David Zollo Performs in Cardigan park


Laine Forbes, reporter

Families and friends gather after waiting two months to watch David Zollo and Brian Cooper live in Cardigan Park on Tuesday, September 13th. 

Zollo performed music that he’s made throughout his 3-decade career including songs like I’ll Fly Away From You, Washington County Blues, and If I Had the Wings of a Dove. Zollo also performed covers such as Louisiana Rain by Tom Petty and Under Your Spell by Buck Owens. 

“When I perform it’s always about the moment, I played 150-200 nights a year for 30 years. It’s a lot of moments in there and magic can happen, and there are some magical moments in every performance,” said David Zollo

Zollo does not play with a set list nor does he record the shows he performs. “I’m not a big believer in recording my shows and listening back,” Zollo said “it tends to demystify the magical things that happen.”

“It’s the nature of a performance like this, the beauty of playing music where we improvise a lot,” Zollo said, “having an experience that seems organic to us and feels like it moves in some kind of natural way. In that sense I don’t feel myself saying ‘I shouldn’t have played that song’.”

When talking about performing in recent years compared to the beginning of his career 30 years ago. Zollo said he caught what he considered the “tail end of the live music era”. When he first started performing he and his bandmates were all college age, but Zollo said that they could book a weekday gig and sell out. As years went on the type of crowds they got weren’t the same as when they first started. 

“More kinds of people wanted to hear live music I’ve found,” Zollo said “it has slowed down, and that’s because of all the different kinds of entertainment choices people have. There’s a lot of things that contribute, and I’m not saying it’s good, bad, or indifferent, but it has changed.”

Zollo talked about how Iowa city was a good place for young people who want to make music. He said the people who live here are encouraging when it comes to the literary arts. Talking about his father who went to writers workshop and his grandfather who was also a musician. 

“There aren’t many places where you will be encouraged to consider being an independent rock and roll musician as a vocation,” Zollo said “one of the greatest things about Iowa City is being an artist in this town.”