Interview by Danny Coleman
What do Whitney Houston, Rupert Holmes and Phoebe Snow all have in common? Give up? The answer is Dave Vargo and this former guitarist for the aforementioned has finally utilized his immense talent to release a CD of his own material.
“Burning Through” not only lives up to its name but stokes rock ‘n’ roll fires that have smoldered inside this New Jersey artist perhaps longer than he’ll care to admit. This 11 song combination of upbeat electric and acoustic offerings is crafted with the experience of a veteran musician yet the freshness of a newbie making one’s first record.
Immediately setting the tone, Track One, “Come Take me Home” is an up tempo tune and a perfect opener. The song’s crisp production allows for Vargo’s vocal ability to sell it right from the start and is an attention grabber, the sort which makes one say; “Whoa, who is this?”
Up next is “Good Enough,” a driving drum driven track, which as an outsider looking in appears to be a bit biographical and touches on Vargo’s own insecurities about returning to the music scene; maybe a bit unsure as to whether or not he’ll be accepted. None the less, a cut with a great vibe.
Track Three is an acoustic rocker called, “Choose.” The tune’s choppy rhythms and quick tempo stray from the path of the first two cuts and features a neat guitar lead about three quarters of the way in.
Staying acoustic, “Wishing On A Star” shows Vargo at perhaps his strength; solo with his Martin. This track has some backing percussionand some additional instrumentation but mostly it’s just the artist in his purest form; something where he excels. “You’ve been wishing on a star it hasn’t taken you too far…” Hmm, seems like we may have all been there at one time or another.
“Finding My Way To You” reflects his surroundings. Utilizing acoustic and electric guitars, along with a well mixed backing organ track, this one rocks from start to finish and has that “Jersey Shore” sound reminiscent of the late ’70’s and 1980’s which permeated boardwalks from Asbury Park to Wildwood.
Reverting back to his acoustic side, “Too Young To Be Broken” is a somber selection; “Now your dreams are gone and long forgotten, many words left unspoken, too young to be broken;” a haunting reminder of misspent youth and the ageless desire to recapture it? The beauty of this tune is that Vargo leaves it open to interpretation which may have one questioning their own accomplishments or lack there of; definitely thought provoking.
The seventh track, “Waiting” is also acoustic driven and picks up nicely about a third of the way in and then gives way to Track Eight titled, “Right Now.” This electrified rocker is both up tempo and yet takes its time getting to the end. A very enjoyable tune which, much like the opening track would have one wondering, who is this artist and then reaching for their Shazam App.
“Twisted And Bent” is a tail of failure and missteps in which he seems to be imploring a nameless subject to accept their lot and move on. One may get the impression that Vargo feels sorrow watching the events of this life unfold and he wishes that he could help but knows he can not.
Track Ten is the syncopated, “Don’t Think Twice.” Featuring a nice toe tapping meter and a smooth guitar lead which serves as a nice transition to a harder edge. This song starts out singer/songwriter and finishes strong.
The final cut is, “Pieces Of My Heart” and allows the disc to come full circle. Not quite as rocking as the opening track, this one changes gears several times before coming to an end with some nifty guitar riffs.
Overall, “Burning Through” is long overdue from an artist such as Vargo whose experience, talent and lyrical ability are truly a hidden gem. No longer a diamond in the rough, he is proof that it’s never to late to get started.
To purchase the the disc and/ir discover more about Dave Vargo; please go to www.davevargomusic.com.
Danny Coleman (Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.)