David Zollo and The Body Electric – For Hire


It’s been a long wait, but David Zollo has finally released an album of all new material. For Hire is Zollo’s newest disc, and offers 9 new songs that take you on a rollicking ride across the continent. As you go on this ride you detect the rock and roll punk sounds of New York, LA and Seattle, the soul, gospel and blues of Memphis, New Orleans and Detroit mixed with the country and honkytonk sounds of Texas, Oklahoma and Nashville. When mixed up all together those sounds become a hybrid, which in the late seventies and early eighties was being called “the Iowa sound”. Bo Ramsey was known as the “father of the Iowa sound”. Today it’s more commonly placed under the umbrella known as the Americana genre. In the early days of his career, Zollo worked with Ramsey producing, recording and playing live. It’s my opinion that David Zollo is the father of the second generation of “the Iowa sound”. Zollo has always been known for his great piano playing and his singing has always been evocative. His songwriting has also been good, on this disc however, his writing takes center stage. The album kicks off with a great rocking number called Ain’t No God But God. Zollo questions the way he has been living his life, he realizes he has made mistakes and begs for mercy.  I turned my back on hope and faith/sought a temporal escape that left me here in awful shape, in need of grace and love. I used to ease my earthly needs with wanton lust and selfish deeds; I learned to bite the hand that feeds, what was I thinking of? The title track is up next and it talks about taking the good with the bad when you are a musician For Hire. Sometimes I bring the boys along for the ride; they do not like it, but it’s cash on the side. The only problem is, there’s no place to hide when it’s go time. The pimps, pushers, junkies come around, when they hear that my band’s in town. We never, ever put them down at the show time, no no no time!  Zollo is looking for love in swinging songs like Please Don’t leave Me Alone,  I wish you’d call me on the telephone; sorry if I came on too strong, it’s only that I loved you for so long. From the first time that we met, I hope this ain’t the only chance I get to have your loving all for my own, please don’t leave me alone! And Like You Want Me To, I must admit that I’m easily smitten; the way you look right now, I guess it’s only fittin’. Let me love you, baby, love you like you want me to. But he tells a sad story about a couple who had a loving relationship, and continue to meet because they don’t know what else to do in This Is All We Are. Meet me on the corner, by the Methodist church. We’ll drink this bottle in my pocket, tell each other lies until it hurts. Wear that dress of yours, with the ripped up hem, and if you feel like I remember, I promise to love you again, even if for just tonight; even if it ain’t good; even if it ain’t like them stories from your childhood, I never understood. For Hire may be the best work to date from David Zollo. He surrounds himself with his touring band, The Body Electric, and that makes the songs flow like a live show. Brian Cooper (drums), Randall Davis (guitar, lap steel and acoustic guitar), Stephen Howard (bass and lead guitar), Ryan Bernemann (harmony vocals) glide through the songs, Zollo has given them, with effortless perception. Guests on the album include Will Kimbrough plays guitar, banjo and 6 string bass, Erik Brown on Trumpet and Heath Allen who wrote and arranged the horns in addition to playing saxophone. Meghan McDunnough and Bernemann provide background vocals on If I Had The Wings Of The Dove The band sounds well, rehearsed on all of the songs, which they are, after playing them numerous times at live shows. The record was recorded by John Svec in Iowa City at his EarthTone Studios, with additional recording done by Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios also in Iowa City, Mike Lust, on location in Chicago and Iowa City and Austin Switalksi in Des Moines. If you are a fan of Americana, Alt Country, Folk, Blues or any other genre the music industry has made up, you should check out David Zollo and The Body Electric – For Hire. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you like, good music is good music. And this disc is GOOD MUSIC!

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