I’m so tired/he says in the opening track of “The Prince William Sound.” In Alaska, he’s had enough of the rugged edges of the world, where the male female ratio is so off balance that bar fights are sometimes the only solution for a jilted lover. He wants to possess the body of his girlfriend's new boyfriend so that she will make love to him. The rocking chorus picks up the pace/but I love you more/than anyone could know/do not know anyone at all.
Dondero describes San Francisco, as the coldest city on earth in the song “When the Heart Breaks So Deep.” Leaving Alaska didn’t change his luck. The steady beat of the drum and electric guitar leads as Dondero masterfully describes the many ways he’s been broken, beat and played out like a fool: "Your eggs are runny/because somebody broke out all the yolk/or/deep butterflies are bleeding in your guts/."
The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational sanctuary and the backdrop for Dondero to praise the virtues of authentic religious inspiration. He anoints a revered musician and sees the light and power in the church of Saint John Coltrane. He intertwines love with religious philosophy. "My religion is nature, art and literacy/my religion is science music and poetry /…and my religion is in your eyes / but my church ain’t organized/." Dondero highlights his genuine inspiration with a quote by Charlie Parker “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn, chances are you won’t be reborn.”
Featuring Piano and soft pedal steel guitar “Simple Love” is a sad and moving song that reaches emotional heights when Dondero’s wavering vocals are complimented by female vocalist Renee Woodward as they sing "I was born for the simple love/I was worn like a boxing glove/I was torn from the human skies above/." Together their voices have an old fashioned quality found in early country male-female duos. My favorite line is his questioning his exes intentions: "How could you say you love him/ you don’t even like his music/." This is the ultimate betrayal of a musician.
He revisits the concept of eternal love in Oakland (the city of pain) in the song “Stuck on the Moon”. He sings "I want to contradict the past / want our love affair to last/Ending with the ultimate commitment/you give me thoughts of a baby/." But for him it’s just a concept.