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  • Michael Collin

AMERICANA HIGHWAYS | REVIEW: Dave Goddess “Back In Business”

Dave Goddess Group – Back In Business

This 11-cut is a well-recorded & satisfying production. The music sounds like where Memphis artist Rob Jungklas left off with his 1986 hits “Make It Mean Something” & “Boys Town.” Lead singer Dave Goddess (guitars) performs exceptionally well & has that special vocal tone, intonation & phrasing. Dave has clear skies ahead for his showcase.

Subject-wise, he admirably continues in the Jungklas tradition with his own undeniable creative edge. “Back In Business,” “You Can’t Get There From Here” & “Blessing In Disguise” — genuinely good. Nothing that’s going to shake up the rock ‘n roll world but because Dave can sing unlike the cookie-cutter vocalists on country-pop radio his appeal is broad. Nothing here is a knock-off. It’s all performed with poignancy, originality & cleverness.

The 40-minute CD Back In Business (Drops June 24–Independent) was produced by Dave Goddess & Konrad Carelli & features a great jangly Byrds-like tune “Signs of Life.” Here, Goddess’ voice is John Hiatt warm crossed with Alejandro Escovedo. Bright, driven & entertaining.

Dave has a mainstream gloss more famous singers lack. His songs explore gracefully & capture their respective groove with sufficient identity. I like Dave, how he presents his music & tells good stories. His music is steadily refined & melodic.

“…when I cross that bridge, I’ll burn it” – sung mildly & nonchalantly in the crawl of “Calico” yet the words are incendiary. A good program, each song nourished by Dave’s musical intuition. He has singer-songwriter wholesomeness with pinches of country mixed with blues.

There is some cliché rich songs such as “I’ll Do It Again,” but it’s infectious. It’s steady & well performed without an ounce of saturated silliness. The arithmetic of his melodies adds up to foot-tapping & hand-clapping. None will get Dave into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame but he certainly has more credibility than many who don’t belong there.

Musicians – Mark Buschi (bass/background vocal), Chris Cummings (drums), Robbie Bossert (pedal steel/ lap steel guitars), Craig Kastelnik (organ/piano/accordion), Nyke Van Wyk (violin), Paula Battavio, Judy Brunst-Belletieri, Lauren Davidson, Lydia Rhodes, Craig Rosenberry & June Thomas (background vocals).

“Better Days” is something my late Mom used to always say — “better days are coming.” Nice, uplifting, assuring melody with a positive vibe & damn – we certainly need that today.

Photo by Peter Gourniak. CD available @

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