Dan Bern (aka Bernstein, a name which he sometimes performs under) is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and painter. His music is often compared to that of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello.   His song "Talkin' Woody, Bob, Bruce, and Dan Blues," from the album Smartie Mine, offers a joking take on this influence, presented in the style of a Guthrie or Dylan talking blues song, and containing a spoof of a Dylan song as well.) Bernstein has also toured with Ani DiFranco. He is known for sardonic, literary lyrics, a range of musical styles, and a folk music style paired with rock instrumentation. He also wrote the novel Quitting Science (2004) under the pen name Cunliffe Merriwether and wrote the preface under his own name.
Although a vein of social and political humor runs though even his earliest work, Bern's work became more explicitly political during the 2004 US presidential election campaign, with songs such as "Bush Must Be Defeated" and "President" highlighting his sometimes surreal political takes.