The Chris Weaver Band – American Dreamer

by Chuck Dauphin

chris-weaver-coverI will be the first to admit that this review might sound a little bit dramatic, but in the case of Chris Weaver, so be it. He earns every word and adjective – and then some. About a year ago, Regina Raleigh, one of my best friends in (or out) of this business brought this talented West Virginia native to my attention. The song was “So Damn Beautiful.” It was one of those moments you don’t forget. In this era of sound-alike and people lamenting the fact that true individualists don’t exist in this crazy music business anymore, Chris Weaver does not sound like anybody else that you have heard of. He’s Country – for sure, but there also are traces of Rock, R&B, and Gospel that all filter into the mix to make this act one that you simply need to know more about – and become a fan of.

Take the lead single, “Raise The Dead,” for example. There is nobody releasing music like this in Nashville these days. He layers the track with a stirring vocal performance that definitely draws you in. It’s very Gospel-influenced in tone and lyric, and Weaver totally slays the cut. Ditto that for the opening cut, “Gravy Train.” Sure, it’s “Country” sounding enough, but there is a huge amount of Rock & Roll swagger on the cut too. which also makes it a highlight.

But, wait a minute. There’s more. He also captivates with the rugged feel of “California High,” the power and passion of “Guarantee To You,” and the soaring vocal performance he exudes on “Without Chains.” He revisits his inspirational influence on “Givin’ It Up,” where you equally feel his frustrations in life and also his being content to offer up his troubles to a higher power.

So, American Dreamer is a good album, right? Nope. It’s a ______ masterpiece. The songs are all first-rate, and Weaver sings them with a knowledge and a depth that shows he’s been there. I would dare say there is someone dark-haired beauty from his past that he is singing about first-hand in the amazing “I Should Have Said That,” and when he sings about the struggles of various people in the gut-wrenching title cut, he’s singing about us all.

OK, I’m just about done. But, if you love great music, seek this one out. You’ll be glad you did. No, it’s not one that is going to fit in a 4+4 box stylistically, but I can almost guarantee you’re going to be playing this one a lot – and enjoying it. Country. Blues. Rock. Whatever you want to call it, by the time you finish the closing “Want It,” Weaver will have you so entrenched by his power as a vocalist that you’ll think you can get it – whether it be career or love. Trust me when I say they don’t come along often. But, Chris Weaver is that something kind of special that you need to hear – NOW. So, go download, buy, whatever you have to do. You gotta hear this!

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