Dave Hollister - Chicago Winds...The Saga Continues (2014)

Dave Hollister
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A gossamer, gospel-grown tenor with velvety edges and an abundance of Chi-Town swag: whether one remembers encountering that voice from 1990s hip-hop classics or anchoring jams with the group Blackstreet, it's impossible to deny the soulful savoir-faire of Dave Hollister. His 'play on, playa' appeal to ladies and authentic, around-the-way ease with men have kept him in heavy urban and gospel rotation for two decades. After five solo releases (secular and sanctified) and whetting fans' appetites with 2013's critically-acclaimed collabo effort, United Tenors, Hollister returns with the outstanding Chicago Winds....The Saga Continues. 

A gossamer, gospel-grown tenor with velvety edges and an abundance of Chi-Town swag: whether one remembers encountering that voice from 1990s hip-hop classics or anchoring jams with the group Blackstreet, it's impossible to deny the soulful savoir-faire of Dave Hollister. His 'play on, playa' appeal to ladies and authentic, around-the-way ease with men have kept him in heavy urban and gospel rotation for two decades. After five solo releases (secular and sanctified) and whetting fans' appetites with 2013's critically-acclaimed collabo effort, United Tenors, Hollister returns with the outstanding Chicago Winds....The Saga Continues. 

Given that Dave's skill set has flourished over the years rather than flaming out, he doesn't need an army of Auto-Tuning super-producers to get the job done. Veteran hit-makers Warryn Campbell and Eric Dawkins combine their expertise and past experience with Hollister to flesh out songs that are tailor-made to fit his personal and professional maturation. Being a husband, father and pastor (of Antioch, CA's Word Assembly Church) may mean less time in the streets, but his approach is still savviness over simping. "You need to make up your mind, you can't stay there forever," he purrs in the simmering mid-tempo, "I'm Waiting," "Cuz' you know what you got over here, and you ain't gon' find better." He's a man wishing to feel indifference rather than adoration in "Cold," but the undulating "I'm Different" approaches a potential lady love with all assurance of a certified mack: "Don't ask me for a Black card (I'm not that easy), way too early to be buyin' cars (just ride with me)/Play your position, pay your dues/there won't be nothing I won't do for you." 

Growth and change isn't always a breeze though, even for Dapper Dave: "I Wish You Well" is a fitful farewell to what could have been ("I hope you have a plan B, one that don't involve me/cuz' I'm done, I'm done, so done"), he resolves to abandon his me-centered and messy ways to take care of home in "Done," and pours out heart-wrenching angst over sacrificing family time for finances in the title track, a strings and piano arrangement (helmed by the incomparable Jimmy Jam) that propels Hollister's already-emotional plea into stirring, sophisticated heights: "So I take the bows, and say goodnight/ I pray my fans make it home alright cuz' after all, I do this for them too..../ I can hardly wait to see you all again, coming back on those Chicago Winds." 

Retro-fitted funk grooves ("Neverland"), sultry bedroom preludes ("Take This Picture") and Teddy Riley himself kicking up the flavor on a party-ready remix (the Urban AC favorite and first single, "Spend The Night")----Hollister's latest brings a gust of cool like the legendary 'Chicago Hawk, robust in range and undeniable in impact. Fans shouldn't hesitate to secure this continuation of Dave's souled-out Saga. Highly Recommended. 

By Melody Charles

 
Choice Cut - Maysa - "Lovin' You Is Easy"

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