Americana is a strange term for what is essentially the roots rock sound of the New World. It’s a bit like the term Chinese Food, in that it has no real meaning in the country of China itself, after all there they just call it …well, food. And so Americana only seems to have any real currency outside the country of its birth. But looking in from the outside that is essentially what Dan Israel excels at but to those around him it is just good old country-infused rock and roll which somehow sonically speaks of and to American lives.
It is difficult to explain exactly what Israel does without it sounding like he is just going over old ground. Maybe he is but when you can revisit the same sonic territory as the likes of Tom Petty, Steve Earle, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, The Jayhawks and the like and still make it sound like the first time you heard such music then he no justifications needed. None at all.
I guess the difference between getting this so right and just treading creative water is the quality of the songwriting and this is some exquisite work. Back To You is a cool country groove, Long Gone Dream is a brooding and bruising apocalyptic blues stomp and Your Free is a stadium ready heartland rock anthem. Familiar territory perhaps but a reminder of why there isn’t much you need to change about the genre when the songs are this damn good.