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Flyinshoes Review

Welcome to FSR our Roots Music Reviewers & Pod/broadcasters Community

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www.brothermarkmusic.com

The M. stands for Mark but with two other Mark Lucas musicians out there this particular Mark has launched his solo career under a simple M.  Born in Kentucky, he has been surrounded by traditional music all his life, latterly earning his keep in a folk duo and then in roots group Billyblues. That sounds like it all led to this point; he's spent the last couple of years working on the songs contained on Dust and on the companion album which will follow later in the year.

      More a distillation than an exploration, the ten songs on Dust evoke an old America in pretty much the way The Band did all those years ago.  This is not to say that this music sounds like The Band, it's just that he succeeds in evoking a world before six-lane highways and palaces to consumerism without ever playing strictly traditional music. If the overall sound reminds me of anyone, it's probably Lyle Lovett but the man experiments with so many different sounds over the course of the album, it's his distinctly rough-edged, bruised vocal that is the unifying characteristic. There are some guest spots from various musicians, notably some very fine fiddle playing that lights up the one traditional song, "Lost John". However, Mark says on his website that mostly he worked on these songs by himself, striving to get a particular sound that he wanted and for that reason it feels to me that these songs might sound quite different played live by a full band. As good as the production is I can't help feeling there's a bit of verve missing that would come from a band striking sparks off each other.

        Mark's songs cover a wide range of subject matter; there's some very contemplative songs that have a quiet, poetic beauty about them. "Last Things" deals with the emotions involved as you tidy away the things left behind by someone recently departed; "Dust" contemplates the old sense of wonder a small-town kid would have on his weekly visit to the picture house, whilst "Gold" is a little more elusive but seems to deal with that bittersweet joy felt in experiencing transient beauty. The livelier songs are just as varied and if you were going to get up and dance to them, like as not it'd be old-style foot stomping barn dancing that would come naturally. His lyrics are maybe lighter on their feet than his music -  he avoids the simple tune in favour of seeking out more depth.  "Bivouac Of The Dead" is his setting of some old words and is about as straightforward a tune as he allows himself but even this has some brief stops in it and some space for some ghostly atmospherics.

        I don't suppose there's too much chance of it happening in the near future on this side of the Atlantic but it would be fascinating to hear these songs performed live with a full band; there's so much going on I can imagine it being a richly satisfying experience and in the song "Down In The Swamp" he's got a natural showstopper, a Little Feat style cheerfully irreverent stomp that could be stretched out long into the night with everyone up and dancing.

 

John Davy


Find more music like this on Flyinshoes Review


Mark Lucas on FSR http://flyinshoes.ning.com/profile/MarkThorntonLucas

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January 2018Month
Last
Month
Points Artist / Album Title / Label / * Album of the Month of… (reporter)
1 63
HAYES CARLL / What It Is / Dualtone *RK, *JB,*HB,
2 61
PHIL LEE / The Horse He Rode In On / Palookaville Records *BH, *PvG,
*FB, *PK
3 60
THE DELINES/ Imperial / El Cortez *PK, *FCe, *LK
4 51
VICKY EMERSON / Steady Heart / Independent *MW, *ML
5 42
LULA WILES / What Will We Do / Smithsonian Folkways *MM, *MF
6 34
SUZANNE JARVIE / In The Clear / Wolfe Island *BP
7 29
JESSE DAYTON / On Fire In Nashville / Blue Elan *SZ
8 27
KIERAN GOSS & ANNIE KINSELLA / Oh, The Starlings / Independent
27
CARSON McHONE / Carousel / Loose Music
27
TINY LEGS TIM / Elsewhere Bound / Independent *TV, *FC,
11 26
MANDOLIN ORANGE / Tides of a Teardrop / Yep Roc *BM
12 22
LEYLA McCALLA / Capitalist Blues / Jazz Village *DH
13 21
ROB HERON & THE TEA PAD ORCHESTRA / Soul Of My City *HBr
14 21
SIX MILE GROVE / Million Birds / Independent
15 19
BOB SUMNER / Wasted love songs /Self-released *MG
19
STEVE GUNN / The Unseen in Between / Matador
19
ROBERT ELLIS / Texas Piano Man / New West *CVL, *DHo
18 19
JOSHUA RAY WALKER / Wish you were here / State Fair *MA
19 18
CAM PENNER / At War With Reason / Self-released *LM
20 15
CHARLEY CROCKETT / Lil G.L.'S Blue / Bonanza
21 14
JARED DECK / Bully Pulpit / Self-released *AN, *AL
14
MICHAEL CHAPMAN / True North / Paradise of Bachelors
23 13
INA FORSMAN / Been Meaning To Tell You / RUF *EZ
24 12
KAYLAN FAY / Good Company / Horton
12
RICHARD DOBSON / I Hear Singing / Brambus *JJC
ALBUMS OF THE MONTH (NOT IN TOP 25)
DILLON CARMICHAEL / Hell On An Angel / Riser House *PHe
SELECT CAPTAIN / Off To Save The World / Soundchest *JJ
BRANDON ISAAK / Rise N Shine / Independent *RW
EINAR FLA / Silent String / Grappa *MB
CHAMPAGNE CHARLIE / Sixpack / Self-released *PJ
JAMIE LEE WILSON / Jumping Over Rocks / Self-released *HdB
DALE WATSON / Call Me Lucky / Red House *RH
JEFF TWEEDY / Warm / DBPM *JS
WEST OF EDEN / Flat Earth Society / West Of Music *PH
JODYMOON / A Love Brand New / Self-Released *JF
ANDREW COMBS / Worried Man (Deluxe Edition) / Loose Music *GF
HALDEN WOFFORD & THE HI BEANS / Hard Core Broken Heart /
Independent *MP
JONATHAN BYRD / Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys/ *JH
BILL SHANLEY / Midnight Mission / Cauldron Music *NC
MICKEY GALYEAN & CULLEN’s BRIDGE / Songs From The Blue Ridge /
Rebel *HD
JOE JACKSON / Fool / EarMusic *KG
WESTERN YOUTH / WESTERN YOUTH / Independent *BK
TIP JAR / Onward / Independent *FS
KC GROVES / Happy Little Trees / Self-released *JH
TIMBER / The Family / Cornelius Chapel *

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