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JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Inspection Review

David Vaters

David Vaters
A Voice in the Wilderness Vol. 1

Artist Info: Discography
Street Date: February 17, 2017
Style: Americana
Official Site: Official Website
Buy It: iTunes

David Vaters is a singer/songwriter who has teamed up with a slew of accomplished studio musicians to release a two volume set of his solo works. A Voice in the Wilderness Volume 1 is an Americana and heartland flavored album, with a dash of classic rock, that features songs exploring God's display of wonder and grace towards His creation. After only a few songs in, you can hear a strong Bruce Springsteen influence in Vaters' work -- especially his vocal style. Much of the album has a very similar sound, but the bluesy "8 Ways From Sunday," and especially the more upbeat "God Help Me Out," standout in the crowd. The organ work and guitars in "God Help Me Out" are particularly enjoyable. The cheerful rocker "See You in Heaven" puts the Bruce Springsteen influence on full display from a musical and vocal standpoint. Vocally, David Vaters is a bit hit and miss. Sometimes his voice is almost enchanting with his Springsteen-like whispered vocals, but other times they come off a little more harsh and not quite as gratifying. Overall, A Voice in the Wilderness Volume 1 is a nice little entry for fans of the more Americana and heartland styles of music. This rings even more true for fans of the genre who are looking for a positive and spiritual outlook in the lyrics. Volume 1 is available now and Volume 2 will follow sometime later this year.

- Review date: 6/8/17, written by Michael Weaver of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

    When an artist comes out of the gate with an ambitious project, like a two-part album to kick off their discography, you know they mean business. David Vaters is just such an artist. A Voice in the Wilderness, Vol. 1 shows the singer/songwriting aiming to make a splash in the independent music scene. Combining Americana, country, and blues rock (an easy combination, but a great sound nonetheless), Vaters writes vulnerable songs that deal with a variety of topics. "8 Ways From Sunday" describes the love his wife has for him, despite his tendency to take it for granted, while "Mansion in the Sky" and "See You In Heaven" focus on the joy we have to look forward to in Heaven. A Voice in the Wilderness, Vol. 1 excels musically, with soothing music that can really touch the soul. It's particularly noticeable in the instrumental version of "Brighter Than The Stars" at the end of the album. Vocally, Vaters can hit some really sweet spots on occasion, but the music and the songs' themes are easily the highlights of this outing. I'm looking forward to seeing what Vol. 2 has to offer. - Review date: 7/26/17, written by Scott Fryberger of



. Record Label: None
. Album length: 10 tracks: 43 minutes and 15 seconds
. Street Date: February 17, 2017
. Buy It: iTunes

. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. Let It Rain (4:26)
  2. Running to You (3:59)
  3. 8 Ways from Sunday (4:57)
  4. Brighter Than the Stars (5:05)
  5. This Cross (4:32)
  6. Mansion in the Sky (3:21)
  7. God Help Me Out (4:32)
  8. See You in Heaven (3:27)
  9. It's Time (4:24)
  10. Brighter Than the Stars (Instrumental) (5:07)
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  • Jesus Freak Hideout (Michael Weaver): How long have you been making and writing your own music?

    David Vaters: I started writing at 15 years old and, as a result, I probably have written over 500 songs. However, with a smile, I don't want to say they are all great songs! I was super interested in poetry, including Psalms, and so late at night I would just read and write songs based on influences and stories of the bible. At 16, I was offered a 4-single recording deal which was on condition that I quit school and work with the label full-time. However, my parents just dismissed that one pretty fast.

  • JFH (Michael): What draws you to this Americana/heartland style of music?

    David: I guess I had done pop, anthem rock and folk music and I just kinda landed on the Americana genre of music. However, my next album is an evolution of that and moves into a more pop rock feel. You will hear other influences, like Lennon, Mumford and Sons, Bowie and yes, a little Springsteen. I guess the Lord directs your path as you go along. I just love good, well-written music and I just try to write the best way God has given me to do so.

  • JFH (Michael): Larry Norman is a legend in the Christian music community. What draws you to his music?

    David: Well... I'm not sure how you knew that? Yes, Larry -- to me -- was the quintessential artist. He wrote what he wanted to without being influenced by what was expected of him by the industry or the church. He was honest in his songwriting and wrote what he felt God wanted him to say. I think that is really lacking in Christian music today. So I respect him a lot for that. I did actually work with him a few years prior to his passing on a remake of a song which I recorded in the UK and might release later this year or next.

  • JFH (Michael): I personally hear shades of Bruce Springsteen throughout the record. He isn't listed as one of your influences online, but do you draw anything from Springsteen stylistically?

    David: I have heard that. A lot of people tell me they hear a little Dylan and Tom Petty. I really did not listen to much Springsteen, but that is quite a compliment for you to say so.

  • JFH (Michael): What made you decide to approach this project as a two-volume set?

    David: Well. My wife, Susie, really is responsible for pushing me into the studio. She really felt that I needed to record the songs I had written recently. The songs were written in a way that I had never experienced before. There was a few months of writing songs almost every night or so. I would wake up--or be woken up--with the lyrics and/or music in my head and could not get back to sleep. So, at 2, 3, sometimes 4 in the morning I was--I won't say "forced," but maybe "driven" to get up and go to the keyboard or guitar. I would write the songs in less than an hour, sometimes 20 minutes, and then record them on my iPhone and then go back to bed. To add to that, I would have to say that I did not write these songs; God did. I was just the scribe that took dictation. So, back to the approach of the project of a two volume set, we really just had so much material that it was a natural thing to do. So we took the tour bus, and over a couple months, went back and forth to Alabama, Nashville and Texas to record twenty-some odd songs.

  • JFH (Michael): Where can listeners go to catch a live performance?

    David: Well, besides my church, we are thinking of touring the two albums in 2018. So stay tuned and we will let ya'll know the dates and cities!

  • JFH (Michael): What are you hoping God is able to accomplish through the release of A Voice in the Wilderness?

    David: Love that question. It's the easiest to answer. I pray to accomplish what the Lord himself told us to accomplish, which is to be heard, heal, and raise up! Mark 16:15 right?

    To be heard throughout the world, HEAL those who need a touch from God and to raise up those who need the good news! Interestingly enough, my music is being picked up mostly by secular radio and not Christian radio. I've been told point-blank by Christian stations that I don't fit. That I don't sound like MercyMe, Casting Crowns or Jeremy Camp, to name a few. It's all great music and I appreciate what these guys are doing for the church, but my music seems to resonate both inside and outside the church. So, to that end, what I discovered is that the Christian radio industry seems to like staying in a box and working with the majors to keep it that way. I get it; the major labels work on formulas that work and make money. So, I think being heard on the secular airwaves, and now streaming, is where God has directed my path!

    So I give a shout out to all independent Christian artists out there! Go be heard! It is possible to do it! In the first 3 months as an independent artist of releasing A Voice in the wilderness Vol 1, we were Number 1 worldwide on Reverbnation, had over 3 million+ streams on digital music services, the Top 100 rock album in Australia, Top 2 Rock album in Mexico, secular radio play in countries like Spain, UK, Russia, Australia and videos on YouTube in the hundreds of thousands of views! I understand now that we have been the top two videos on GodTube recently, so hopefully the Christian community will get to hear my music more and more! So I really appreciate this interview with you guys! I just want to live Mark 16:15. Thank you kindly for this opportunity and blessings to you!



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