Before We Met
Available now for the first time in years, 'Before We Met' is the debut CD from Dan Israel and the Cultivators, originally released in 1997 on Israel's own Persistent Records, then re-released in 1998 on Arizona-based Hayden's Ferry Records. Featuring the original lineup of the Cultivators (Tom Sampson on lead guitar, Jeremy Smith on bass, and Andy Rauh on drums) with guest appearances by Jon Duncan (Trailer Trash, Honeydogs, Two Tickets to Paradise) and Kristin Mooney (Peter Himmelman, Martin Zellar), these 11 songs of, in the words of Pulse of the Twin Cities, 'just plain kick-ass, guitar-driven, rough-edged pop' spotlight Dan Israel's lyrically poignant and melodically indelible songwriting in his first release after returning home from Austin, Texas to his hometown of Minneapolis in 1996. The St. Louis Riverfront Times had this to say about 'Before We Met': 'Nourished on warm guitar phrasings and Hammond-organ caresses, Dan Israel and the Cultivators sound a bit like fellow Minnesota band the Jayhawks (Think 'Hollywood Town Hall'). The Cultivators emphasize hooks....and Israel's voice has an appealing 5 o'clock shadow. Their release, Before We Met, has a live spontaneous charm, with sizzling six-string duels the way they were meant to sound; clean, tube-warm and melodic.' Upon hearing 'Before We Met,' the St. Paul Pioneer Press declared 'What sets Israel and his band apart is his ability to sound so real and sincere - a feat that many attempt but few accomplish.' And Minneapolis-based Cake Magazine weighed in 'Wow! After listening to this, I almost feel as if I've spent a long but worthwhile evening in a bar with a bunch of close friends. This effort is full of musical nods to the Jayhawks, the Bodeans, Wilco, and more, and becomes more enjoyable after repeated listens. It comes down to intelligently structured, well-produced songs with insightful lyrics - songs that will make you want to stay well past closing time.'