Bern’s socio-political lyrics and laid back acoustic guitar strumming have earned him comparisons to Bob Dylan. While the association is obvious due to the social commentary of his lyrics, Bern’s music is a bit on the cheeky side and often politically incorrect. He’s an in-your-face writer, not worried about who’s toes he’s treading on.
As he told Pollstar in an interview, he picked up a guitar at around age 14 because he needed a way to write songs. Apparently, the cello wasn’t working out so well.
After earning his chops on the Chicago club and coffeehouse circuit, Bern branched out to the underground folk scene and hit the road full time. He hasn’t stopped since.
Gradually, his support gigs gave way to headlining slots, which gave him the opportunity to explore his immense catalog of more than 1,000 songs.
“[Headlining] is great because we can really stretch it two-three hours, whatever it needs,” he said.
Even though he’s on the road more days than not, Bern still finds time to stop by the recording studio and get an album out every now and then. His latest, New American Language, was released in early October.