David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet Details
David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet
David Bazan was, for many years, the songwriter and driving force behind the acclaimed indie band Pedro the Lion, building a dedicated following and selling a couple hundred-thousand albums based in large part on his extraordinary melodic sense and erudite, theologically-themed songs. After a decade helming the project, he found himself embroiled in a major personal philosophical and spiritual cataclysm, wrapped in a growing drinking problem. Bazan got to work exorcizing both his demons and angels, ditching the Pedro moniker in favor of his given name and producing two incredible pieces of work in the Fewer Moving Parts EP and the 2009 full-length Curse Your Branches (Barsuk).
Alongside his tremendous line-by-line lyrical deftness, Bazan’s greatest strength has always been his ability – a skill that runs deep in the best writers and other observers of humankind – to distill complex ideas to their essence, to connect us to his ruminations on Big Issues with an economy of language, and to communicate his conclusions (or lack thereof) with concise elegance that never loses its general human resonance.
The Passenger String Quartet is an avant-garde, experimental neo-classical group, formed by Northwest composer/violinist Andrew Joslyn. The group is in high demand as studio session musicians, tours & performs original compositions, as well as backs a wide variety of regional, and national touring groups from DJ Spooky, Suzanne Vega, to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Ivan and Alyosha, Kris Orlowski, Doug Martsche, and many more.
If there’s one singer/songwriter out there who has paid his dues several times over, it is highway poet and American troubadour David Dondero. In evidence of this, David has released an all-new full-length album titled “This Guitar.” A career-defining piece of work if ever I’ve heard one, this collection of Dondero originals is not just a continuation of his signature outbound sound but the turning of a significant page in the rambling life of an artist who has given everything to music and received very little in return. That is, until now, with the recording and pressing of “This Guitar” having been funded entirely through fan donations and other such contributions through Kickstarter. As such, this album stands as David’s first departure from releasing through record labels.
Throughout the eleven songs on “This Guitar,” David’s ninth studio album to date, he actually manages to top much of his earlier material, and undeniably gives his all as an artist…and then some. The selfsame song, a poignantly autobiographical title track, explains his love/hate relationship with music, with his guitar and the life it has brought him over the years. But he also sings of how he will keep at it until his end, or until he “slips away,” as the song goes. And that is a statement one cannot doubt, since it is very clear that David cannot be anything other than what he is—a born singer/songwriter, as well as a drifter, a poet, and a singularly gifted fringe artist.