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Don Mescall - Innocent Run

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 27 / 4 / 2006



Don Mescall - Innocent Run
Label: Select Label
Format: CD

intro

Stunning debut album from Southern Irish singer-songwriter and major new talent Don Mescall, who has had his material covered by Richie Havens in the past


One of the highlights of Richie Havens' 2002 'Evangeline' album ‘Wishing Well’, for these ears at least, was the song ‘Paradise’. One of a just a handful of songs on that album that Havens didn’t write, the composer’s name of ‘Mescall’ meant little to me at the time. It was, therefore, with some surprise and pleasure that I discovered that the Mescall who wrote 'Innocent Run' is the same Mescall who wrote 'Paradise'. If Richie Havens covers one of your songs that’s good enough for me. Even without that recommendation 'Innocent Run' is, however, an exceptionally strong set of songs even in these days when there are so many male singer/songwriters fighting for our attention and radio plays. Don Mescall, who comes from Southern Ireland, has, in fact, written with some pretty well known songwriters through the years - Scott English (composer of 'Mandy', and forget the Westlife / Manilow versions, check out the Scott English original) and Graham Lyle (Gallagher and Lyle) to name but two. But this time the show belongs totally to Mescall. There is absolutely no reason why Don Mescall shouldn’t gain the success of the David Grays of this world, not if these 14 songs are anything to go on at least. And for the most part, I’d rather hear any of these songs floating through the air waves than those of Mescall's contemporaries. ‘Innocent Run’ was composed while Mescall was going through a divorce. The break down of his marriage was due partly to Mescall’s music. He was always on the road, but out of his pain and loss Mescall has produced some outstanding music. His lyrics are very honest. Even those who have not been through a divorce like Mescall can relate to his songs. The problem when an artist makes such a personal album, when they pour out their feelings into song for us all to hear, is that at times it can be a little over sentimental. It shows how talented Mescall is that 'You Don't Love Me', which not only deals with the break up of his marriage but also the pain of leaving his child, is void of any over sentimentality, even with lines like “At her first day at school, Lord she’s a picture of you” or even “How could something so right, Just simply fall apart” before Mescall takes the blame squarely on his shoulders. Lyrics like that could have you reaching for the bucket in lesser hands. Mescall carries it off and with style and grace, and you can feel his heart breaking. Mescall writes lyrics anyone who has loved and lost can relate to and sets them to music which is accessible from the second the CD starts playing. Although this album will find favour with anyone who has problems with love and marriage not all the songs on it are about love lost. ‘Son To A Father’ is another touching tale where the title says it all and has lyrics that again are honest and direct. ( “And as I step into my father’s shoes, Here I am and in this circle I continue”). If this all sounds a bit too maudlin, then it should be said it is far from it. On the song ‘Last Chance’ (again the title says it all) Mescall ups the pace a little and his vocals are nothing but soulful. To hear him singing lyrics like “And please don’t, please don’t decide to call until I’m past the point of getting over you” before declaring “I miss you most on Sundays” over a wall of guitars is simply breathtaking. Thankfully the lyrics are printed in the CD booklet, not that they are needed to understand Mescall ; the vocals are upfront in the mix and are easily understood but it’s good to have them there. They make interesting reading without the music. I hate to call this an album for grown-ups but that’s what it is ; a mature album full of lyrics which will recall broken hearts and with melodies which stay around forever. With Mescall touring the U.K. in May and June it would be a good time to catch this major talent.



Track Listing:-
1 Trouble Is
2 Left In L.A.
3 Beautiful Regret
4 You Don't Love Me
5 Grace Of God
6 Son To A Father
7 Innocent Run
8 Last Chance
9 Not Enough Rainbows
10 Not Coming Back
11 One Of Those Days
12 Why Didn't I Know
13 Speed Of Love
14 Shadow Of A Doubt - Live



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