Sunday, March 06, 2011

Under The Radar in 2010 - Anthony D'Amato - Down Wires

There's a blind, sweet and unfortunately commercially soft spot where 70's AM radio, power pop and alt country coalesce into an impossibly perfect blend of indelible melodies and sweetly sour tales of broken hearts, just-out-of-reach dreams and roads not taken. Some fairly recent examples are Jason Collett's Idols of Exile, Jesse Mailn's The Fine Art of Self Destruction and Jeremy Fisher's Goodbye Blue Monday - all among the best records of the last decade. We can add Anthony D'Amato's Down Wires to that list.

It only takes about five seconds for Down Wires to slay - the ringing, opening guitar riff of "Ballad of the Undecided" recalls the Bodeans in their prime (let's add Love And Hope And Sex And Dreams to the above list) and although D'Amato states he's "just a man who doesn't know what he wants", I get the feeling he knows exactly what he wants - to make more records that shine like this one.

This disc is a throwback to the 10 song, 40 minute album - all meat and potatoes and no appetizers. "Once" is a litany of places where love's been found ("in your patience", "in the blink of an eye", "on the sidewalk", "in a love song", "in the tv's glow" and even "in the cocaine snow") and then disappeared, all leavened with mournful harmonica and quietly graceful piano.

A recent Princeton grad (go Tigers!) who recorded Down Wires in his dorm room, D'Amato is giving singer-songwriters a good name, returning to simple songcraft as a calling card, instead of over-emoting navel gazing. And he's having serious fun - especially on the jaunty, hiccupping mandolin plea "Never Grow Old" and album standout "My Father's Son", whereby his gene pool seems to steer him on an unavoidable journey.

Down Wires was a late 2010 release that's gathered steam every time it cropped up on the ipod. It's one of those rare albums where your favorite song changes daily, and it makes you want to start a record label to get this thing heard.

Anthony D'Amato - Ballad of The Undecided (from Down Wires)
Anthony D'Amato - My Father's House (from Down Wires)

And for a free download of D'Amato's latest single, "Songbirds" (for the princely sum of providing your email address), click here.

Anthony D'Amato - Hank Williams Tune (from Shades of The Prison House)


Scott McClatchy said...

"I'm not religious, I just like playing God." GREAT LYRIC!!!! These guys are super!!! Cool find.

bob said...

Nice find! You've given me something to hunt down a prex tomorrow during lunch.