One With The Water

Dan Berggren

Sleeping Giant Records, 2002

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Dan Berggren is unlikely to be famous for his music. And while on some level it's a shame, I, for one, am kind of glad -- because fame would tarnish the sparkle of the Adirondacks' wandering folkie. He has wandered as far as Malawi and Bulgaria, but his songs are straight out of the heartbeat and history of Upper New York. DV regulars might remember his my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Rooted In The Mountains as being one of my top ten recordings for 2001; his latest release, One With The Water, is his first new work since then.

Water is a collection of new and old songs from several past cassette and CD releases, as well as seven new songs, loosely woven around the theme of water; water that runs around us, runs through our veins, and unites us all on some level. Theme albums are difficult to pull off, but this one delivers; Berggren's skill and simplicity shines.

Production is excellent, stripped-down and bare bones; if you're looking for funky effects or engineering sleight-of-hand, look elsewhere. Despite the varying times these songs were recorded (from 1979 to the present day) the sound is pleasingly uniform. Berggren's skill as a musician is plain; he plays with skill and passion.

What stands out is the songwriting. Berggren tells stories, sometimes with spoken interludes between the songs; his wordplay and singing is rich and elegant, and his voice is low, warm, and comfortable, like an old flannel shirt. Highlights include "Be Still," the gentle "Lullaby," "Looking For Answers" and the reflective "Salt Water Poet." This isn't a CD to listen to if you're looking for power and majesty, but it's a comfortable, competent, wonderful reflection of the folk music tradition.

You, too, should be One With The Water today.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sleeping Giant Records, and is used for informational purposes only.