Laura Jane Grace to release David Dondero EP on Total Treble. 

Celebrated American songwriter David Dondero is excited to announce the Friday, November 4 release of his anticipated EP titled, WITH LOVE. The EP will be released on Against Me!/Laura Jane Grace’s label, Total Treble (in partnership with Ingrooves). WITH LOVE is now available for pre-oder via the Total Treble website (LP, CD and digital) with the LP being limited to 1000 copies. 
 
Longtime fans of critically acclaimed song writer David Dondero might recognize all six of the song titles listed on the back cover of his new EP, With Love (out November 4)—that’s because they are also a part of his most recent full-length, 2013’s This Guitar. But these six tracks aren’t re-records; they’re actually pre-records.
 
“In the autumn of 2012, I was touring through Florida and I happened to run into Laura Jane Grace in St. Augustine,” Dondero explains. “I had a batch of new songs, so she was like, ‘You should come by my new studio tomorrow and check it out!’”
 
Dondero has been making solo albums for nearly two decades (either self released by a recent Kickstarter or through various independent labels such as Ghostmeat, Future Farmer and Team Love).  His history with the Against Me! frontwoman dates back to the start of both of their musical careers, when the duo played a gig inside a laundromat in Gainesville, Florida in the late ’90s. They’ve been friends and occasional tourmates ever since, so when the invitation was extended to check out Grace’s new studio inside an old post office west of I-95 outside of St. Augustine, Dondero didn’t hesitate to say yes.
 
“It was a happy accident,” the singer/songwriter admits. “I just came in, checked out the studio and she was like, ‘You wanna play a couple songs?’ So I played these songs then had to go onto Orlando, and that was that. We ended up recording all six songs in just about an hour. I think we did them all in one take and then they were shelved when the studio closed after being crushed by a falling tree.”
           
The recording session sat untouched for the next few years until Grace unearthed it in early 2016 as she was preparing for a slate of solo shows with Dondero. The idea was pitched to release it on Grace’s label, Total Treble, as a sonic snapshot of a traveling musician doing what he does best in the most intimate possible setting.
           
“I’m really thankful she’s putting this out.” Dondero says. “I like the songs better with no revision to the lyrics and I was surprised how good the recording sounded. It’s more truthful to the original idea. I like what we did to them on This Guitar, too, but the original versions I think are a little more to the heart.”
 
Most of Dondero’s songs are rooted in real life events, and “Boxer’s Fracture” is no different. The song, penned in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting in June 2012, tells the story of the singer overhearing some gun enthusiasts at a bar in Annapolis, Maryland, who were making fun of the tragedy.
 
 “They were laughing and making fun of what went down in Colorado.” he recalls. “I couldn’t believe it.  They were convinced more guns were the solution.  Boasting about rushing down to Walmart to buy up all the AR-15’s before Obama takes them away.  Well guess what, he never took them away. So I wrote this song about my frustration about what’s happening in this country.  People are completely desensitized and the hanging trees are mocking the weeping willows.”
           
Another of With Love’s highlights is an early version of “Samantha’s Got A Bag Of Coal,” written about the inspiring life and tragic death of Samantha Dorsett, founder of Plan-It-X Records and member of the transgender community. Grace had herself only come out as transgender just a few months prior to Dondero’s recording session and was also a friend of Dorsett’s, adding to the raw emotion present in the take.
 
“I felt that Laura would understand and appreciate the song because she knew Samantha Dorsett as well,” Dondero comments. “Samantha took her own life. I don’t know for certain why she did but I have feeling it had something to do with the way she was being treated by the society we live in.  Years ago, Samantha dressed up like Santa Clause in a red white and blue bikini in Bloomington, IN and gave chunks of coal to all the bad adults in town. That’s how I got the title. She was a positive peaceful force.  I saw how empowered she was when she made the transformation and I respected her for doing what she did. That’s what the song is about. I’m paying homage to the beauty of Samantha Dorsett and exposing the hatred that brought the sadness that took her away from us. I tried to make it a beautiful reflection of her.”
 
Now that this long-lost recording session is seeing the light of day as With Love, Dondero hopes it isn’t the last time he and Grace work together. “I’d love to do another record with her,” Dondero concludes. “She’s awesome. It was so comfortable working with Laura, very easy going. She definitely knows what she’s doing behind the controls. With Love is a simple recording, and I’m very happy with the way it sounds. I’m thankful that she’s putting it out.”
 
With Love track listing:
01. Take a Left Turn in Boise
02. Boxer’s Fracture
03. Roses and Rain
04. Alcohol
05. This Guitar
06. Samantha’s Got a Bag of Coal 
 
 
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