Rich Warren - Sing Out! (Fall 1998, Vol. 43, number 2, page 135)
[Greg Trafidlo's Old Dog New Tracks (1997)] Trafidlo is a unassuming Virginia-based musician who puts more effort into making music than making money from it. This new self-produced CD is a delightful collection of humorous and serious songs (and some that are a combination of the two) accompanied by lively and always production, from simple acoustic guitar to electric guitar, bass, synthesizer and drums. Even at its most produced, the songs float on the accompaniment rather than being lost in it. Trafidlo's pleasing voice, with occasional help from Laura Pole's, carry these 14 composed or co-composed songs well.
The opener, "(I Got Stuck Behind) Buford" is a wonderfully whimsical look at being stuck behind a slow driver. Trafidlo gets maximum mileage from the joke, without belaboring the joke. He reprises "The Seafood Shop Shantyman Song" from a previous recording about a landlocked seafood counterman in a grocery store longing for the sea. Sung like a shanty with a chorus it's rollicking fun. "The Tumbler," set in a laundromat parodies the pop hit "The Gambler," with a full load of puns. "Love In The Same Old Skin," both humorous and thoughtful, sings of sex in an old-age home. "Big As Life" tells the enchanting story of a father, perhaps his, who unknowingly appeared in a magazine beer ad with Stan Musial.
Trafidlo demonstrates a way with words and the ability to spin an engrossing tale. In a more serious vein, "Behavior/Self" sings of psyche, stress and self-help in a disarming manner, while "Whatcha Gonna Leave? (When You Leave)" asks and answers one of the basic questions of the soul. It sounds inspired by Si Kahn's song of a similar title. Trafidlo has made a highly musical, fresh-sounding recording that can be enjoyed by a wide audience.