Dan Weber – The Way The River Goes (2022)

Posted by Green on January 31, 2022as


There are many songwriters that have come down through the decades. Some have style, creativeness, many do indeed have good voices though that isn’t always a requirement. Some artists are fairly plain, have no clue about being an original.

Texas-based Dan Weber is an average singer with a pleasant voice (really good on “Call It a Night” – almost like Marc Cohn). He doesn’t yet have a distinctive voice like John Prine, James Taylor, or Fred Neil. But it’s his compositions that are winning & give him convincing value. He’s an original. Weber tries to be different; sounds wonderfully sincere; his words are well-chosen & not weighed down always by cliches.

Surprisingly, this “average Joe” has some gold in his pocket musically. He’s a pebble in the rock garden of Gordon Lightfoot, Townes van Zandt, Harry Chapin & Eric Andersen. But it’s his writing, how he applies words to melodies that are faithful, genuine.

“While You Were Sleeping,” is delicate, pure & the way Weber showcases it is impressive. It’s a dazzling beautiful ballad. Lovely stuff. I seldom hear material of this quality from independents. Even for a pro with a track record — Springsteen should write a ballad this good.

These 14 from Dan’s 3rd CD The Way The River Goes (Droops Jan 28–Highway 142 Music) are articulate & appealing. Legendary singer Ramblin’ Jack Elliott praised Dan’s work. What I like is that he also reminds me of a forgotten singer-songwriter the late David McWilliams. David recorded many LPs in England & is known for “The Days of Pearly Spencer.” David’s “Marlena,” “There’s No Lock Upon My Door,” “Can I Get There By Candlelight,” all well-written memorable tunes & with “Ghosts of Wichita,” Dan Weber follows in big footsteps.

“Goodbye New Orleans,” is melodically distinguished with a light accordion & snap of snare. This is excellence in songwriting. It has substance. Weber’s also not afraid to address a tragedy. “Ever Since Columbine,” is one of the few times I saw mention of this in a song. In the 60s it would’ve been out within a week of the event.

At times Dan grazes the style of the late David Blue, though Weber’s vocals are superior. “We all have our ghosts, but I don’t need mine anymore.” Good, cool lyric.

Produced by Rob Stroup (bass/drums/percussion/organ/electric guitar/vocals). The songs are performed by Dan (acoustic guitar), Michael Henchman (5-string electric bass), Paul Brainard (electric guitar/pedal steel), Kathryn Claire (fiddle), Jenny Conlee-Drizos (accordion), Tim Connell (mandolin), Tony Furtado (banjo/dojo), & David Lipkind (harmonica).

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