The Wayne Hoskins band is made up of five extraordinarily talented individuals: Dustin Wayne on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Dave Lund on backing vocals and electric guitar, Michael Higgins on piano, Carl Santoro on bass, and Eric Santoro on drums. Behind the controls covering recording, mixing and mastering is Mateo Coletti. This combination has resulted in the heartfelt, honest, and exquisitely produced album Breaking Here.
The album begins with the title track and this song is simply beautiful. It is full of elegant gracefulness, impeccable sound quality, and the vocals of Dustin Wayne are achingly familiar and yet unlike anything that has been heard before. The lyrics are wonderfully written and the song is extremely well-composed from the opening notes to the ending ones. “Breaking Here” is full of honesty, emotion, and sheer talent. If there could possibly be a better introduction to a band, the listener will be hard pressed to find one.
“Never What It Seems” may bring to mind Counting Crows, particularly the slow acoustic opening. Dustin’s vocals are soft and confident, and he makes it clear that he is more than comfortable expressing his feelings and putting them to music. This piece is brilliant and will find a home in the hearts of listeners from every walk of life. The engineering and production are impeccable and this track is pure musical enjoyment through and through. “Too Long” is a bit more upbeat than the preceding tracks, and as usual, the sound is stellar. The lyrics are deep, thought provoking and inspiring. While this piece has a melancholy undertone, the overall feel is one of optimism, hope and strength. Dustin’s vocals lend even more depth to the lyrics and the Wayne Hoskins Band has created the perfect song with this one.
Breaking Here continues its melodic journey with “Something Better,” a brilliant and honest look into the human heart. This piece is composed with genius skill and the instrumentation is fascinating, particularly the electric guitar work. The Wayne Hoskins band can never be accused of shying away from human emotion and raw feelings. This track will leave listeners in silent awe and thoughtful contemplation of what lies in their own hearts. The final track is titled “Be Right Here” and it offers a sense of comfort and warmth, letting listeners know that they are not alone, and they succeed admirably with this offering. The lyrics are hauntingly beautiful and bring to mind vivid imagery. Dustin's vocals wrap the listener in a cocoon of surety and confidence. The lightly played piano adds an elegant touch to the melody of this piece. The Wayne Hoskins band then exits as gracefully as they appeared, and after enjoying the album from beginning to end, listeners may sit silently for a moment, contemplating what has just been heard.
It is rare that one band can have such obvious strengths in every aspect of their art, but The Wayne Hoskins Band does. Each song is lyrically sound and vocally impressive. The instrumentation is intelligent, well-composed and flawless. The sound quality is absolutely incredible and there is nothing missing from this album in any aspect of musical creativity or production. Fans of this collective will cherish this album indefinitely and the gentlemen of The Wayne Hoskins Band should be elated with their album Breaking Here.
Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)