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, 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.
“America” (download mp3)
from “Everything Changes and Nothing Changes”
(Street to Nowhere)