David Dondero, Goodrich & the Die Tryin's

David Dondero

David Dondero is an American singer/songwriter. In 2006, NPR's All Songs Considered named Dondero one of the "best living songwriters" alongside Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Tom Waits. Dondero's career began in the mid-1990's with the release of four records with Clemson, SC-based punk band Sunbrain- three on Grass Records and one on Ghostmeat Records. In 1997, Dondero joined This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb as their drummer. He left in 1998 to focus on solo material which was more folk in nature. He has since released eight albums - two on Ghostmeat (see below), three on Future Farmer Records and three on Conor Oberst's Team Love imprint. His ninth album, titled A Pre-existing Condition, will be released February 22, 2011 on Ghosmeat. Dondero is perpetually on tour and has shared the stage with such acts as Crooked Fingers, Jolie Holland, Against Me!, The Mountain Goats, Preston School Of Industry, Bright Eyes, Tilly and the Wall, Spoon and Willy Mason.

A Pre-existing Condition was recorded just outside Athens, GA with Rob Keller (Six String Drag) on upright bass and backing vocals, William Tonks (Bloodkin) on dobro and guitar and Russ Hallauer (Sunbrain) on mandolin and tenor banjo. The album distinguishes itself from other recent Dondero releases with exclusive use of acoustic instruments and extensive use of vocal harmony. Clay Leverett (Now It's Overhead) and Ken Will Morton also make guest appearances with backing vocals and harmonica respectively. The 13-track album features original compositions side by side with Dondero's interpretations of songs by artists such as Little Feat, Elizabeth Cotten, Charlie Pride, Neil Young, Woody Guthrie, Doug Sahm, Jawbreaker, Bob Dylan and Jimmie Rodgers.

Zap Dragon and The Attack

"Trust me, I understand the hardship of having an odd name. And not that rock music necessarily maintains seriousness as a requisite, but having a band moniker like Zap Dragon & the Attack (June 1, Will's Pub) makes things hard for you before you play a single note. I'm probably not the only one to ever wonder how this Orlando combo can possibly be good enough to overcome such a silly name. It's a reasonable question. Then again, it all depends on what you're going for. But it turns out they're not some sort of comic-nerd band at all. In fact, their deal is a shiny, skipping ball of jaunty rock, folk twangs and pop hooks that's cloyingly peppy. They're often a little south of goofy,but their sweet guilelessness has much more traction and potential when they slow things down and dial it in. Their melodies breathe deeper and their heart beats louder. That's when their set hit moments of clarity. And it's where their hope lies." -Bao Le-Huu


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