Cardo and Friends is the debut album by El Paso-based singer songwriter Cardo. Produced by David Kershenbaum, the album’s fifteen tracks are a mixture of alternative country, rootsy storytelling and straightforward rock textures.
Cardo is the principal songwriter and lead vocalist, whose performance style ranges from passionate vocals to man-on-the-street storytelling. His vocal style has drawn comparisons to Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and Robbie Robertson – not only for his deep tones – but the ease with which he switches from lyrical phrasing to intimate narration.
Musically, Cardo draws influences from the rough and ready rock of Neil Young to the country-tinged flavors of Poco and points in between. His El Paso roots shine through with a varied mix of rock, country, americana, and hints of latin beats. Acoustic instruments such as dobro and stand-up bass mix with Hammond B3 and electric guitar to great effect.
Lyrically, Cardo’s songs cover a range of topics and moods. “World Gone Wrong” offers a stark, uncompromising assessment of school shootings and the implications for our greater social landscape. “Help Me, Tell Me” has a funky, light latin beat that belies a narrative about an encounter with homeless man. In contrast, the soft rock track “Restless Spirit” paints a warm portrait of a wandering soul and “Christmas Eve Alone” offers a heartwarming vibe and a catchy, sing along chorus.
In a nod to Cardo’s favorite musicians – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – he offers his own version of their classic “Find the Cost of Freedom”. It follows Cardo’s song “Did Anyone?”, a tribute to the generations of servicemen and women who have bought our freedom with their lives.