Dan Zimmerman – Cosmic Patriot

January 01, 1970

(Sounds Familyre)




Immanence, the concept that the divine resides within the
material world, is the driving force behind this eccentrically powerful songwriter
album. Zimmerman, who has lived all kinds of lives, from preacher’s son, to
itinerant hippie, to gallery-approved visual artist, finds a bit of god’s spark
in everything and his songs link ordinary observations to animating mysteries. “Symbols
in this world, of the world to come,” he sings in his big hollow baritone, at
times sounding like Leonard Cohen, at others Richard Thompson or Silver Jews’
David Berman, but always seeking the hidden spiritual underpinnings of everyday


Musically, Zimmerman’s songs also seem to be tapping into
something larger, exceeding the boundaries of traditional folk-blues
songwriting with full-bodied arrangements. Most of Danielson Famile is on hand
to coo gospelly “oohs” and church choir harmonies. Emil Nikolaison of Sereena
Maneesh adds a second guitar’s distortion and feedback to cuts like “Lost My
Technique” and “The Stain Remains,” while Zimmerman regular Tony Jones counters
with jagged country blues riffs and licks.  


Zimmerman’s lyrics continually begin with straightforward
observations, then pull the rug out with lyrical left turns. “Everyday I get
the blues,” he sings in “Everyday,” as perhaps a 1000 other songwriters have
sung before him, but then, more unusually, he follows, “It blends together with
the reds.”  A sharp surreality pervades
even his most conventional songs, and the highlights, “Cosmic Patriot”,
“Symbols in this World” and “Trailing Clouds of Glory” are frankly visionary.
It’s a grounded sort of vision, though, a blinding light through clouds that
floods the ordinary world with radiance and makes you see it in a different


Standout Tracks: “Cosmic
Patriot”, “Symbols in this World,” “Clouds of Glory” JENNIFER KELLY



Leave a Reply