Listen to David Zollo's rollicking opening number "While You Undress" and you'd think that he's a Southern roots rocker in the Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites/Yayhoos) mode. But the Iowa City-based Zollo slips on several musical personas during the course of the 10 song.
In the poignant and eloquent piano ballad, "Lonesome Childhood," Zollo has his "naked and forlorn" protagonist examine his existence. His country side gets accentuated on the barbed "Respect (Ain't A One Way Street" and the sorrowful "Take Me Away." The piano-playing Zollo isn't afraid to cut loose on such robust roadhouse rockers as the soulful, Black Crowes-like "Why Don't You Stop Me Down" and the bouncy, R&B-flavored "You're Gonna Get What You Wanted." Serving him well here are his two guitarists Eric Straumanis and Chris Winters, who give the music a real bite. Zollo marvelously merges his twangy rocker and literate troubadour personas on the centerpiece number, "Get Away." Following in the tradition of Springsteen and Mellencamp, this song expertly details the dead-end qualities of small town and the inescapable need to flee. On this disc, Zollo does a terrific job of creating songs that moving both emotionally and musically. (Trailer Records, P.O. Box 3202, Iowa City, IA 52244, Trailer Records)