John Shand reviews Seaman Dan’s A CARIBBEAN SONGBOOK (STEADY STEADY) for The SIdney Morning Herald
As much as the clamour of cicadas, this is the sound of summer. Were Seaman Dan’s lived-in voice any more laid-back it would simply glide down his throat rather than bothering to emerge from his mouth. Add the soft, on-mic delivery and the Caribbean songs and you’ll feel you’re stretching out on a banana lounge even when gridlocked on the M4.
Dan’s connection to this material includes having a Jamaican great-grandfather, while the many ocean references resonate with his past life as a Torres Strait pearl diver and boat skipper. The songs are mostly well-known: Island in the Sun, Rum and Coca-Cola, Banana Boat Song, Jamaica Farewell, The Tide Is High and Sloop John B (yes, this too was originally West Indian).
The shame is that the album has been over-produced. Dan’s voice is made to sound frailer by often being in such robust, busy settings. A five-star album was lurking here had it been kept simpler and more homely. One day someone will do a remix.