Viewing: Album Reviews - View all posts

The Tin Man. Review by Rudie Humphrey - 11th June 2015 

This is a man with tears running down his face and trickling in to his whiskey, gruff, croaky, yet sensual, warm tones are the wonderful welcome to this truly excellent album. Full of the standard themes of art, love, loss, drinking, the tough love of the road and the difficulty in being heard, let alone listened to, Webster does and it would appear to have (should that be suffered) it all. Throughout there is a recurring cello, Rachel Brown, which throbs, welling up, like pressing on a bruise, it is exquisite and shows, if proof was needed that Webster doesn’t just have an ear for a tune, a turn of phrase but an ear for how to build a great tune. ‘Elvis’, a tale of the jobbing musician, has a barn stormer of a guitar lick and its terrific country shuffle is as good as you’ll hear on any record out of Austin or Nashville.
It seems, or the illusion is at least that with album number 3 that Webster has stuck to writing what he knows, and after number two Radio 2 success he’s stepped on, and up. This is a home recording, a converted garage at his and Brown’s home, surrounded by the best that medieval York has to offer it is truly remarkable. Consider this Webster is UK Americana’s Graham Le Saux, reliable, top of his game, peerless, number 3 or 4 on the team sheet for every international, but yet not truly valued. Only when he’s not there do you realise that we need him badly. Leaving us exposed to that tricky left hand side problem. He is the missing link, the joining point, where folk fuses with country – he is Anglicana.
OK I get that Webster might not be the first name on your team sheet (or shopping list), he’s not your 25+ goals striker (Dan Champs?) or your long term Mr Dependable between the sticks (Bragg?) but he does the dirty work, 8/10 week in week out. Webster is Le Saux or Pearce, ever present, quietly doing his work, making little to no mistakes, performing at international standard effortlessly. This is that record, beautiful, a malleable mash of folk, country and Alt rock. It’s a record for all not just affecionars. You want to hear what UK Americana is, ‘The Tin Man’ is it, rooted in English folk, influenced by Cash/Young/Springsteen. He is this generation’s Thompson, a generation that grew up listening to their parents Steeleye Span and Lindesfarn, and bought The Cure and Mellencamp when he was still a Cougar. He makes them all, and this is the place to find them, heartbreakers – ‘One to Remember’, drunken Quo’esq stompers – ‘Gin’ and wispy ethereal other worldy folk roots from the backwoods – ‘Gold and Tin’. This is a record that all should own, and is the campaign rallying cry for a genre trying to make its voice heard in a crap filled cluttered world called the music business. The standard is set, now pick up that banjo, guitar or fiddle and beat it.

The Tin Man. Review by JRT - Rock Society 2015 

Yorkshire based singer songwriter Dan Webster has been highly acclaimed, and listening to his new album The Tin Man, you can see why.  An intelligent and well-observed songwriter Webster reminds me in part of Damian Rice, and just like Damien Rice, there is no weak song on this album.
From the Americana stomp of Elvis, to the wistful memories evoked by Number 17, with it’s lovely harmonies and beautiful guitar playing and vocals, Webster is a versatile singer and performer, and at the heart of this record is the warmth and intimacy his vocals provide.
His songwriting is peerless as is his skill at rearranging traditional pieces like British Man Of War, Spanish Ladies/When Johnny Comes Marching Home, telling the sailors story and giving us as an astonishing performance that breathes new life into old songs, making them as poignantly relevant today as they ever were.
With the closing trio of Old Friends, Goodbye and Gin pulling the curtain down on a magnificent tour de force of songwriting, and a musical look at the different journeys we all take that lead us to the same end, Webster truly makes his mark on the musical scene, and this album really is a joy to listen to.

