Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Road trip album: ‘you have got to be kidding me'

David Stoddard

GREEN BAY, Wis. - That album cover art has an edge, correct? So does the music of David Stoddard.

On road trips to venues in our area to see live performances to review, I pop new CDs into the car player for a bit of accompaniment, so to speak.

Here are thoughts on “you have got to be kidding me.”

It’s easy to tell that this guy has been around the block… has a few years on… has had life experiences… has a sensibility… has a sense of appreciation when something to appreciate strays along… has felt the heavy, wet blanket of disappointment, too, the kind that’s sometimes followed by a sigh and the thought, “You have got to be kidding me.”

A songwriting pianist/guitarist/singer, Stoddard has roots in this area. He is a 1985 graduate Pulaski High School. After college in the state, he settled in Minnesota – Fergus Falls, toward the western edge. You can find out something about him at www.davidstoddardmusic.com.

All of the songs on “you have got to be kidding me” are written by Stoddard, with the exception of “Home,” which he wrote with Karen Mal. Mal’s name may ring a bell through her associations with Door County’s Northern Sky Theater (performer) and Door Shakespeare (resident composer/musical director).

The lineup, with notes:

+ “Praying for Rain” – full band; hymn like; “Haven’t had a drop of rain since the middle of May…”

+ “Every Road” – full band; retrospection on “every road leads back to you.”

+ “Dakota Girl” – solo; a picture: she loves wintertime.

+ “Country Song” – full band; on kowtowing, country-style, with intriguing ending: “That dress sure looks good on you, Mrs. Cleaver.”

+ “Someday” – full band; on self-determination, with a floating high note in the title word.

+ “Dandelions” – full band; loving a child’s perspective.

+ “Everybody Wants to Go Home” – full band; “where they have to let you in;” bluesy piano and voice; “The first time you were leaving, you went and broke your mother’s heart. Now your room is a museum of refrigerator art.”

+ “Ghosts are Real” – solo; reflection on a loved one, passed. Tender.

+ “Psalm 159” – solo; theology, hard bitten. “We’re here patiently waiting, pretending that we all get along.”

+ “Home” – solo; echo voice effect; scientific consideration: Earth as a place in the universe, our home.

+ “One of These Days” – full band; a quest for perfection/success/achievement.

+ “Continental Drift” – solo; reflections on changing lives.

Considering thoughtful and mature themes, the album has the feel of a comfy old pair of jeans – worn and sturdy, with every rubbed and frayed inch of quality fabric well earned.

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays.


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