Online since August 2002

Melodic folk balladry

Reviewed August 2009

By Josh Damigo

Self-released: 2009

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

It's an interesting opening to Josh Damigo's new CD: "She's So Bad for Me" is a rough-edged, muscular, acoustic rocker – and completely atypical of the album as a whole.

The next song, "Pocket Change," is the track that really sets the tone for the San Diegan's latest disc: folk ballad with a slight sense of urgency, overtones of alternative rock and a firm focus on the hook-laden melodic themes. And that's the approach that best fits Damigo's voice and personality.

A couple of live tracks with Rob Deez introduce some humor, including a folk-rap song, but distract a bit from the album's cohesion. But he follows those with two of his strongest songs, the melancholy "Saves the Day" and the sentimental "Rain," both of them folk ballads of the style described above.

And then there's "Something's Telling Me," a duet with Nashville-based country singer Shawn Mayer that's a near-perfect candidate for placement in a TV show or movie. Great hook, nice dramatic build-up, two distinctive singers – just right for setting up a tearjerker scene.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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