The Tin Man. Review by Mike Davies - 

Apparently born on a boat while mum was gathering lobster pots, it's been six years since the Scarborough singer-songwriter's sophomore album, Diamond Land (itself, six years on from his debut), the only release in the interim being last year's The Sea & Other Things EP, featuring three live recordings, the unavailable elsewhere Price and yet another version of Frank Dalton, the track from his debut which was nominated for Fatea's track of the year in its 2012 single version.
Between albums, Webster has reined in a tendency to sometimes go overboard on soaring vocal drama (something that had me likening him to Chris De Burgh) and now delivers his ballads in a quiveringly heartfelt manner through which the passion and emotional intensity bleeds as his songs mine a running theme of life's journeys, metaphorical and actual, and their accompanying loss.
Where past references cited Damien Rice, Tom McRae, Seth Lakeman and David Gray, listening to the yearning acoustic Number 17 with its aching memories of loss the comparison that comes most to mind is the very best of Harry Chapin, albeit with an English accent. The emotion in his rasped voice is underscored by some lovely cello work from Rachel Brown, his wife, a pairing heard to resonant effect throughout, most especially on slow waltzing opener Dancers, the sort of hopeless romantic number that has grown men going weak at the knees, and the traditional tale of a sailor leaving his love behind to do his duty, the spare, melancholic British Man of War featuring harmonies by Grace Hawkins.
Balladry is Webster's default mode here, no less superbly assayed on the unspoken love regrets of Gold And Tin, Old Friends with its connection between music and memories, Goodbye's simple, heartfelt meditation on mortality with the cello poignantly ghosting the refrain from Over The Rainbow (adding to the album's assorted Wizard of Oz references) and the waltzing, anthemic piano backed Only Remember with its echoes of vintage Elton John.
He does, however, do uptempo too. Mirroring the earlier nautical narrative, the no less traditional Spanish Ladies begins with Webster a capella before sailing into a robust slow swaying shanty with Pip Joplin on violin that then segues, via a jig bridge, into a stomping version of When Johnny Comes Marching Home with its military snare, gathering to a frenetic climax before ebbing away on Brown's mournful cello notes. There's a brace of rock n rollers, album closer, Gin, which goes out in a Chuck Berry blaze, with a possible nod to Dave Edmunds, and Elvis, a cocktail of Cajun and rockabilly built on the same foundations as Kirsty MacColl's chip shop that, featuring sparking guitar licks by Lloyd Massingham, turns a musician's wry eye on playing the pub circuit with its indifferent, rude audiences. "I don't think I'll be the big ticket this year," sings Webster. Have a heart and prove him wrong.

The Tin Man. Review by Simon Redley - Maverick Magazine. 

A coming-of-age third album * * * *
THE TIN MAN is British singer-songwriter Dan Webster’s third album release and perhaps his finest moment to date. A coming-of-age where his song-writing, arrangements and performance all match in quality. A seasoned touring performer, influenced by the sounds and storytelling traditions of American and British Folk music, Dan has been described as “A hybrid of Damien Rice, Seth Lakeman and Tom McRae”.
THE TIN MAN is a follow up to 2008’s DIAMOND LAND, which won him spins on BBC Radio 2. His low key debut, THE OTHER SIDE OF BRIGHTNESS, came out in 2003. He released a five-track EP. THE SEA AND OTHER THINGS in September last year.
This new album gives us 11 tracks; seven penned by Dan and two co-writes with Edward Simpson. He comes up with some classy arrangements of the traditional tunes When Johnny Comes Marching Home and British Man of War. Scarborough born and now based in York, Dan took charge of the production; solid and unfussy, with clarity of the vocal spot on. Dan plays acoustic and electric guitars across the album, joined by Grace Hawkins on vocal harmonies for three songs, Rachel Brown on cello and piano, Mark Waters on bass, Yom Hardy on drums and percussion, Pip Joplin on violin, Lloyd Massingham on guitar on two tracks and Ali Lawrence on piano on one. THE TIN MAN may well be filed under folk at first, but there are more layers to delve into on each listen. It explores folk, country and rock and roll, with the overall theme; a conceptual look at life’s journeys.
Dan’s musical journey seems to be on the right road. Come the tail end of 2015, I’m willing to bet that THE TIN MAN will make it on to a fair few ‘Best Of’ lists, and deservedly so.

The Tin Man. Review by Tom Walker - Blues Matters. 4th March 2015 

Here is a lyricist who can play his instruments with aplomb, and has written songs which resonate to life and is vocally, a joy to listen to. Webster has been on the music scene for some time but does not have the credit his work demands. That though is more of a comment on the idiosyncrasies of the record/CD buying public than it is about the Folk/Country/Rock/Americana form his music takes.
Now I have to be honest and say that if anyone had asked me before listening to the Tin Man what form of music did I not take to, then Folk and Country would have been top of the list. This disc then is a sort of “Saul on the road to Damascus” for me, Webster and his colleagues have converted me. Track 2 Elvis fairly belts along but retains his clarity of vocals and this pace is then countered by the very next track Number 17 a gentle, melodic pearl ironically about war, but which was quite beautiful to listen to. Track 6 British Man of War may seem a bit dated in terms of its title, but rest assured the lyrics and vocals are as crystal clear today as they would have been in the early 19th century. Overall this is a disc for relaxing at home of an evening with a glass of something warm and fruity.
The Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz needed a heart, but Dan Webster has plenty of heart and it is beating strongly in this album.

