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Dave Preston (from the album Alligator Shoes available as a self-release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Dave Preston seems to do it all. His new album, Alligator Shoes, was recorded in his own On Track Recording Studio, and aside from recording, mixing, and mastering the album, he wrote and sang all the songs and played the majority of the instruments, including acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, and drum programming.
The result is a soulful saunter that basks in various hues of the Blues. That said, it’s difficult to categorize Dave Preston precisely. “Money Tree” leads things off with a certain ebullience and engagement. The pluck and strum of “Mr. Pennywhistle” is surprisingly infectious despite its whimsical tone. Likewise, the title track swings serendipitously, keeping the album’s jovial approach intact. Then there’s the jaunty and jubilant “Deep Hibernation”, which, as its name implies, offers an exercise in pure escapism.
Nevertheless, the casual caress that colors those particular tracks and the tellingly-titled “Nothing at All” shouldn’t be mistaken for any lack of effort on Preston’s part. His first album, Lost and Found, was nominated for best Americana/Country album of 2021 by The San Diego Music Awards. Here, he’s assembled a formidable group of musicians to assist with this particular project — among them, Doug Pettibone, who contributes lap steel, electric mandolin, pedal steel, and electric guitar, Bob Ryan on electric guitar and baritone guitar, Tom Wolverton on dobro, Steve Peavey on concertina, Candy Girard playing a prominent role on violin, Tand Preston’s wife Cheryl Jackson Preston, who plays a prominent role courtesy of the vibrant harmonies shared throughout.
Consequently, when Preston ploughs deeper, it becomes increasingly obvious that in addition to wistful reflection, he’s a talented songsmith adept at ploughing the roots of Americana. “Cherry Jubilee” and “Standing on a Wire” bring to mind John Prine at his sweetest and most sentimental. Meanwhile, “Going Down to Mississippi” is a Rootsy, roughhewn example of pure swamp water blues. “Sweet Mary” offers some of the same, albeit hinting at slightly darker designs.
Dave Preston currently resides in San Diego, but his southern roots, nurtured in Kentucky where he was born and raised, is consistently clear throughout. His voice betrays a decidedly unassuming attitude that gives each of these unassuming entries a full measure of honesty and humility. Ultimately then, Alligator Shoes could be considered comfortable and comforting in equal measure. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Dave Preston from AMAZON
For more information, please visit the Dave Preston website
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