Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Donahue / Talking To The Man


Jason Hoffman

Whatzup Features Writer

Published July 24, 2003

Heads Up! This article is 19 years old.

One thing that had never occurred to me was to wonder if there

was such a thing as Christian Jamaican music. Donahue Stewart, recent

island transplant to Fort Wayne, affirms that there most definitely

is such a creature! Partially recorded in his home country and

completed at Monastic Chambers, Stewart has released his promising

debut album Talking To The Man.

Celebrate is an appropriately warm introduction to the album,

inviting the listener to celebrate Jesus Christ. Convincing synth

horns form a mariachi tone that mixes well with the upbeat island

rhythm. Syncopated guitar and a bouncy bass characterize

Jerusalem, with mellow organ underscoring the verse. More

traditional in feel is Here I Am Lord, where the vocal ensemble

lends an inspirational edge, following the tasty guitar lead that

opens into angelic keyboards. The title track borrows from reggae

with syncopated guitar strums and sunny lead vocals in a more

traditional Jamaican style that are answered by the vocal chorus,

resulting in an appealing, yet unorthodox (for land-locked Indiana)

style. Instrument Of Your Love and Knock On My Door both offer

upbeat melodies to complement their encouraging lyrics and hand

percussion that adds variety and depth. Local pianist Ron McCrary

plays gospel-style piano on How Could He and Save Me O Lord, two

reflective songs that allow Donahue and the vocal ensemble to really

shine. The closing track, I Was Lost, differs from the rest of the

album in its simplicity, mixing two-part vocal harmony with a relaxed

R&B feel to create a very strong finale.

The sound of the album is fully professional, fitting in seamlessly

with other albums of the adult contemporary Christian pop genre.

There is a nice combination of live and synth instruments that adds a

nice variety. For instance, programmed drums are usually augmented

with a live kit or hand percussion to breathe life into the rhythm

section. Likewise Donahue’s voice is emotive and finds ample room for

expression in the varied and well-written song styles. This album is

available at Barnes & Nobles, Jericho Music & More and Anchor

Room.

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