The Tin Man. Review by Ian D Hall - Liverpool Sound and Vision. 12th February 2015 

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
We have roads to travel upon; it’s how we explain the stories to those we meet along the way that is the key. One man’s pleasant trip down a leafy lane in the middle of spring with the sun at his back is another’s trudge through winter’s terminal grasp with nothing but the eyes of desperate and ravenous wolves reflecting the light of the dwindling fiery torch.
For Dan Webster, like so many of the classic British singer songwriters, the road travelled is both complicated by the appreciation of the moment and the displeasure of knowing that no mere word can ever truly capture life as it was at that second, for whilst The Tin Man may forever be in search of a heart on the road, Dan Webster has it in abundance and it shows with each passing song on his latest album.
The road is long, as they used to sing but it can carry the weight of the world as well and nothing brings out the best in Folk than to have lived the experiences that are being sang and The Tin Man offers glimpses into that world, even in the tremendous arrangements of old traditional songs, Spanish Ladies and When Johnny Comes Marching Home, the feel of someone’s life in the hands of a troubadour is to understand the heartbeat of someone you never will meet, it is to grasp an inkling of someone else’s story.
With contributions to the overall album from the likes of Rachel Brown’s wonderful cello, Lloyd Massingham’s guitar on the tracks Elvis and Gin, Grace Hawkins’ sublime vocals and Pip Joplin’s violin giving much pleasure, tracks such as Number 17, the excellent British Man of War and the stunning Old Friends, with its allusion to the Tin Man allegory in The Wizard of Oz, Dan Webster has released something very special in The Tin Man, a piece of music in which to try and understand another person’s journey and make a connection with it.
Your own road may be difficult, it could be as easy as being carried in a sedan chair, but it will never compare to someone else’s voyage through life unless you listen to it being told and appreciate its value.

The Tin Man. Review by Dai Jeffries - 4th February 2015 

Dan Webster is a singer/songwriter/guitarist with an eclectic taste in musical styles which he employs with great skill on his third album, The Tin Man.
The record opens with an impassioned ballad, ‘Dancers’. There’s lots going with a foundation of cello, bass and drums supporting Dan’s voice and guitar. It’s a strong voice, nothing fashionably ethereal but he can crack it painfully if he needs to and holler if that’s called for. After one track you’ve got his measure, right? Wrong!
Next up is ‘Elvis’, a sparkling piece of rockabilly with electric guitar by Lloyd Massingham. The sound of it raises a smile and then you pay attention to the lyrics. “Manufactured pop commercial toss, all this stuff I’m asked for” – this is the bitter lament of a real musician in an age of synthetic pap. That should raise a cheer. ‘Number 17’ combines elements of the preceding songs. It’s a nostalgic song of separation with big strings and unexpectedly busy drums by Yom Hardy giving it an odd feeling of urgency. In fact, Hardy’s drums are a big feature of the album.
Then – a traditional song, ‘British Man Of War’. Where did that come from? It’s an interesting choice given that it dates from one of the more shameful episodes in British history, the Opium Wars, a broken token ballad which could be terribly gung-ho except that Dan downplays that aspect of the story and concentrates on the girl waving goodbye to her sailor boy. Dan brings him home with a medley of ‘Spanish Ladies/When Johnny Comes Marching Home’ again downplaying the death and mutilation of sea battles.
The album closes with the tragic ‘Goodbye’ which would be a good finish, if something of a downer, but he grins, picks up his electric and blasts out a chunk of infectious rock’n’roll called ‘Gin’. That’s better. There should be more like Dan Webster around.

