Dave Smallen‘s songwriting has always been ambitious, since his days fronting Oakland’s all ages show heroes, Street To Nowhere. What’s ambitious? Well, take this for example. If you want to write a song called “America” – that’s ambitious. I pressed play with a certain trepidation – there are so many ways this can go wrong. But the song succeeds, careening against the walls of possible clichés and landing feet first like a defiant and graceful cat. It is a highly personal statement, yet compelling and ultimately accessible. As Dave is American, why not use America and its complex, troubled state, as a metaphor for his own individual saga? Why not indeed. Ambitious yes, but this is a subtle triumph.
from “Everything Changes and Nothing Changes”
(Street to Nowhere)