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Dave Sammarco

Unless It's Yours – 2000 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Andy Turner

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CDs by Dave Sammarco

It's kind of hard to imagine this music coming from the guy on the CD cover. Massachusetts' Dave Sammarco is a big, built man with a heavy metal mullet who writes and sings tender, wonderfully melodic country songs, plain and simple. "Unless It's Yours" is filled with the familiar country themes of love and longing and lonesomeness, a whole bunch of it.

Sammarco, who wrote all 12 tracks, spins tales about folks on good and bad terms with love. On "When I Loved You," a wayward lover keeps a knockin', but she can't come in. On "Love Sweet Love," a desperate man "barely half alive" is redeemed by love by a "divine intervention from above." Sammarco's character's cry alone over 10 shots of whiskey, trying to remember to forget you, in this honky tonkless town. It's perfect wallowing music: well-written songs, played by solid musicians, sung sincerely and convincingly, about being tore up one way or the other over the Big L. The final track, "Everybody Knows," is about something just potent as love: moonshine. It's a slow-burning, six-minute-plus ditty that highlights Sammarco's and his supporting cast's highly proficient musicianship. ( E-Mail: geronimo69@mindspring.com)