Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Nov. 21, 2014
Stephen DosterArizona (Atticus)
Among a handful of Austin musicians that can rightfully be called under-appreciated, Stephen Doster should get the recognition he deserves, finally, with this masterpiece. Doster's name might be familiar from his work with Bill Carter, Will Sexton, Lyle Lovett, and Nanci Griffith, or from compositions he's had cut by Willie Nelson, Dr. John, and Double Trouble. Arizona finds him in storytelling mode, not a concept album per se, but characters drift in and out all looking for a landing place. Some are well known; "Pistol Pete" captures the famed basketball player with a funky bounce. Others are a mystery, traveling in and out of the zippy power-pop of the title track to the breezy Americana of "Second Story Balcony." Doster manages one charmed melody after another, never failing to engage the listener on several levels in a manner that's bewitching and rare.