No, Dan Israel isn't a household name. But five years after the release of his self-deprecatingly titled (and widely praised) 2000 solo CD "Dan Who?," the frontman for Minneapolis' Cultivators can no longer claim to be ignored and overlooked either. In the past year, he won Song of the Year (for "Come to Me") and Best American Roots Recording (for 2004's "Time I Get Home") at the 2005 Minnesota Music Awards, Best Folk/Acoustic Artist at the 2004 Minnesota Music Awards, and was named Best Acoustic Performer in the Twin Cities by City Pages. Israel also recently opened for such venerable singer-songwriters as Todd Snider, Iris Dement, Ike Reilly, Mary Lou Lord, Amy Rigby, and Steve Poltz, showcased at the prestigious South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, and received rave reviews in national publications like No Depression and widespread U.S. airplay on XM satellite radio. When the bold new venture from Minnesota Public Radio, 89.3 FM - The Current, hit the airwaves, Israel was the first guest on the station's local music show and found several of his songs making their way into regular rotation. Now, just a little more than a year after the release of "Time I Get Home," Israel is back with Dan Israel , his first self-titled release and seventh since relocating to his hometown of Minneapolis in 1996 after stints in Austin (where he was named one of that music mecca's top 15 songwriters in 1995) and Chicago. A one-man band recording done on his own terms in his basement studio, Dan Israel showcases all the qualities that have taken Dan Israel from semi-obscurity to, well, near-fame. From angry rockers to gentle ballads to melancholy jangle-pop gems, Dan Israel's 15 songs demonstrate why the world has indeed started to finally take notice of this gifted 34-year-old songsmith.
"A longtime Minnesota scenester by way of Chicago and Austin, Dan Israel has continued rocking in spite of lineup changes to his backing band and a considerably lower profile than his talent deserves." - The Onion
"Israel remains a true believer, a dedicated craftsman giving voice to the kind of universal sentiments most of us keep under our hats." - No Depression magazine
"Israel covers the usual singer/songwriter topics with lyrical grace and an ear for a hook, which is no mean feat." Splendid e-zine
"Time I Get Home is an unqualified victory for Dan Israel as he stands squarely on both feet and delivers the goods that careers are made of... "Down the Line" is another gem that, with its Band-like snare and 'basement recording' charm, further underlines Israel's credibility as an honest-to-goodness roots-rock originator. His heart is on his sleeve and the flaws, although they are visible, serve to underline the sincerity of his approach." - Exclaim magazine (Canada)