Stories » Gabriel Kahane - Book of Travelers' offers a generous snapshot of America / San Francisco Chronicle

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Gabriel Kahane - Book of Travelers' offers a generous snapshot of America / San Francisco Chronicle

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"Book of Travelers," the extraordinary new cycle from singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, covers a lot of ground in a short space. The texts draw on conversations he had with fellow Amtrak passengers during a self-assigned fact-finding mission in the wake of the 2016 election; the music - unleashed in a two-tone baritone-falsetto combo, against the accompaniment of a soulfully creaky piano - is a vivid and wholly original blend that hints at Kurt Weill, Randy Newman and Robert Schumann without losing its distinctively moody flavor.

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