Sidewalk Dave
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Sidewalk Dave

Brooklyn, Connecticut, United States

Brooklyn, Connecticut, United States
Rock Alternative

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Press


"#9 Album of 2012"

#9 — “Dave chan­nels the aggres­sive, sex­ual energy of garage rock through a philosopher’s lens, demand­ing phys­i­cal ful­fill­ment in one moment and ques­tion­ing the moral­ity of his sex­ual pur­suits the next.”
- Lewis and His Blog


"Best of 2012"

"a canvas of sounds that draw from such varied artists as The Stooges, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Weezer and even moments of Pink Floyd just to name a few."
- The Advocates


"Consider This The Beatles..."

Only the very best artists avoid the Sophomore Slump, the dreaded second album, by releasing a more compelling effort than the first. Sidewalk Dave have grabbed that old albatross by the throat and throttled it into submission.
When a near-tragic accident threatened to halt the momentum of last year's critical and popular success, Dave Van Witt and the band had a decision to make: wallow in misfortune by drowning their sorrows in cheap whiskey, or embrace the situation as a creative opportunity (also with cheap whiskey). Consider this The Beatles, on whiskey instead of acid or pot.

Bands who write whiskey-drinking songs are a dime a dozen, but Sidewalk Dave have raised the bar considerably, crafting an album inspired by, written while, and recorded under the influence of alcohol. This sounds like frat-boy fun and a recipe for sloppy songwriting, and in the hands of lesser musicians it certainly would be -- at best -- a clever gimmick. Sidewalk Dave pull it off. These guys are true artists.

Due out April 1st, Gold Liquid Mischief, like last year's Songs for Cowards, is filled to the rim with rousing anthems about embracing your fears. Written in a mere seven months, these songs relate the highs and lows of days spent in a liquid amber haze, while keeping a bleary yet sharp eye on the goal of creating a unique work of art. This was no mere excuse to drink, but an act of sublime desperation.

They've descended deep into the gutter, rolled around for a bit, screwed their courage to the post, and ascended with a very mature and enthralling album.

The addition of new members Gabriel Cruz on lead guitar, and Patrick Dalton on trumpet, gives these songs new depth, especially on "Violence and Music" when Van Witt sings, "Music and peace sound weak to my ears. How much can you change without shedding a tear?"

Bruce Kings' insistent drums drive the songs forward, particularly on the syncopated backbeat of "Holy Pocket Blues", a mature wink and nod to Songs for Cowards' "Wallet."

"Lonedrunksome" is as pure a drinking song as ever there was, complete with its drunk-dialing reference, yet ethereal with windchimes that carry over mysteriously to the title track featuring lines like this: "Your tongue is a ghost from the Underworld. It'll haunt you with slurs of dirty words."

"Vodka Perfume" tells of a woman who keeps a bottle in her bathroom, running "drunken errands in her BMW" while her kids think she's simply wearing Vodka-scented Eau de Cologne.

"Godless Universe" has the fuzziest, most memorable guitar riff since "Satisfaction." Not only that, they attempt to rhyme the word 'orange' and nearly succeed. It's an anthem for the thinking man. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

The album closes with "750ml of Spirit", a rollicking, chugging romp about a drunk preacher, slain in the liquid spirit. "Whatever works for you, Reverend."

Play this one at full volume on a drive in the country, but just don't drink and drive. Besides, Sidewalk Dave has drunk enough for us all. - No Depression


"Favorite songs of 2011 by Connecticut artists"

"[Sinister Things] is propelled by a hazy chugging guitar line and colored by David Van Witt’s deep dark thoughts." - CT News


"Best of 2010 list"

Ok, one more 'best of 2010' list, just for good measure. Sidewalk Dave do the whiskey-soaked folk rock thing so well, you’d think they hail from some grimy blues bar in Kentucky. They’re from New Haven, and we love them. They had a hell of a 2010 with the release of the acclaimed "Gold Liquid Mischief" and this mix is meant to show where their inspiration for the year came from.
- New Haven Register


"Best of 2010"

Well, if you've been following us at all, you already know our favorite CT band is Sidewalk Dave, and that we love them so much we want to marry them, even if we can't seem to get their names straight (sorry, Chris - who the fuck is Bruce?). We're so glad they came into our lives, played our excellent party, and have a regular gig at The Half Door (next one is Jan. 26 - we'll totally be there). - CT Scenic


"10 best local releases of 2009"

