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'Over The Red Sea'   

-  Label: 'Faw Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '4th March 2022'-  Catalogue No: 'FR-1100'

Our Rating:
Stephen Doster’s third solo album is dedicated to the memory of Nanci Griffith; he was the guitarist and musical director on her early records.

Doster describes the acoustic-centred songs as a kind of musical travelogue. The cover image is taken in a boat by the Horn of Africa, the opening track (When I Cross The Divide) portrays the streets of London and The Singing Bus Driver takes him to Northern Ireland post-Troubles where “love is a survivor”

A Better World is a tribute to 32-year-old, Heather Heyer, who was tragically killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Although he’s a Texan, the Austin-based songwriter and producer’s voice is strongly reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s. He also shares Macca’s love of strong melodies and peace-loving sentiments.

A strong theme of the record is a search for simplicity and an implicit rejection of materialism. Who’s Crying Now? warns against an over-dependency on worldly wealth which is reinforced with We’ll Still Have Today where he sings that “it’s the loving things that give us peace of mind.” This mindfulness is carried through to Blue Heron where Doster advises that we must be “careful not to miss the sweet things right before your eyes.”

All this isn’t world-shattering but the gentle spiritualism at the heart of the record is a welcome antidote to the dog eat dog cynicism that plagues the planet right now.

Stephen Doster’s website
  author: Martin Raybould

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DOSTER, STEPHEN - Over The Red Sea