Music producers and talent scouts spend millions of dollars and countless hours listening to hundreds upon thousands of terrible performances to find the one diamond in the rough, amazing musician or singer who seems to have all the qualities and abilities to turn heads and make your jaw drop in awe. As a local talent scout, I can probably count on one hand a few individuals or bands in the area over the past few years that meet this criterion and that have wowed me to the point of saying, this person/group is amazing, this person/group has that “it” factor, this person/group is destined for greatness; for people like these come sometimes, once in a lifetime. However, when I find a person or group like this, I do everything in my power to not only get the word out about them, but to help them gain exposure and recognition they deserve. This album review is my attempt to do just that for a very incredible young talent by the name of Dawson Coyle.
I met Dawson and had the privilege of introducing him to the world for the first time as an artist, at a concert Kindred was hosting in a small middle school gymnasium in Swedesboro, NJ. In front of a packed house or about 100 people, Dawson nervously stepped on stage and performed a mix of originals and covers that just blew me and all who were in the audience away. Then, just 16 years old, he not only had a fantastic stage presence but, by using his personality and musical talent, captivated the audience for 20 minutes leaving us all wanting more. It was at that moment that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was not only something special about Dawson, but that this performance was just the beginning of amazingly bigger and better things to come. And bigger and better things did in fact come. Within the course of a year, Dawson made it to the finals of a very prestigious talent competition, Dawson won a Kindred Award for New Artist of the Year, Dawson opened up for several big named acts in the Christian music circuit, and is now starting to become a headliner at many of the establishments he is asked to perform at.
To say that Dawson has the “it” factor would be an understatement. I say this not to give him a big head or to paint him out to be the most amazing singer and performer in the history of time, but to try to paint a picture of just how rare an individual like him is. For Dawson fits almost every criterion of what I believe are key elements to massive success in the music industry. First, he is young, he’s attractive, he has an amazing personality, wit and charm, he is a very creative songwriter and storyteller, he can play his own music, he sings, he has a great stage presence, he’s a hard worker, and on top of all that, is probably one of the humblest and teachable individuals I have ever met. And if that wasn’t enough, he has a faith and calling on his life that most adults would dream of having. So when I heard that he released a full-length debut album, I can honestly say I was super excited and eager to get my hands on it; and when I did, I was thoroughly impressed with what I heard.
From the very first track to the very last, Dawson takes you on a journey both musically and spiritually. The opening track “The Light’s Battle Cry,” is a great challenge to believers to recognize just how dark and evil this world is and how we need to be ready to take up our armor and fight against the devil and his schemes. A song that could easily be heard on any radio station, “The Light’s Battle Cry” is probably the truest to understanding Dawson’s style as a musician and writer. “Save Me From Myself,” one of my favorite tracks on the album and probably the most catchy on the album, is a fuse of blues and rock that is an honest cry to God to help keep focused on doing what is right when your flesh wants to do otherwise. “Peter Pan” and “Fairytale” are cute love stories of conquest and fight to find the girl of his dreams. “It’s Beautiful,” and “Run Into My Arms” are great examples God’s love for us while “You’re Not Alone,” “Once Again” and “Welcome Home,” share an honest depiction of internal struggle but no matter what we’ve done or how far we’ve strayed, God always is there arms wide open waiting for us. The CD concludes just as strong as it began with “It’s Getting Dark,” a fun upbeat worship song about staying focused on Christ’s light in the midst of the darkness around us.
Overall, this is an amazing debut from Dawson. The fact that he not only played all the music, did all his own vocals/harmonies, wrote all the lyrics, and even recorded it himself is simply incredible for a still young teenager. Though this CD probably won’t win Dawson a Grammy, what I do know is that whether you’re a child, teenager or adult, you will be able to connect with this CD in some way, be encouraged, and hopefully like me, walk away with a huge smile on your face. I truly believe that looking at the big picture, with the help of the right producer or music veteran Dawson can and will be a household name someday.
The highlight tracks for me on this CD are “The Light’s Battle Cry,” “Save Me From Myself,” “Run Into My Arms,” and “It’s Getting Dark.” If you’re a fan of Jimmy Needham, Jason Mraz, Jordan Feliz, Mark Schultz, or Kristian Stanfill, you’ll probably like Dawson Coyle.
Tim Ewing is the founder of Kindred Concert Ministries. You can learn more about Kindred by going to www.facebook.com/kindredconcerts or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawson Coyle is Christian contemporary singer from Vineland, NJ. “Battle Cry” can be found on all major online outlets such as itunes, amazon, cd baby etc., For more information about Dawson, you can visit his website at: http://dawsonmusic11.com or his facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/dawsonmusic11
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