Dan Saks, Sephardic Songs + Stories - It is good to hear that Dan Saks is still doing well in Mexico City, where he moved just before the previous time his band DeLeon played the Washington Jewish Music Festival. That was two years ago and although it has resulted in less DeLeon since then, we are treated to an intimate version of some of their music along with other traditional Sephardic songs, as interpreted by this former DC area native. Dan has also brought out Kevin Snider, his childhood friend and band mate from the area to assist on several songs tonight. Otherwise it is just Dan, an acoustic guitar or banjo, and his excellent voice. I really enjoyed his stories as he did have a lot to say about the songs and the traditions with all the changes and alternate viewpoints that crop up. There was a supportive crowd tonight in the downstairs area of the Synagogue as it was completely filled. He even had his brother and mother assist he and his bass player with backing vocals on the last cut. I think the only way to improve this show would have been a slightly longer set (this was under an hour or so) or possibly an opening band. But I would rather have quality music in small doses with good musicology instead of cliched stage patter, so this was a lovely way to spend a Saturday night.
And if you would like to read an old interview I had with him, click here.