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David Serby

Poor Man's Poem

(Self-released; US: 10 May 2011; UK: Import)

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter David Serby puts aside his honky-tonk ways for this meditation on the working man. The time seems ripe for such an album, as questions about labor unions and the fate of working people throughout the country are on seemingly everyone’s lips at the moment. The problem is that writing about the lives of working class people––a life as mundane and unromantic as the life of the actuary and the college English department secretary Grapes of Wrath and Gung Ho be damned––is harder to do than you’d think. So much of what appears in these lyrics rings as false, clichéd, even, albeit unintentionally, patronizing. Serby’s whispery singing voice lends an unnecessary sense of resignation to the songs and too few moments of celebration. Believe it or not, working people like to have a good time. This can best be summarized as a bummer set.

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Jedd Beaudoin is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He holds an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Wichita State University and hosts Strange Currency six nights week for Wichita Public Radio. His writing has appeared in No Depression and The Crab Orchard Review as well as at websites such as Ytsejam.com and Amazon.com.


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