Si Kahn and His Music

Dave Higgs, Bluegrass News: “In a world rife with many talented songwriters, Si Kahn stands alone. And his deeply thoughtful, elegantly simple, sometimes majestic, often achingly moving and always hard-hitting songs have stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter: “Keep writing your wonderful songs, the world needs them so much.”

Studs Terkel: “Si Kahn fuses life with song.”

Robert Christgau, Village Voice: “Subtlety, originality and sheer conceptual elegance.”

Jane Ashley, USA Today: “Some call him a poet. Others say he’s a modern-day Woody Guthrie.”

Bruce Kaplan, Flying Fish Records: “Probably the best songwriter I ever had contact with.”

Geoffrey Himes, Washington Post: "Not since Wallace Stevens scribbled poetry in the hours after his insurance job has a hobbyist/artist created a body of work as impressive as Si Kahn's"

Ariel Swartley, Boston Phoenix: “Si Kahn is the first artist since Woody Guthrie to swoop down on a body of traditional material, transform it utterly and send it home with a shine on.”

Nat Hentoff, The Nation: “A strong, clear, supple voice and the timing of a classic storyteller.”

Charles Johnson, Bluegrass Unlimited: “In concert, he’s a particularly powerful and warm performer…He mesmerizes the crowd with his songs, which are thoughtful, provocative and often wryly humorous.”

Matt Watroba, Sing Out!: “One of our very best songwriters…The feeling behind most of Si Kahn’s music has everything to do with singing deep from the heart in a circle of friends.”

Jennifer Dunning, New York Times: “Affirmation and gentle wit.”

Lynn Van Matre, Chicago Tribune: “His songs, which reflect by turns uncommon amounts of humor, compassion, passion and poetry…represent some of the finest efforts in the contemporary folk vein.”

Ken Hunt, Folk Roots: “His wonderful rural, old time, blues-soaked, pain-filled voice produces consistently moving interpretations of his songs.”

Pete Seeger: “Si Kahn is one of the best…a solid thinker who is able to humanize the political…I hope he lives to be 120.”

Dick Pleasants, WGBH & WUMB: “I love Si Kahn. I love the way he makes me feel when I meet him and when I listen to his music…As folk music should, Si brings us back to the place we should be.”

Geoffrey Himes, Rolling Stone: “A poetic detail and an ironic understatement unknown in political folk music since Dylan’s early folkie days.”

Michelle Shocked: “The workers have themselves quite a player in Si Kahn.”

Mark Moss, Sing Out!: “Rarely are life, music and political action so firmly fused.”

Frye Gaillard, Creative Loafing: “One of the most important folksingers of his time.”

Pete Wernick, Hot Rize: “One of the amazing things about Si’s writing is how he can look at ordinary experiences with a view deep and interesting enough to want to savor.”

Larry King, Tower Records Pulse: “A host of new recordings could place Kahn in the company of other socially committed American artists like Jack London, Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck and Pete Seeger.”

Derk Richardson, Bay Guardian: “One of this country’s most talented populist songwriters since Woody Guthrie…He frames personal stories…with the unstrained poetry of everyday language.”

Scott Alarik, Boston Globe: “Si Kahn is the very model of the modern political songwriter. His simple, direct songs are almost as likely to be heard on coffeehous stages today as Phil Ochs’ were 20 years ago.”

David Hoekstra, Chicago Sun-Times: “If Ronald Reagan professed an interest in Bruce Springsteen’s heartland posture, he might also pay attention to Kahn’s working class views…A solid guitarist and a crafty lyricist.”

David J. McCarty, Bluegrass Unlimited: “Si Kahn’s Been A Long Time is the second great CD to come out of the late, great Charles Sawtelle’s Rancho DeVille recording studio this year…and it’s a gem.”

Linda Rocawich, The Progressive: “Known nationwide as an accomplished singer, songwriter and recording artist in the political folk tradition.”

Tommy Thompson, Red Clay Ramblers: “About as good a songwriter as you’ll come across.”

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