I’ve found myself stumbling lately. Stumbling at bars. And not in the sense that I got hammered and had to stumble out of the bar, but a far better form of it: stumbling into great acts without even realizing it.
Last week our other writer over here at RLR (Ken) said he did just the same thing with the exact same artist, Daniel Kushnir. I received a text from him saying that he was around Portsmouth and just happened upon a spot where Kushnir and his musical percussive partner “Wolf” were playing…and he was enthralled.
A few days later I am out in Burlington and happen upon our favorite new spot, Radio Bean, and sure enough the very same songwriter is there before me. Kushnir has this aura about him. A sly confidence and wit that envelopes a room and closes it in a bit more. Despite a typical small crowd for an early show at the Bean he managed to make his performance seem larger than life. I was captivated by he and Wolf’s performance of his original blues infused tunes and a few choice covers (including a riff on the “Grinch” theme song that was so soaked in his own flavor that it could have been embedded in his heartfelt, heartworn 1o track album ‘Nothing Left to Give” and you wouldn’t be able to tell it wasn’t his own. He is an artist who can command an audience and a room with this effortless grace and demeanor that is astounding. He is just very real. Genuine and makes no apologies.
At one point while trying to hock some merch he mentioned “these hats are all different colors, I was on acid when I put the order in I guess” and then quickly launched into a song. There was the liquid transition between banter and the poetry of his songs that made it feel so smooth. Witnessing an artist in his comfortable place on a stage but almost like having a friend in your living room playing tunes. Be it the atmosphere of a slightly less than crowded Radio Bean, an artist who knows and excels at his craft, or a combination of both I will say this: Daniel Kushnir has got “it”. Oh, and the dude’s guitar playing is great too.
Check him out today…