The Tin Man. Review by Danny Farragher - 6th February 2015 

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.
If you are going to open an album with style then you might as well make it a gorgeous piece of cello music and this is supplied by Rachel Brown who, together with Webster's slightly gravelly voice, makes it easy to slip into this album and straight away get caught up in Dancers.
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.
There is a hint of Simon & Garfunkel in the guitar intro to the ballad What It's For, however, for some reason Webster's voice doesn't sound as confident as on previous tracks. It is a strong jaunty ballad that canters along but it almost seems as if his heart isn't in this one.
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.
He gets seriously traditional with an epic track which starts with the Spanish Ladies, another song about life as a sailor out on the mercurial seas, which segues into Johnny Comes Marching Home. The first part does have the feeling of something you would expect from Show of Hands while the second sounds like something in the Merry Hell repertoire as Webster put his foot down on the musical gas but then it slides into a beautifully flowing cello ending courtesy of Brown. For Old Friends he goes back to a country sound again with his gravelly voice making the ballad sound very similar to the Saw Doctors' Clare Island in places. Webster's penultimate track sounds like Brown's cello is playing Over The Rainbow then once again his raucous voice gives it a deeply emotional edge and he sings like someone suffering the pain of serious loss.
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. Review by Simon Holland - Folk Radio 9th February 2015 

When Dan Webster’s The Tin Man dropped through my letterbox amidst a number of CDs vying for my attention, I slipped it from its jiffy bag and spent a good five minutes just looking at it. Wow! The cover features a drawing of Dan the troubadour in, as the title suggests, Tin Man guise, beautifully done and an immediate attention grabber. Opening it up there was more, a city or town (York as it turns out), with Dan depicted on a small boat in the thick of stormy waters. Having opened it up, it seemed only fair to extract the CD and give it a spin and I found myself more than impressed with that too. Mixing folk, country and even a little rock ‘n’ roll, all delivered with a clear, distinctive voice, some great playing and an immaculate sound, it stopped me in my tracks. I had to know more.
The attendant press release with the CD offered a couple of clues and I was much taken with a quote from Dan. Explaining the stylistic variety of his output he says, “It’s just about the music, there’s no plan when I’m writing, there doesn’t need to be. Writing is about honesty, we connect with real experiences and real emotions in music.” I categorically agree with the sense that slipping genres is unimportant, the song and performance are what matters. In the broader sense I also think there’s a large degree of truth in that, as even when we can’t define a specific narrative or meaning, performance can hook us in and we connect in a personal way with an artist. It’s like being given a key to a door and told to go and explore what lies beyond.
In setting out to explore The Tin Man, there’s the other clue in the press release, which asserts, “This album is a conceptual look at life journeys both metaphorically and direct.” It gives the album its overarching theme, but that is handled in a subtle way and individually the songs stand up for themselves, with their own stories to tell. That feeling is enhanced with some interesting choices from the tradition, which you could very well describe as key to setting the range for this album. In truth, however you choose to take these 11 songs, it’s Dan’s performance his voice, his arrangements and production that are the unifying factors.
I spoke to Dan briefly and he explained the gap of roughly five years between his last album and this new one telling me, “I wanted to take a step back to learn how to get better as an artist and songwriter.” He added, “I’ve continued to play gigs, doing some good support slots and a few festivals, so I didn’t stop making music completely.” A lot of the time was also taken up with a degree course in Music Production, which naturally enough has also fed into this project, which he has produced himself. Dan acknowledges that one of the pit falls of that is that you can get too close to the project, but feels that that is countered by a greater emotional involvement that runs through the writing, but continues right through the recording process to the final mixing and mastering.
