Album Review

David Dondero Releases Tenth Album, 'Inside the Cat's Eye'

David Dondero - Inside the Cat's Eye

Despite having given all to his craft and proving himself one of today's decidedly more talented singer/songwriters, David Dondero somehow remains a fairly obscure figure in the music world. Ever the transient, the troubadour, he has probably traveled through your town several times over the years, stopping to perform at the local dive, punk venue, or art space. You may have been lucky enough to have attended one of his shows. Maybe you went to see one of the bands or singer/songwriters he has toured with and were fortunate enough to have discovered David and his “outbound sound.” Either way, you would have likely considered his set a memorable experience. He constructs busy note structures on his acoustic guitar, throwing in a few chords here and there, while he sings his absorbing stories of the road, bravely and intelligently dives into certain important topics, confesses, laments, rejoices, regales, all in his unmistakable tremulous vocal style.  

If you have picked up any of David Dondero’s albums since he began releasing them in 1999, you are well aware that each one is a map, both in a geographical and personal sense, highlighting the highways of America and David’s  many and varied experiences and observations. Truly, Dondero puts so much heart and soul into his songs that one cannot help but wonder how he manages to keep surviving them. Or perhaps he has survived through the act of writing and playing them. He is pretty consistent with his releases, too. In fact, just when those who count themselves among his fans realize that they haven't heard anything new from him in a while, David drops a collection of fresh tracks on them and usually hits the road to share them in a live setting. This is certainly the case with his latest, Inside the Cat's Eye, the follow-up to This Guitar (2013), which he made available to listeners on January 2, 2017.

 Inside the Cat's Eye comes after nine other full-length albums, a couple of live recordings, three split records, and seemingly endless touring both in the US and abroad. Over the years David has released albums on labels such as Ghostmeat, Future Farmer, and Team Love, but like David's 2013 album This Guitar, Inside the Cat's Eye seems to have been released independently.

Consisting of ten new originals, the songs on Inside the Cat’s Eye are all worthy additions to David Dondero’s body of work to date. Standouts include “Capitol Buildings Bleed,” “You’ve Got Love in You,” “Bacon, Eggs, and Beer,” “What Kind of Love is It?” and “My God is Math.”

At present, Inside the Cat’s Eye is available in digital download format from David Dondero’s Bandcamp page. Whether it will be release on vinyl, CD or cassette in the future has yet to be announced.    \

Check out this live version of David's "Capitol Buildings Bleed" at Paste Studios in New York.