Dave Sharp

Downtown America

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This excellent, albeit little heard, solo album from the ex-Alarm frontman is a gritty departure from the anthemic Anglo-rock of Dave Sharp's former band. As the title suggests, the music here is very much straight-ahead heartland rock, but with a distinctly European, Billy Bragg-like lyrical bent. The presence of ace guitarist David Grissom (John Mellencamp, James McMurtry, and many others) cements the rootsy vibe. Quasi-political generalizing about America, especially from a foreigner, is often hard to take, but luckily Sharp, in addition to being a consummate songsmith, sings with an unerring conviction, honesty, and lack of pretense that make the sentiments much easier to stomach. Musically, no new ground is broken, but the assembled players here would make a hell of a great bar band. Driving grooves (courtesy of Prairie Prince), combined with Sharp's whiskey soaked voice, make this great beer-drinkin' music for aging new wavers who were always too embarrassed to admit that they really did like Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band.

blue highlight denotes track pick