He’s recruited a number of locals and is enthusiastic in singing the praise of all of them, although special mention should probably be made of Rachel Brown, Dan’s wife, who’s a professional musician in her own right and contributes cello, plus piano to two of the songs.
Rachel is indeed a feature of the opening bars of Dancers the first track on the album. It’s a hauntingly beautiful, bittersweet slow burn of a song that captures that frisson of loves first bite and the knife-edge of emotion therein. As well as Rachel’s elegant cello riff, Dan’s voice is strong and clear and immediately striking, he’s a fine singer for sure. The arrangement is superb too, with the sound crisp as you like and a natural looseness to the gentle skittering drums, while the bass accentuates the harmonies. Lyrically too it does a lot with a little, being economical yet heartfelt with Dan’s phrasing and fine melody ensuring they hit their mark.
The mood changes totally for Elvis, a perky rock ‘n’ roller with some tasty guitar licks provided by Lloyd Massingham, who Dan reveres as a legendary player amongst those that know. It’s a sly summary of the pub circuit, populated with indifferent audiences and inappropriate requests for unsuitable songs. In the end it seems that Dan is not a man to be deterred.
The next two drop the tempo again and there’s a nostalgic air to Number 17, with reminiscence of romance on the bus and the loss of a loved one in the war. Gold And Tin, is more oblique, but with the simple refrain of, “You can’t lose something you never had,” and a whiff of regret in “All the things I know I should have said.” Both are lovely, lovely pieces and again Dan’s voice really does make the most of the emotional weight of his songs. By contrast What It’s For, is brightly busy with crisp guitar lines and a patter of percussion, which sounds like a cajon. Here Dan’s voice has a little grit and once again the cello creates a subtle undertow, while some subtle vocal layering adds another fine detail to the mix.
In looking for a comparison, Boo Hewerdine comes to mind, but more for the elegant melodies and neat song structures than any direct suggestion of sound-alike. Boo, however, doesn’t have much, at least in his solo capacity with the folk tradition and British Man Of War is the first of three arrangements from Dan, which starts with sublime and mournful cello. There’s some lovely guitar work as the song and the rasp in Dan’s voice is once again apparent, especially as it’s contrasted with the sweeter tones of Grace Hawkins who sings harmony. The song of promises made on the advent of sailing to war are poignant, picking up on the fears realised in Number 17.
One To Remember was a vérité feel and to some extent is the flipside of Elvis. Here the on-the-road encounter isn’t with an indifferent audience, but with someone with a story of their own to tell. There’s a linking theme too, as the man reveals he’s travelled the world, suggestive of a merchant seaman, with a “girl in every bar.” The lesson here though is to value what you have, or risk living with regret. It bridges to Spanish Ladies, another song from the tradition picking up the nautical theme, but this time with more of the jolly-tar roister-doister swagger. Dan takes the first verse a cappella, but there’s also some lovely violin work from Pip Joplin, which combines wonderfully with the cello, while once again the bass does more than simply drive the rhythm. There’s a very clever segue via a merry jig into Johnny Comes Marching Home, which picks up the tempo, but carries a twist in the tail.
The album too caries a twist, with first the wistful tones of Old Friends, where people and guitar chords are mixed up in memories and the elegiac Goodbye, with its clever reference to Somewhere Over The Rainbow both in the cello line and lyrically, that considers our final parting, building a sweetly played melancholy. Gin, therefore leaps out of the blocks in startling style giving us the second out-and-out rocker and finishing things off with panache, albeit with a slightly pickled outlook.
The album provides the ideal, varied diet of musical nutrition and Dan Webster’s time learning the producer’s art and refining his own song craft has paid off handsomely, as the stories of the album add up to a cohesive, yet nuanced whole. He’s clearly surrounded himself with some great players, who flesh out these finely detailed arrangements with considerable skill. Most importantly, Dan’s a very good singer with a distinctive voice that has that hint of rasp to balance the sweet tones and is the glue that binds these songs together. His delivery is passionate, stirring and despite The Tin Man makeover, this album boasts a big, big heart.

