When Dan Israel sings: “The pandemic blues, what else is new? // They say they’ll cure it, or we’ll have to choose, // A life lived in danger, or lived in a tomb, // How you getting through? What you gonna do?” he captures the frustration everyone is feeling at this strange moment in history. There is a sense of lockdown fatigue, a need to get things moving again, which comes through in Israel’s upbeat, foot-tapping response to the situation. The singer-songwriter from the Twin Cities delivers excellent slide guitar, creating an almost hypnotic, engagingly swampy sound. The absorbing, full-on song was recorded with help from Steve Price (The Suburbs), Peter Anderson (drums), Steve Brantseg (lead guitar) and Katy Vernon (backing vocals).
The dried up bed of the Mississippi River was the perfect location for the video. The Mississippi, which features so prominently in American music and literature, runs through the heart of the country. So, this unusual, surreal sight seems fitting for a song about the odd way we’re living now. Maintenance at the St. Anthony Lock and Dam caused a ‘river drawdown’, attracting people weary of isolation to marvel at the sight in the beautiful autumn sunshine.
Israel has certainly been busy, releasing two albums in the last 16 months: ‘Social Media Anxiety Disorder’ and ‘Social Distance Anxiety Disorder’, both receiving critical acclaim. ‘Pandemic Blues’ shows that he has no intention of slowing down. Check it out.