Folkie Dondero ranges from eclectic originals (“Not Everybody Loves Your Doggie Like You Do”) to uniquely interpreted covers including Lowell George’s hippie trucker ballad “Willin.’” Though it’s been done in just about every coffeehouse across America, it – and the rest of this disc – are quirky and likeable. Much of Dondero’s music owes a debt to oldtime bluegrass; it shows its best face in his own “Please Hand Me Over To The Undertaker” and a no frills version of Woody Guthrie’s “Pretty Boy Floyd.” But there’s a strong country folk feel, as in his unhurried version of “Is Anybody Going To San Antone.” That one (Dondero also does the Charlie Pride hit “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”) and “Undertaker” would be the album’s most appealing cuts if he hadn’t included Neil Young’s “Don’t Cry No Tears.” It was an inspired choice and, having been written when Young was still in high school, also shows that little beats talent and teen lovesickness as a combination for inspiring songs.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
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