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As one of the most prolific and frequently touring songwriters on the circuit today, it’s no surprise that Duluth native David Dondero returns with his ninth album, A Pre-Existing Condition. Like his fellow folk soloists John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) or John Vanderslice, Dondero stands out from the rest of the pack due to his unique style and penchant for storytelling.
Throughout the album, he’s armed with little more than his trademark quaky voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica. Some tracks are adorned with sprinklings of banjo, pedal steel or drums, but Dondero resonates best when he’s by himself. Each song might resemble traditional Americana, but there’s nothing traditional about his lyrics. Aside from singing about typical songwriter topics like love (“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’”) or keepin’ on (Willin’), he finds inspiration in the mundane. Standout track “Not Everybody Loves Your Doggie Like You Do” pokes some light-hearted fun at people who pamper and treat their dogs better than they treat themselves. Dondero evokes the nostalgia of having a favorite pet, sighing, “Memories…” then hilariously recalls, “of him licking his ass, and then licking your mouth—he’s good.” (Ghostmeat Records)▼ Article continues below ▼
Recorded and mixed by Russ Hallauer at Ghostmeat Studio, Watkinsville, GA // Mastered by Jeff Capurso in Athens, GA