The trio has been making what they call “aggressive folk” since 2007. We here at the Register chose the group’s 2009 EP “Songs for Cowards” as one of the 10 best local releases of last year. We did that for a reason: Because it’s a damn fine record filled with shambling blues-based folk that sounds perfect for the stage of a dusty, booze-soaked Southern bar. Of course, there’s lots of intelligence inherent in the music, which is another reason we just love the EP. - New Haven Register


"Top 20 of 2010"

Sidewalk Dave – Gold Liquid Mischief
“Bands who write whiskey-drinking songs are a dime a dozen, but Sidewalk Dave have raised the bar considerably, crafting an album inspired by, written while, and recorded under the influence of alcohol. This sounds like frat-boy fun and a recipe for sloppy songwriting, and in the hands of lesser musicians it certainly would be, at best, a clever gimmick. - Awaiting The Flood


"Top 23 Albums of The Year (2010)"

- Sidewalk Dave -
Gold Liquid Mischief? - Americana Rock Mix


"Best Album of 2011"

"Can't Be Your Friend... easily one of the best releases of 2011. "Sinister Things" is one of the best songs of the year hands down."
- CT.com (Dec 14, 2011) - CT.com


"CT Indie"

"I don't usually go to folk shows but with Hoots and Hellmouth and Sidewalk Dave this show seems like one of the more solid lineups in the area."
- john smif, CT Indie (Dec 09, 2009) - CT Indie


"New Haven Advocate"

"what [Sidewalk Dave] saying is worth the attention." - New Haven Advocate


"Top 10 best local records"

We here at the Register chose [Sidewalk Dave]'s 2009 EP “Songs for Cowards” as one of the 10 best local releases of last year. - New Haven Register


"Favorite Local Release"

"The New Haven-area band's album Songs for Cowards was one of our favorite local releases of 2009 and holds its own amongst the work of their nationwide peers. "
- Fairfield County Weekly (Feb 04, 2010) - Fairfield County Weekly


"The rowdy, rugged and raw"

"...an archive of anthems championing the rowdy, the rugged and the raw."
- Fairfield County Weekly (Jun 04, 2009) - Fairfield County Weekly


"Gold Liquid Mischief - Review"

Sophomore efforts are often notoriously inferior to a band’s successful debut (think Spin Doctors, Georgia Satellites, Hootie and the Blowfish). Only the very best artists avoid the Sophomore Slump, the dreaded second album, by releasing a more compelling effort than the first. Sidewalk Dave have grabbed that old albatross by the throat and throttled it into submission.

When a near-tragic accident threatened to halt the momentum of last year’s critical and popular success, Dave Van Witt and the band had a decision to make: wallow in misfortune by drowning their sorrows in cheap whiskey, or embrace the situation as a creative opportunity (also with cheap whiskey). Consider this The Beatles, on whiskey instead of acid or pot.

Bands who write whiskey-drinking songs are a dime a dozen, but Sidewalk Dave have raised the bar considerably, crafting an album inspired by, written while, and recorded under the influence of alcohol. This sounds like frat-boy fun and a recipe for sloppy songwriting, and in the hands of lesser musicians it certainly would be — at best — a clever gimmick. Sidewalk Dave pull it off. These guys are true artists.

Due out April 1st, Gold Liquid Mischief, like last year’s Songs for Cowards, is filled to the rim with rousing anthems about embracing your fears. Written in a mere seven months, these songs relate the highs and lows of days spent in a liquid amber haze, while keeping a bleary yet sharp eye on the goal of creating a unique work of art. This was no mere excuse to drink, but an act of sublime desperation.

They’ve descended deep into the gutter, rolled around for a bit, screwed their courage to the post, and ascended with a very mature and enthralling album.

The addition of new members Gabriel Cruz on lead guitar, and Patrick Dalton on trumpet, gives these songs new depth, especially on “Violence and Music” when Van Witt sings, “Music and peace sound weak to my ears. How much can you change without shedding a tear?”

Bruce Kings’ insistent drums drive the songs forward, particularly on the syncopated backbeat of “Holy Pocket Blues”, a mature wink and nod to Songs for Cowards’ “Wallet.”

“Lonedrunksome” is as pure a drinking song as ever there was, complete with its drunk-dialing reference, yet ethereal with windchimes that carry over mysteriously to the title track featuring lines like this: “Your tongue is a ghost from the Underworld. It’ll haunt you with slurs of dirty words.”

“Vodka Perfume” tells of a woman who keeps a bottle in her bathroom, running “drunken errands in her BMW” while her kids think she’s simply wearing Vodka-scented Eau de Cologne.