'Frank Dalton' single review by Neil King of 'Fatea'. 

Every now and then there's a song comes around that gets you just there (places fist against chest), "Frank Dalton" is just such a song. It's a story song that tells the true story of the night of the 9th-10th December 1951 when the Scarborough Lifeboat launched to rescue the crew of the Dutch cargo vessel M.V. Westkust in treacherous seas.

The entire crew of the M.V. Westkust were saved in frightening conditions. Three of the crew of the lifeboat, E.C.J.R., were awarded the R.N.L.I. Bronze Medal for the rescue, John Nicholas Sheader (Coxswain), Thomas Jenkinson Mainprize (Assistant Mechanic) and Frank Dalton (Bowman), unfortunately Frank's award was posthumous.

It's an immensely powerful song and one that really strikes a chord as I come from a seafaring family and the RNLI are headquartered just around the corner from where I live, but if the song strikes a chord with me, that doesn't comes close to describing its importance to Dan Webster, writer and performer of the song as Frank Dalton is Dan's great granddad.

Dan has decided to donate all the proceeds from the song to the RNLI, the third part of a fund raising effort he's put in for the charity having taken part in both the Great North Run and the Chester Marathon already this year.

The RNLI survive entirely on public donation, there's no government handouts for the organisation and I could easily say that's reason enough to buy the song, but it's not reason enough, if that was reason enough I would suggest putting the money in one of their charity boxes, but you should do that anyway.

No you should get "Frank Dalton" because it's a really strong song, it does what music is supposed to do and that's move you. That you will be helping the RNLI by doing so is a real bonus.

Neil King


'NetRhythms' Review of 'Diamond Land' - September 2009 

"Hailing from Scarborough and apparently born on a boat while mum was gathering lobster pots, Webster's part of the earnest singer-songwriter school and writes songs about how he's not a reliable relationship bet (Falling), the hidden agendas of war (Diamond Land, Superstore), romances broken or blossoming (Caroline, What Are We Doing Here?, Borrowed And Blue), war not being a good thing (Fishing), and looking back on unfulfilled lives (Playing Cards).
His reflective lyrics often sounding more like those of someone three times his age and featuring characters in their autumn years, he sings with conviction and passion. And even if he does sometimes overplay the soaring vocal drama, he has an engaging voice (not, at times, like an amalgam of Damien Rice and David Gray) and the overall result makes for an impressive debut."

Mike Davis

'Maverick Magazine' review of 'Diamond Land' - September issue - 2009 

"Offering a personal outlet for Webster due to the intimate details discussed, this is a sombre yet quality album. Born just a stones throw away from Scarborough shore, this twelve track album is full of personal insight that gives more than an inkling into what irks this artist into putting pen to paper and, at times, can be moving that leads the audience into an escapist world which many should visit now and then. With an intriguing picking style to begin its proceedings, Waiting in line starts slowly but then builds up to a pace which is worth waiting for. With a stonking electric guitar solo in its middle, this track is certainly one which will, or probably does, get the crowd going into a mass frenzy. With a start similar to the one already mentioned, the enticing Superstore is full to the brim of electric guitar goodness which doesn't fail in stopping the foot from tapping. Superstore allows Dan to truly demonstrate his singing talents to probable audience appreciation. It has a feeling and glow of being perfect to play at the end of the night as it preaches, in a good way, some strong social comment which might leave the audience pondering on a few points which they might have otherwise missed. The undisputable and irresistibly beautiful Caroline is one track in particular which, if the world would end tomorrow and all that was left was this song to act as evidence of human existence, would not be a bad thing whatsoever. It has harmonies and lead vocals to match even the most successful of groups or artists, which begs the question that why has this song not been played on the radio before? An artist who asks of utter concentration when hearing him ply his craft, this album is evidence of yet another soul singing the material which he is proud of doing so. Judging on the twelve songs here, they sure are a great way to spend an hour or, in a live setting, an evening."



'Americana-UK' review of 'Diamond Land' - 9th August 2009 

"Folk Troubadour album - whimsical and gentle"
"Dan Webster's PR notes compare him to a rare lobster - trading on the story of him being born at sea as his mother emptied lobster pots and how somehow this makes him 'earnest and confused, talking of love, loss, politics, corruption and war'. Isn't this what every singer songwriter writes about?
Ignoring the guff of the PR, this album opens itself out as a strong set of songs driven by some impressive musical moods and a vocal delivery of some conviction. These sound like songs tried and tested on the road, they feel lived in and lived with.
The production and song writing is not earth-shatteringly original but that is not the objective here. It is a collection of songs that demand repeat listens and in that it follows the singer song writer template completely. 
With repeated listens certain things stand out - the delicacy and emotion of 'Like You Do' and 'Borrowed and Blue', the anger and passion of 'What Are We Doing Here' and 'Like Hell'. The crack in the voice and the commercial possibilities of 'Waiting In Line' and the repressed rage of 'Superstore' with its politics on its sleeve.
Years ago this would be described as a bedsit album and that's no bad thing."


'Acoustic Magazine' review of 'Diamond Land' - June 2009 

"Singer/songwriter Dan Webster is an insightful lyricist with a great voice, simultaneously youthful and mature, that I think I've fallen a little bit in love with. The opening track, 'Falling', is an immediate hook, and some of the more emotional aspects of the album meant that halfway through I needed a little lie down; it's been too long since an album did that to me. Diamond Land should be glued to your summer playlist."

Kate Lewis