The Tin Man
Dan Webster is one of the growing band of folk/acoustic musicians who have produced their own albums and before you even get to the music the striking monochrome artwork of his gatefold sleeve is reminiscent of The Beatles Revolver.
There's no two ways about it, Webster has a wealth of emotion in his voice and his singing is solid, clear and very easy on the ear and the ballad does ease you into an album which showcases his versatility.
He picks up the pace for Elvis with a honky tonk/cajun rhythm which is banged out in a toe-tapping way by Yom Hardy, It does have a feel of the late great Kirsty MacColl's There's a Guy Works Down the Chip shop. Webster slows it down again for the gentle ballad Number 17 which is inspired by the bus journeys he used to take and sings of how even a short journey can show you a microcosm of life. His singing, on this one, does bear a remarkable similarity to Elton John. The singer/songwriter shows his emotional side with Gold and Tin. There is a plaintive feel to his singing and his voice has an earthy quality as he stays on the lower part of the scale.
|A British Man O War|
Webster's voice takes on another persona for his arrangement of British Man of War, he sounds not a million miles away from Billy Bragg. It's a wonderfully traditional tale of a sailor and the two loves of his life. Gracie Hawkins adds some lovely, subtle harmonies to the song. This slips nicely into the following ballad One To Remember which has a much more country-style and fuller production sound. Webster's voice rises to the occasion building up to a crescendo to take the tune out.
|The Tin Man|
The final track on the album is Gin, Webster goes out with all guns blazing in this rock 'n' roll number. His playing is as solid as it gets but his voice doesn't sound entirely comfortable singing the heavier style of music.
The Tin Man is a good album to have in the car, it's one of those where you can rock your head to, sing along to, drum the steering wheel to and thoroughly enjoy yourself.
The Tin Man is released on Paper Plane Records on February 9.
|The Mike Harding Folk Show|