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Israel led the folk-duo One Town Horse in Chicago in the late 1980s and early 1990s, went on to lead the more electrified folk-rockers Potter's Field in Austin, TX in the mid '90s (where he was named one of Austin's top 15 songwriters), and finally relocated to his hometown of Minneapolis in 1996, where he formed Dan Israel and the Cultivators and released several critically acclaimed CDs, both solo and with the Cultivators.
His 2000 solo release "Dan Who?" received a 4-star review from music reviewer Jim Walsh (then at the St. Paul Pioneer Press), who summed up his outrage at the under-recognition of Israel's talent with these words: "Well, somebody buy a billboard, hire a blimp, and give this guy his due already. His name is Dan Israel, one of the mad ones, one of the strugglers, and he just made the record of his life."
Israel has been reviewed favorably in national magazines like Paste and No Depression and in major American newspapers such as the Chicago Sun-Times, has received extensive radio airplay both stateside and overseas, has showcased multiple times at the prestigious South by Southwest Music Conference, and has opened for acts such as Morrissey, the Tragically Hip, Todd Snider, Iris DeMent, Peter Himmelman, the Honeydogs, Mason Jennings, Martin Zellar, Mary Lou Lord, Ike Reilly, Steve Poltz, the Silos, the Steve Miller Band, and many more.
- Leslie, Karl (February 4, 2010). "Half-century mark highlighted by rockin' show". St. Cloud Times. pp. E.3. Retrieved July 5, 2012.