On his third album Dan Weber establishes himself as a songwriter of considerable talent.
It’s been seven years since Weber’s second album ‘What I’m Lookin’ For’ was released in 2015. Why such a long gap? Weber explains that he actually started work on it in 2017 only for the recording studio he was using to close, putting the album on hold. In the meantime, Weber wrote a bunch of additional songs so that when he returned to the studio in early 2020, he was armed with over 30 songs which he finished recording just two days before the country went into lockdown.
However, it wasn’t just Covid-19 that caused a further delay. Weber reveals that “then after 23 years of marriage, I got divorced and moved from the Pacific NW to Texas and tried to start over”. The resulting album is unsurprisingly often personal and reflective. The 14 songs that were eventually picked work together well to create a document of one man’s experience of transition with an equal emphasis on both what has gone before and the beginnings of a new journey.
From the opening title track ‘The Way the River Goes’ through to the closing ‘Call it a Night’ the quality of the songs is not only exceptionally high but also remarkably consistent. The title track reflects on Weber’s growing up with his best friend Bill ‘There’s a rope swing tied to a sycamore tree/at the river’s edge just Bill and me’ reflecting along the way about his first kiss on that river bank, “she’s got four kids now/that’s just what you hear” and a big flood in 2001 when the river burst it’s banks ‘now the mud has gone but not the fear” before returning “It’s been 30 years since I’ve been gone/I said ‘Hey Bill, why’d you stay so long’?/Bill he laughs and hands me another beer/thats just the way the river goes round here”.
It’s not hard to see why Weber chose Texas to start over. His writing draws from the observational storytelling prose of some of that state’s great songwriters like Guy Clark and James McMurtry, whilst also very much ploughing his own furrow – another trait of many independent country artists to have emerged from the Lone Star State.