Innocent Run CD
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Don is an accomplished guitarist, a powerful vocalist and immensely gifted songwriter. Born and raised in Co Limerick, he moved to London to create a wider audience for his work. Proud of his Irish Heritage and unashamed to cite the rich cultural background which had a major influence on his life, the originality and individualism inherent in his musical style stubbornly refuses to fit comfortably into any obvious category. His melodies are lilting and expertly combined with unique and haunting lyrics, weaving an intensely deep and emotional tapestry, mixed with a powerful and energetic delivery. Don has worked and toured with artists including LeAnn Rimes, Graham Lyle (of Gallagher & Lyle), Brian Kennedy, Shawn Colvin, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, Kiki Dee, Frances Black, Eleanor Shanley and Lulu to name but a few. He has co-written with songwriters including Graham Lyle, Randy Goodrum, Scott English, Greg Sutton and Pam Sheyne.
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As a live performer, Don Mescall simply oozes masculinity, yet it is profoundly apparent that he is not afraid to express his deepest pain and disappointments. The raw emotion is expressed in a natural vocal style that manages to be powerful yet soft and harsh yet gentle all at the same time. Using beautifully crafted melodies and intensely moving lyrics, he leaves the mind and heart of his audience subtly changed.
The fusion of man and instrument is very strong and I suspect Don Mescall would feel completely lost without at least one guitar to his name. On this debut album, his powerful, guitar-based songs are produced in a rather polished way. The instrumental and vocal arrangements are tight and slick and although the producer is not named, I wonder if the person responsible is the same man who produced the recent Brian Kennedy album, "Homebird", also on the Curb label.
Although the raw power and emotion are not quite as strong as in a live performance, the arrangements are sympathetic to the style and I find myself frequently reminded of the guitar-rich, full sounds of The Eagles.
The emotional honesty of this album touches me every time I hear it and Don Mescall is indeed an unusual man in acknowledging his own responsibility in the breakdown of his relationship. As well as these heart-rending songs, such as "You Don't Love Me" and "Why Didn't I Know"; there is also the fabulous up-tempo track, "Speed of Love" which must have been written for playing very loudly, whilst driving very fast, with the roof down. "Grace of God" shows that the composer has an active social conscience, and is admirably concerned with the plight of those whose who have so much less.
I find it very hard to put the man and his music into any single category. Some of the songs on this CD have an "Americana" feel and others are much more simple in style; some songs are catchy and bouncy and others prick at your conscience and smash your heart into tiny pieces. As you would expect, Don's voice seamlessly adapts to each song; sometimes he reminds me of Bryan Adams, sometimes Sting and sometimes David Gray. However, those comparisons should not in any way detract from the unique style and tone of this exceptional voice.
Innocent Run is an album that bears repeated listening and loudly announces the arrival of this talented musician and charming man; the very personal acknowledgements and dedications in the sleeve notes give a further brief glimpse into the heart and mind of this performer.
So buy this album, play it loud and play it often and, if at all possible, catch Don Mescall performing live somewhere. I promise that you won't regret it for a moment . . .
Don as support immediately captured us with his songs so that we ALMOST forgot about Brian coming next - Don could have performed much longer.
He apparently mostly writes for other performers ( the haunting 'All over again' with Ronan Keating and Kate Rusby is a Don Mescall song). This CD proves that he ought to record more of them himself.
He has a strong clear voice with a wide range and when songs come from the heart like these do, they are always best sung by the one who wrote them. Listen to 'You don't love me like you used to' and 'from a Son to a Father' and discover Don Mescall yourself!
We'd certainly see him live again - hopefully with Don as top billing.........
The album does not disappoint. With the candour of his lyrics, Don has a way of drawing you into his world and sharing his pain with you. And there is an almost palpable sorrow to much of this album. From the opening words of the first track "Trouble is" - "How come you never know what you've got until it's gone", through the heartbreaking "You don't love me" to the forlorn "Why didn't I know", you just know that you're in for a rough emotional ride. These songs don't just tug at your heartstrings, they wrench at them.
There is some light relief from the pain, however. The gloriously uptempo "Speed of Love" is a great driving song. "When I turn the key, freedom never sounded better". Definitely one to blast from the car stereo on the open road. Uplifting.
I love Don's voice. I love the raw emotion, the slight raspiness and the Limerick accent which comes through the music clearly. I can't believe it has taken me all this time to discover him when I have known some of his songs for so long ("Paradise" as sung by Richie Havens, for example). It may be true that this album doesn't do justice to the marvellous live performances but it certainly goes a long way to filling the void until the next gig. I highly recommend not only that you buy the album but that you find out when he's playing at a venue near you and go along to experience the man and his music firsthand.
So many people sing his songs - Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Clay Aiken and others
His beautiful words about life, love, loss and humanity, together with his perfect phrasing
can make you laugh, cry, reflect on life, and go looking
for more Don Mescall CDs