January 1998

David Poe - David Poe
Sony/550 Music BK67847
Released: 1997

by Jay Piriz

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ****1/2

[Reviewed on CD]So who is David Poe?. Fair question. His first commercial recording effort was

a relatively obscure deal titled Glass Suit. Poe has shared the stage with the such recognizable names as Bob Dylan and 10,000 Maniacs; he is a very talented singer/songwriter. Moving to New York City from Dayton, Ohio in 1992, Poe became prolific and this inspired him to write lyrics about human emotions and the harsh reality of tough city life. While living in Manhattan, Poe formed several bands that produced various forms of original, eclectic and avante-garde musical styles. The first of these was Ten Bucks to Joy, a two-drummer effort yielding primal polyrythmic pop sounds. The second was David Poe's Spreadable Honey. This was a jazz-rock group with a grunge edge. The third group was an acoustic-guitar-and-drum effort, with killer drummer Sim Cain (Rollins Band, Marc Ribot), that enjoyed great success gigging in the East Village; at some point during this period of local popularity, John Abbey joined the group on acoustic bass. This was the musical foundation on which this self-titled CD was built.

There are many acoustic instruments on this CD. The character of this recording is excellent--smooth and warm without undue edginess. Poe's skillful playing of acoustic guitar is especially engaging on "Apartment," a very bossa-nova-ish tune full of slick riffs and wonderful acoustic ambiance. Poe and Cain really deliver on "Bloody," a humable little tune where the lyrics describe finishing the job with Poe's own words; all along, the melody is carried by a slick bass line and funky guitar. In "COP," Poe delivers a parable about the complexities of politics, law enforcement, and society. Throughout the thought-provoking lyrics, Poe weaves his unique style of punctuation from his guitar.

This is a very listenable and musically involving effort. It is the kind of work that only passion and hunger can produce. I hope it obtains the kind of positive recognition it deserves.