When listening to music, it is easy to sense if the artist has a story to tell. Inspired music always has a message and a positive energy that makes you pay attention. It is music with a purpose. One such album is “Still the River Flows” by David M. Edwards. It is a collection of 14 marvelous pieces, describing nature, people, and time gone by. They will leave you feeling happy, relaxed – and most importantly – many good stories have been told. It is a heartfelt, wise and highly memorable album.
David M. Edwards studied classical and jazz piano at the University of North Texas, and afterward played in rock groups, country dance bands and lounge acts. He has done a considerable amount of recording work, including commercials, film scores, and song demos, as well as a stint with a band that was signed to Capitol Records. “Still the River Flows” is his first solo piano album, but you’ll notice right away that this is a very mature debut album done with huge professionalism and attention to detail.
It is a brand new day when the album starts. “Morning Song” has a fresh and positive atmosphere. It makes you feel that anything is possible, the world is your oyster. I love how visual Edwards’ music is. The morning comes to life before our inner eye, and waking up suddenly seems a lot less stressful. It is a feeling that will last the whole day. In short; “Morning Song” is a great album opener!
The morning is long gone when “Summer Dance” comes on. The song makes you want to move. It has a delightful atmosphere and a nice rhythm. There’s a seriousness here too. No summer dance is without the knowledge that Autumn is coming – but for the time being the world is new and filled with love, youth, and endless possibilities. It is a marvelous piece!
Still the River Flows
You know the feeling when walking in nature and suddenly, and perhaps unexpectedly, coming across a spectacular panorama? I got that feeling when listening to “Still the River Flows” for the first time. Edwards makes the river come to life; The melody has a beautiful flow. It has the feel of classical masters such as Debussy or Satie, masterfully portraying the river’s silent and majestic powers.
“Just a Simple Song” is like a bridge between the first nature-inspired songs and the two next, which deal with time gone by and memories. It is simple, yes, but it has a nice touch of melancholy that makes it interesting. In all its simplicity are elegance and grace.
For a Long, Long Time
At this stage the album shifts gear. “For a Long, Long Time” takes us down memory lane. The past and present seem to become one. You can sense that Edwards has many stories on his mind, and this somehow connects us as listeners with people and places we used to know. The irony is that time seems to fly while listening to “For a Long, Long Time”. Five and a half minute is gone in an instant, and you find yourself looking for the replay button.
“Nineteen in 69” is a piece filled with hope. The world is new and there’s not a cloud in the sky. The song lets us relive moments in our life when there were zero worries, and the future held nothing but adventure and possibilities. I was nineteen in 99, and can relate to every note Edwards plays.
On a Cloudy Day
“Still the River Flows” is a well-balanced album. “On a Cloudy Day” is a thoughtful piece, making us reflect on the state of the world – or small things right in front of us. The atmosphere is not to last, though. “Take Me with You” is a fast and upbeat song. It has the eagerness of a younger sibling, asking Please! Please! Take me with you! From the atmosphere, I can tell that the answer is yes.
My favorite song on the album is “Evening Song.” With a few well-placed chords, Edwards turns the day into night. I love its warm and welcoming sound. It is at the end of the day you know what really matters. “Wistfully” changes the mood, showing that this is much more than romantic, easy listening music. It has depths and darker colors too.
Near the end, Edwards has three soul-stirring melodies for us; “I Remember That,” “Wherever You Are” and “Walking by the Shore.” It is impossible not to be touched by the way Edwards transforms everyday moments into something elevated and noble. Each day and each moment is a precious gift. “Won’t You Stay” is the album’s masterful finale, making us think twice about looking for a new solo piano album anytime soon.
In conclusion: “Still the River Flows” by David M. Edwards is a near perfect solo piano release. Each song is like a short story, capturing the essence of a beautiful view, conversation, or memory. Inspired is the word that comes to mind. Much like a gently flowing river, the album’s powers are right there under the surface.
Score: 94/100 – Click here to see my scoring policy
For more information and music samples, visit Edwards’ homepage (many artists have the same name, so make sure to bookmark)