I get a lot of emails from people telling me to check out specific artists (which I always explore *hint* *hint*). One such email was about an artist named Dan Reeder and I am forever grateful for this tip.
Reeder, like other great song-smiths has that je ne sais quoi. Describing what makes one singer-songwriter great and another feel like he or she is going through the motions is not easily articulated. Authentic, unpretentious, and uninhibited are some of the qualities of his music. It reminds me of Woody Guthrie, John Prine, and early Americana music by the likes of Doc Watson and The Carter Family, but regardless it feels unique, though it draws on musical tradition.
In addition to the usual playing of instruments and writing of songs, Reeder makes his own instruments such as this guitar and even harmonizes with himself. Reeder’s newest album, entitled Sweetheart, feels more polished than his album Dan Reeder (Self Titled). Though I prefer the guitar mastery on the new album to the minimalism on the first, the lyrics in the first album are superior (and they are sometimes hilarious). It would be tough to choose one album over the other; they feel like a perfect set. I’d recommend both albums highly.
Here is a free mp3 of one of my favorite songs on the new album entitled I drink Beer. Additionally, here is a video of Reeder’s song Waiting for My Cappuccino. Though it may seem like it is only a sound clip, the video actually includes the entire song.
A note of caution: though this music is folk/alt-country/blues, there are “colorful” lyrics that are very much not politically correct. A parental advisory label appears on both of his albums.