Calum MacColl – Music News

Red grape (label)

August 12, 2022 (published)

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Calum MacColl is part of the MacColl/Seeger dynasty; son of Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl, half-brother of Kirsty MacColl, nephew of Pete Seeger – sort of inevitable, he would find his career in music. For over 35 years he has worked as a producer, songwriter, musical director and session guitarist, but this is his first solo album and he has written every track with Neill MacColl & Tim May or purely in his own hand. .

The quality of the songs and the level of playing are remarkable. He has an insistent voice rather than a punchy one but it is more than pleasant to listen to. He also has a superb backing band of musicians – Mikey Rowe on keyboards, Martyn Barker on drums, Leroy Lendor on bass and Liz Lawrence on backing vocals – all with a pedigree that could win Crufts!

The songs themselves are very personal to MacColl and he writes a nice little paragraph for each in the booklet that accompanies the CD. His subjects vary, many on depression and its impact on him and his loved ones, others cover more esoteric topics like two young American soldiers buried in an American cemetery in France and pondering their thoughts and actions but the music is rarely depressing or sad – it’s rather deeply sincere and there’s a sense of wonder throughout. A few tracks have the comedic feel of a trailer number, but each track is unique and plays very differently from its neighbors.

I listened to the album five or six times, and each time a different track caught my attention, whether for the lyrics or the interpretation. Very rare that an album catches the ear in this way.