David Stockdale – Dark Riders

American Folk/blues songwriter David Stockdale has pleased audiences with his folk/blues music and albums for over a decade, sending his soulful sounds into eager hearts. With his fourth album Dark Riders released via Tanzan Music, he has returned with a new direction in his musics evolution.  Maybe direction is a bit dramatic but he has certainly expanded it with added pop and R&B sounds and across the release there is a pacier feel without any detriment to his trademark emotive essence lyrically and aurally.

Santa Barbara born Stockdale has brought an even deeper and attentive touch lyrically to his songs on Dark Riders, relating social themes and personal experiences with very adept skill and feeling. He gives the songs with his poetic words, a depth that behind the livelier sounds continues his reputation for bringing introspective and emotionally strong power into his music. Dark Riders has a freshness and familiarity that instantly endears itself to listener and brings one into its heart with ease.

From the opening grace of Here Comes The Night the album plays nicely within the ear. Stockdales vocals are smooth and full of feeling and he is immediately shown as an artist in confident control of his ability and vision. Behind Stockdale the delightful voices of Elisa Paganelli and Martha Tansini give a soothing and extra layer to the tone of this and each song, and whether on this mid pace opener, the ballad Oh To Be Loved or the poppy Boogaloo You the combination is eagerly welcome.

High As A Kite a song combining a soul groove and pop essences, is another to light up the senses with its easy flow, and the guitar of Marco Tansini, who also provides the album’s keys, bass, production and more, within it is a joy. He never overdoes things to become the focal point of any song but flavours them with distinct and exciting touches. The track is an example of the good variation within the album and even if your taste is for heavier and striking riff laden sounds there is plenty within Dark Riders to get enthused about.

Tracks like the touching Earthquake, the excitable and lightly bustling Who, plus closing song Right From The Heart featuring Sofia Fragile on backing vocals and another track that rings deeply with an honesty and truth most can relate to in some degree, show the strength of Stockdales writing and performance. Though this is not the kind of music that would be first choice on this reviewer’s daily playlist it is impossible not to become wrapped up in its flow and tender arms and certainly for all singer/songwriter fans David Stockdale and Dark Riders is worth more than a moment of your time.

RingMaster 23/02/2012

Copyrighted 2011-10-29 15:06:50 UTC


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