“Godless Universe” has the fuzziest, most memorable guitar riff since “Satisfaction.” Not only that, they attempt to rhyme the word ‘orange’ and nearly succeed. It’s an anthem for the thinking man. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

The album closes with “750ml of Spirit”, a rollicking, chugging romp about a drunk preacher. “Whatever works for you, Reverend.”

Play this one at full volume on a drive in the country, but just don’t drink and drive. Besides, Sidewalk Dave has drunk enough for us all. - CountryMusicPride.com


"Article about Sidewalk Dave"

“Over the past few years, approximately one zillion young musicians have put their own spin on a fusion of contemporary indie rock and American roots music. It’s quite a trick to stand out from that pack. Sidewalk Dave does. The New Haven-area band’s album Songs for Cowards was one of our favorite local releases of 2009 and holds its own amongst the work of their nationwide peers. Sidewalk Dave (a guy actually named Dave, plus his bandmates) plies raucous garage-country and folk rock with slow dynamic builds, genuinely thoughtful lyrics, and the spirit of someone young and eager who nonetheless has really lived." - Fairfield County Weekly


"Live Review"

"Sidewalk Dave ripped into 'Godless Universe' as if articulating a ballad eating at the hearts of everyone in the room. [He] rallied the band, yelling "come on, boys!" and rotated on heel to face them during a period of fiendish hook."
read more at: http://issuu.com/soundmagazine/docs/issue8feb10/34?mode=a_p - Sound Magazine


"Radio press"

"Quite an interesting little band."
DJ - Von - Americana Rock Mix


"Songs For Cowards - Review"

Right off the bat, a plaintive voice confesses “I’m a coward.” So begins Sidewalk Dave’s Songs for Cowards, the latest effort from this Connecticut four piece. The same narrator on the album’s final cut — his voice scarred by experience and emboldened with newfound confidence and resolve — announces “I’m no coward.” Quite a lofty goal to attempt a transformation from cowardice to bravery within the half-hour confines of an album.
Sidewalk Dave succeeds, and we’re all the better for it.
Along the way there’s an inspired cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Chord Organ Blues” that starts off with percussion that sounds exactly like The Flying Lizards’ cover of the Barrett Strong classic “Money (That’s What I Want).” When frontman Dave Van Witt howls “For every chord that is played / There is a reward in my heart that has paid. / ‘Cause my soul loves music / And it loves to hear it made,” he makes you believe it right down deep in your soul — or at least the soles of your feet.
The pealing guitars and raw vocals on these songs are reminiscent of early Camper Van Beethoven at their best, sans ska beats and ubiquitous whiny violin. Actually, the album evokes a mood of landlocked pirates belting out concrete sea shanties on dusty street corners, cobbling together new anthems for the fearful and dispossessed wishing to break out of their self-constructed prisons.
“Wallet” is an energizing dirge, an aural contradiction: “My wallet is so paper thin / I’m afraid it might blow away in the wind” — you almost end up feeling sorry for those poor slobs who have more than you do, or who aren’t “a dying breed.” It’s pure poverty as a badge of courage.
Sidewalk Dave do not ask for pity with these songs; theirs is a call to action: face your fears. You get so caught up in the emotional content throughout Songs for Cowards that by the end you don’t feel pummeled by the message, so much as surrounded and absorbed by it.
The short “War at the Altar” ends the effort with the mantra, “I’m no coward” repeated in different guises. A brave effort, to be sure. - Country Music Pride


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

There is something "oddly american" about Sidewalk Dave’s new 90’s drenched release Hard On Romance. In 2007, the band forged a rebellious brotherhood together in New Haven, CT. The often nomadic David Van Witt has relocated the band to Brooklyn in conjunction with their latest release, Hard On Romance-- #9 on Lewis and His Blog's Top 50 Albums of 2012.

They have shared the stage with rockers with roots Deer Tick, The Low Anthem, O’Death, and Woods. Producer Bill Readey at Fuzzy Rainbow Production captures the symbiotic magic of their live set - from the confessional off- kilter waltz of ‘Cayenne’ to the dreamy, dark psychedelia of ‘Honey Bee’ and the good ole four-to-the-floor rock ‘n roll on ‘Soft Portal’, all of it drips wet with sunrise regrets.

Their last full-length, Gold Liquid Mischief was credited to 3 Best of 2010 lists and bold national press like this; “Consider them The Beatles, on whiskey," No Depression (Mar 28, 2010). After that “Can’t Be Your Friend” was hailed as "...easily one of the best releases of 2011" CT.com (Dec 14, 2011).