Dan Cohen, a Nashville-based musician who makes a living backing country artists such as Tracy Byrd and T. Graham Brown, is both a clever songwriter and an accomplished guitarist, and he is intent on demonstrating both talents on his self-titled debut album. On his compositions, Cohen portrays himself as a lovable loser with a taste for similes and metaphors he doesn't mind mixing (one verse of the leadoff track, "Rabbit's Foot," goes, "So I wear my soul like alligator skin/Hard as leather with a toothy grin/Stubborn as an anvil, crazy as a clown/But I smile for you when the sun goes down"). He usually seems to be involved, either happily or unhappily, with some woman who is a cut above him socially and intellectually ("You quoted Keats, I quoted Carlin"), and he alternately aspires to raise himself to her level or, more likely, bring her down to his. He also alternates between tuneful ballads and honky tonk rave-ups, and he tosses in three instrumentals that establish his talents as a fingerpicking guitarist. But his least emphasized yet most accessible talent may be his rich, warm tenor, which producer Matt King mikes closely on the ballads, making for a sound somewhat like Jackson Browne, but smoother. That asset may actually help Cohen succeed as a frontman.
- Release Date:
- Morada Music
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