Dave Plaehn hails from the state of Oregon in the beautiful United States of America. His blues and adult contemporary style of music makes for a passionate and unique sound. While being born and raised in Iowa, Plaehn’s parents sang around the house and influenced him to become a singer as well. One of Plaehn’s high school memories was playing in a band, covering acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Cream. Throughout the rest of his life, Plaehn got into blues and pursued his music career to gear toward this genre.
Plaehn recently released his full-length album, titled Amos Got Soul, in May 2013. This twelve-track release focuses on emotional lyrics, simplistic melodies, and a soulful vibe. “(You’re Still) In My Hair” is the opening song for the album– and it starts with a bang. Even though the song sounds quite simple, the passion in Plaehn’s voice makes for a different kind of experience than expected. Heartbreak, sadly, is the focus of this track. “Doodle Li” has an interesting title as it isn’t exactly a word. This song is fun and simple; singing “doodle li” over and over again seems to give off a great vibe.
Prepare yourself: “Hold My Tears” features extremely emotional lyrics. If you’re getting over a bad break-up, this song will either tear you apart or build you to become stronger. It’s a slow song that doesn’t ever build up very much, so don’t expect a happy ending. The title track of the album opens with a dreamy sequence and Plaehn’s distinguishing vocals. This slow ballad seems to whisper right into your ear effortlessly. “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” and “The Woman I Left Behind” are easily made out to be love songs about the one who got away. The use of the harmonica in the latter song adds Plaehn’s flair to the track.
You will be in shock when you press play on “I Want To.” The first surprise? Plaehn’s vocals aren’t opening the song. The second surprise is the fact that this is a reggae song. Just when you think the album won’t pick up again, Plaehn smacks you right across the face with this track. The placement of the track on the album was done marvelously, and not to mention that the song is a great pick-me-up. “Stranger Blues” is a stereotypical harmonica track that will remind you of the great blues that many musicians in America have created. This song is literally nothing but Plaehn and his harmonica: an inseparable combination.
“I’m Not Brokenhearted,” another love ballad on this album, has a questionable title. Plaehn’s lyrics make him out to be a fool with a broken heart, but he pleads his case well on this track. This song is something that you could slow dance to at your next gathering with your sweetheart. “Harp Stomp II” opens with a harmonica introduction and builds up into a wild track. This instrumental beaut is fun and has plenty of potential for a round of dancing. “Pray Jesus” is a piano ballad about our Lord and Saviour. Plaehn expresses his religious beliefs through this track on the album. Last but not least, “Somebody Waits for Me” closes Amos Got Soul with a bang. This feel-good track will leave you wanting more.
As a whole, this album begins as a sad and lovey piece of art and grows into a positive and soulful experience. It truly feels as if the listener grows with Plaehn and shares the same experience as he does. When you think that the album is becoming a bore, you’ll be woken right up with the next track; Plaehn knows exactly why he placed each track where it stands now. Kick off your shoes and have a great time in the backyard with Dave Plaehn.