Monday, September 29, 2014

CD: S. R. 'SHAWN' DUGAN - Memorial Lane

Memorial Lane
In Your Eyes - Sorrow Is - Memorial Lane - Smoky Mountain Memories - Hold My Hand - Deliverance - Unsatisfied - Omaha - This Lady - Undone
     I believe this excellent songwriter, vocalist, and recording artist makes his home in Minnesota, but not absolutely sure.  Right off the bat, before I even listened to his work, I caught this on his website....."I'm a simple Jesus follower, a husband, a father, and a friend.  While others may see me as many other things, in the end those are the only few that matter to me."  How much plainer could it be?  He's got a lovely voice, exactly suited to the music he writes.  He leans, at least in my opinion, toward pop-gospel, but there is an occasional brilliance in acoustic variety which I do appreciate.  The song itself "Memorial Lane" is quite interesting to me, shades of 'Rank Strangers' and some very nice acoustic guitar.  I like the lyrics, from the very start...."I walk down Memorial Lane in a town that has forgotten my name.  They don't know where I'm going' and they don't know my song.  All they know is where I don't belong."  This simple statement is the same we've heard in many different ways from Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Ralph Stanley, Hank Williams, it's even in a Bob Everhart song or two.....'all they know is where I don't belong.'  That's the hard part for anyone in music to understand if you are following your road in life, and that road sometimes seems to be somewhere you don't belong.  A magical musical adventure full of meaningful lyrics, very well written and very well vocalized.  Shawn Dugan is definitely on the road of his own ministry, and for those that need to hear him, I do appreciate the huge number that will like what he is telling them.  Another verse in the 'Memorial Lane' song I really like is "Someone once said a prophet's not welcome in his native land, his own blessed kingdom the trade winds blew and they carried me along.  All I know now is where I don't belong."  Super writing.  Followed by "Smoky Mountain Memories" invokes a peek into John Denver's Rocky Mountains high.  Lots and lots of empathy here.  A lot of Shawn's songs border on good simple rock and roll, highly recommended for the younger listener to find some meaningful dialogue about that very famous prophet, Jesus Christ.  It's all very real for me, I've followed a similar road through my 78 years, and it's a delight to be able to listen to this very well composed young man.  Much continued success Shawn.
Review by Bob Everhart  for Country Music News International Magazine