Mastered at Cos Mastering, Atlanta, GA
"One of the truly great albums of 2008" Soultracks.com
"Storyteller, a musical journey by a musicians musician" Music Choice
"A poised modern day soul vocalist" BPM Magazine
Your favorite artist. Your favorite song. Your favorite place. The way that makes you fee...
Finally here comes an artist who is capable of bringing those feelings back. STORYTELLER, the debut album by Heston is an exceptionally well composed body of work.. Heston's got one of those instant classic voices, confidently sensuous and informed by the best side of mellow 70's soul. Nostalgic, yet very much his own.
With an equal talent for song writing and producing, his debut album release STORYTELLER, is timeless. Born on the island of Dominica, singer-songwriter Heston grew up with music all around him.. being surrounded by reggae, pop, classical, soul R&B and rock, music was commonplace and it is no surprise that radio along with a collection of his father's old records, would open the key to his soul and love for all types of music.. From Barbara Streisand to Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Beres Hammond, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson(to name a few) each musician looped a thread into his soul and after listening to his music it is clear that he has been influenced by the best.
With a career in music that began in Atlanta, Ga, launched by a self-titled EP, he has defined his journey as a full-time musician, composer, songwriter and producer.. "Creating timeless music has always been my ultimate goal" says Heston with a poised yet humble demeanor. " I want to leave the world with music that can be played for a lifetime."
A pleasant, easygoing vocal manner coupled with sexy stage presence has consistently yielded a ground swelling of fans and lovers of his music. Heston's first single "Brand new You" of his debut album STORYTELLER is currently in rotation on Music Choice's R&B channel... His song "IF" is the theme song on BET"s ground breaking half-hour reality television show, Real Life Divas. "If" from his self titled EP became popular on SX satellite trough Airtran airways entertainment and such compilation as 'The Soul Lounge Vol. 1, Uk, This is Soul 2005, "IF" was also once listed as on of the most downloaded independent soul singles on ITunes.. "Angel" also from the self-titled EP closed the year 2003 as on the DJ Richard Searling's year end top 50 most played at Smoot FM Manchester UK.
Accompanied by a full band with foundational rhythms that stem back to his island and R&B soul roots, comprised of percussion, horns acoustic and electric guitars, his current independent album release, STORYTELLER, pull out all the stops.. Wit fifteen brilliantly composed tracks, tunes like "Brand New You" "Distant Lover and "Easy" lead the album and is expected to capture audiences with its slinky lover's groover and feel good music..Fifteen grooves. Fifteen Stories. Fifteen repeats.. Fifteen Classics.. Ladies and gentlemen... HESTON
Quiet sophistication aptly describes Atlanta newcomer, Heston, on his graceful debut, Storyteller. Commercial adult contemporary has their Kem and smooth jazz their Raul Midon. Now in Heston, independent soul fans have their own sensitive and mature balladeer. Against a milieu of soft rock, acoustic jazz and island rhythms, Heston delicately sings of love and relationships from a grown-up man's perspective. Though there is an abiding evenness on Storyteller that keeps the dynamics of this project firmly restricted to nuance, subtlety and - on the more rhythmic tracks - groove, Heston's craftsmanship will certainly satisfy those who've been patiently waiting for this Dominican's island folktales of love.
Heston's emotional undress on these elegantly organic tracks is never rushed, never less than clear in its direction. He doesn't push you to love him: Heston knows - if given the chance to do his thing - your love will come. His confident steadiness is refreshing for a relatively new artist. With a feathery voice that falls between a more masculine Maxwell and a less melismic Eric Benet, Heston's blend of Caribbean ease and southern gentility pulls listeners into a cool breeze world of couples swinging on front porches, walking along sandy beaches, and sharing a glass of wine while stargazing. On slow jams like "Easy" and the calypso flavored duet with Angela Johnson, "Dreamy Eyes," Heston definitely sets the mood; yeah, that kind.
As pleasant as the Caribbean and acoustic soul is on Heston's debut, for me, the alternating 70's soft rock and jazz fusion productions on mid-to-up-tempo cuts are the more interesting. "Hello Sunday" sounds like the Doobie Bros. if they'd spent a sojourn in the West Indies. "Radio" has the feel of bands like America or Chicago at their most urban chic. The spirited jam session "Sunny Days" would nicely suit Al Jarreau or the Average White Band in their prime. In their illusory ease, the three years Heston spent working on Storyteller's production with Khari Simmons, Phil Davis and Sam Simms yield high dividends on these first-rate jams.
Lyrically, Heston, who penned this 15 song chronicle, reveals himself a loyalist who loves hard, sometimes to his detriment as on "Your Perfume." "Distant Lover," exposes Heston's penchant for the emotionally unavailable. But don't get his commitment confused with weakness; "No Way, No How" shows that this brother knows how to make one helluva dramatic exit once he's fed up. Actually, on several songs, including on the Jamiroquai funk of "My Being," there is an understated strength and temperament to our man, Heston. While Storyteller is mostly preoccupied with love and relationships, Heston does cleverly offer a glimpse into his political consciousness on the war protest song, "Good Morning America."
There are indeed many different influences peppering Storyteller, but they are in conversation with, rather than defining, Heston's stylistic approach and very adult contemporary sound. What speaks to Heston's character is his candor in openly crediting their influence on his sound. On the closing track, "Songbirds," Heston offers up a heavenly tribute to some of the songs, artists, and music that enthuse his own artistic journey. Ironically, it's on this sung incantation about musical inspirations - one that could have been positively cloying in less sincere hands - that Heston best demonstrates his uniqueness as an artist and a more generous vocal range. Few artists have Heston's awesome ability to tend a lyric with such endearing restraint.
On Storyteller, Heston proves he is a soul original. After so many recent misfires by heavily marketed, but underwhelming "soul" singers, it's nice to finally witness a debut artist fulfill the hype. For that, Heston, we thank you. Highly recommended.
-L. Michael Gipson (www.soultracks.com/node/5245)