Run Out of Darkness (Wild Cantinas)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Jan. 26, 2007
Run Out of Darkness
Mandy Mercier imagines herself as a blues chanteuse on the order of Maria Muldaur or Lou Ann Barton, someone who can belt one out or purr through the night. Unfortunately, her voice, the main instrument throughout her third album, Run Out of Darkness, isn't quite up to the task. The local singer-songwriter possesses an out-of-control warble that some might find attractive, but here it's distracting, undercutting the emotions she attempts to convey. Someone to provide direction would be advantageous, since Mercier self-produced this; she needs to be pointed away from destroying hoary blues classics like Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" and Big Mama Thornton's "Ball & Chain." The sole original, spritely country rocker "Get There," is a bright spot, as is the usual stout play of local guitarists Marvin Dykhuis and Paul Skelton. Run Out of Darkness finds Mercier once again trying too hard, when more thought is all she needs.