – in his case it was just one compilation he’d put together while working at a radio station that played Dan’s music).
I bought a couple of books, then mentioned that I was interested in expanding my horizons within the singer-songwriter arena and asked for his advice. He pointed out a couple of musicians, but the one that thought I’d like most was Todd Snider. The fact that there was a song called Statistician Blues on the album he showed me was the final factor (my husband is a statistician).
The shopkeeper was right.We loved Todd Snider. He was funny and a good singer. Even my husband liked some of the songs (but not the one about the statistician).
Here he is playing Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues
So it made my day a few weeks ago to see that Todd Snider was going to be playing at the Birchmere. With none other than Dan Bern.
I bought my ticket today.