Stephen Doster Bio

A long time fixture on the Austin music scene as a songwriter, guitarist and producer, Stephen Doster is now emerging as one of Austin’s best recording artists. With the release of New Black Suit, the follow up to 2014’s Arizona, Doster continues to build momentum. The critically-acclaimed Arizona received high praise after its late 2014 release. with music journalist, Peter Blackstock nominating Arizona in The Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop Poll for 2015. Blackstock also named Arizona among his “Top Ten of 2014” in the Austin-American Statesman, calling it “exquisitely crafted, classic guitar and piano pop”. The Austin Chronicle’s Jim Caliguiri echoed the praise, placing Arizona at the top of his 2014 poll, lauding it as a “masterpiece” with “one charmed melody after another”.

Now, less than three years later, Doster is back with New Black Suit, a transcendent new album that the Austin Chronicle’s Doug Freeman praises for its “perfect, driving melodies in the key of reflection”. As with Arizona, Doster assembled the same core studio band to produce New Black Suit, which features the recently passed, musician extraordinaire, George Reiff (Joe Walsh, Jacob Dylan) on bass, master percussionist, Dony Wynn (Robert Palmer, Dr. John) on drums and percussion, and the immaculately tasteful Kevin Lovejoy (Spoon, John Mayer) on piano, organ, and various keyboards. Doster produced New Black Suit, along with playing all guitars and providing most all of the lead vocals, and most of the harmonies. Add to that mix, a powerful cycle of Doster original songs and New Black Suit could well eclipse the successes of Arizona.

In between the two releases, Stephen Doster was inducted into the Texas Music Legends Hall of Fame in 2016, along with progressive country icons Bob Livingston, Shake Russell, Gary P. Nunn, and Steven Fromholz, among others. On top of the accolades for Arizona from the previous year, the well deserved honor capped a busy and successful year that found Doster performing over 100 live shows, while producing albums for Americana singer-songwriter Devin Jake and Scottish rocker Mike Smith. In between those projects, Doster also played music ambassador for the U.S. State Department on a two week tour of Southern Africa and launched the first season of The Atticus Report, a recurring music podcast series that he co-hosts with fellow songwriter and recording artist, Rick Busby.

Doster continued his creative pace throughout 2016 and in to 2017, with a mix of live performances, songwriting and studio production, including producing debut albums for Baltimore singer-songwriter, Whalen Nash, and alt-pop chanteuse, Caro. By the end of 2016, Doster returned to the studio to begin tracking for New Black Suit, as well as, The Soul of Everything, the new album from Atticus label mate, Rick Busby, using the same studio band to produce both albums. The sessions proved especially poignant for all involved as bassist George Reiff was battling terminal brain cancer at the time of basic tracking. Reiff subsequently passed away in May 2017, shortly before the final touches of New Black Suit were completed.

“Ironically many of the songs on New Black Suit are speaking of friends of mine that have passed, but taught me a lot when they were here. The opening track “Shooting For The Stars” is a song I wrote about friends from my teenage years, specifically in memory of my bandmate, Kevin Brill. The opening lines came from a conversation I had with my friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt on December 16, 1994 as I was walking in to speak with the late, great DJ Larry Monroe at KUT Radio in Austin, TX about my pal Bill Hicks. It would have been Bill’s 33rd birthday. The song “William Melvin Hicks” is a tribute to Bill with respect for his integrity and vision. The title track New Black Suit sums it all up.”

Over the course of his career, Stephen Doster has shared stages and studios with a long and eclectic line of musical luminaries including Joe Cocker, Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Gatemouth Brown, Little Feat, Mark O’Connor, Storyville, Ricky Nelson, Squeeze, Ani DiFranco and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, among many others, He has produced over 60 albums for other artists, including projects for Carolyn Wonderland, Seth Walker, Uncle Lucius and Stanley Smith, among many others. Arizona is Doster’s second solo album project, coming 18 years after his debut Rosebud. In between, he released two albums with Will Sexton, one of which included Bill Carter.

Listen to Stephen Doster Music at:

Listen to Stephen Doster Music at: