Songwriter Dave Hall CMJ Review
By D.M. Avery
Review: PLAYIN' THE MAN
New York City folk-rocker DAVE HALL doesn't make a big deal out of his sexual orientation on his debut Playin' The Man, but he doesn't go out of his way to ignore it either.
Equipped with poetic lyrics, a fine voice, an acoustic guitar, and a tight band, Hall shines as a songwriter on those cuts featuring homosexual scenarios, but sex is usually not the real issue. "Zoe & Chloe" is a powerful, tragic ballad of a lesbian couple murdered by "some redneck crackers," and Hall not only wishes the two women were still alive, but that they would have turned the tables as he sings, "They thought they weren't botherin' anyone / They should have had a gun."
The rollicking "Do You Remember?" reflects a longing for, and fear of, adolescent angst and exploration in a small town, complete with back-seat hanky-panky, bong hits, and ensuing faulty memories.
Now "Playin' The Man" is about sex, playful, physical, and slightly kinky sex, but nobody else has to know. Also spin "Imagine This," "Setting Sun" and "Colors Don't Run."
By D.M. Avery
Dave Hall is one of the best unsigned folk-poppers out there. His 1997 debut, Playin' The Man, was a strong reminder that a quality singer-songwriter can gain a national audience with or without a major push from record labels. For his sophomore release, Hall continues to give us personal spins on his life's journey, but this time, rocking with more gusto. Recommended tracks: "Come To Brooklyn," "Seven," "Biff 'N Tony's Wedding."