KUMD Album Review: David Dondero

Jan 11, 2017

Credit David Dondero

David Dondero | Inside the Cat's Eye

A jack of all trades from bartending to carpentry, David Dondero deals out another sound release as a musician. Released after the New Year, Inside the Cat’s Eyes is a ten track album that at times seems to flow like a short story.

The Duluth native is considered by NPR to be one of the best living songwriters and has toured with the likes of Bright Eyes, The Mountain Goats and Against Me! The quake and twang in his voice contrasts the angst saturated lyrics on Inside the Cat’s Eyes, showcasing once again how Dondero is able to effortlessly fuse folk and indie rock into one.

“Summers of the Suns” opens the album as Dondero strums his acoustic guitar and murmurs an ode to the warmer months. The lyrics paint a familiar picture of a cool summer night spent with friends. “We will listen to our favorite song better hurry up it won’t be long ‘til we’re surfing in the ocean wave.”

From track to track, this release varies in style between country and rock. “Country Cliché” and “My God is Math” follow each other on the album but come from different ends of the genre spectrum.

Saloon style piano opens “Country Cliché,” while the faster paced and slightly punk “My God is Math” takes a jeering look at life and religion, “God is math but what is love? An irrational number.”

The fifth track, “Bacon, Eggs & Beer” an eye catching title, holds a somber story of love and loss. “Bacon, eggs and beer, you know the coast got clear. The clouds have paddled out to sea, they leave behind tranquility. Got a room full of records that you left behind when you died.”

Simple lines and simple chords weave a meaningful narrative; Dondero is a storyteller as he upholds the folk tradition with his own fine-tuning on Inside the Cat’s Eyes.

Catch the man himself back in Duluth at Beaner's Central Coffeehouse January 10th at 7pm.