CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 15, 2005 ᾰ Fans of Dale Haskell’s wry, witty 2002 debut, Small Items, may wonder what’s become of the mischievous musical smirk that prevailed in his first collection of songs. Haskell, a professor in the Department of English at Southeast Missouri State University, has shelved his polished sarcasm and delivered a sincere, richly textured and masterfully executed follow-up album.
The CD, titled Ineloquent Heart, features 14 tracks gleaned from Haskell’s extensive repertoire of original songs. It was produced by Kurt Tietz at Sunrise Recording Studio in Cape Girardeau, and includes instrumental work by three recent Southeast graduates: Lincoln Barr, of Advance, Amy Vrbosky Holmes, of Jackson, Mo., and Jeff Overbey, of Cape Girardeau. Haskell handles the vocals and plays six and 12-string guitar and mandolin.
As if he’s physically bursting with the irony he worked so hard to keep out of the recording studio, Haskell claims he only performs because he writes the songs, that his singing voice is nothing special and that he’s a minimally adequate rhythm guitarist. Not to mention he’s a English professor with a CD titled Ineloquent Heart.
Not only are the lyrics on Ineloquent Heart not ineloquent, the album abounds with elegant musicianship. The talent is both Haskell’s and his well-chosen accompanists’, who have a tremendous, rare knack for knowing when to come in with a trickling piano fill (“Way Down Deep”) or a toe-tapping guitar lick (“Happy Times”), and when to step back and give the stage to Haskell’s endearing melodies and words.
Haskell, who began writing songs in 2001, says ideas for songs bombard him constantly, whether he’s riding his bike, mowing the lawn or driving around town.
“What if there’s a guy who wants to say something classy to the woman who just ripped his heart out?” Haskell said. “What if there’s a woman who’s being hit on by a guy who has ignored her for months? How will she shut him down? What if some loser never summons the courage to tell the woman that he loves her? What happens to him?”
A natural live-performer, Haskell likens having an unperformed song to carrying around a water balloon.
“You can’t wait to unload it on somebody, and you’re hoping to deliver a direct hit. Sometimes you do, and it feels great,” he said.
Ineloquent Heart is available at the University Bookstore, Hastings and PMac Music in Cape Girardeau, and online at www.cdbaby.net. Haskell will play CD-release performances on the following dates:
- April 20, at the University Center Patio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- April 22, at the Bel Air Grill on Spanish Street from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- April 24, at The Tower Rock Winery in Altenburg from 2 to 6 p.m.
- April 29, at Schock’s Pub in Scott City from 9 to 11 p.m.
- May 6, at Hastings in the Town Plaza in Cape Girardeau from 7 to 9 p.m.
For more information, contact Dale Haskell at (573)651-2629, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.