The World Outside
Long Gone Miles
Your Second Line
Big Mary's House
Not All Right
Where Ignorance Is Bliss
Long Long Way To Go
In The Neighbourhood
The Numbers Game
Hard Times Now
Inhabiting the dual worlds of blues and folk, each song has a story to tell. All 12 songs were written by Mark himself and no two sound the same. The range takes in everything from the riff-driven blues of Panic Attack to the gentle, almost lullaby folk of Floatin' Around.
Mark's vocals and guitars - namely, a 1934 National resonator and a 12-string - are augmented by his talented group, which consists of the following personnel: Charles Benfield - double bass; Will Greener - harmonica; Josienne Clarke - vocals; Ben Walker - mandolin, Ed Hopwood - drums; Guy Bennett - keyboards.
Each member is given time and space to play to their strengths. Check out the harmonica on Your Second Line, the bass on Big Mary's House, mandolin on Hard Times Now, Josienne's lead vocals on Floatin' Around...well, just listen to all of it and have fun picking out the key moments for each instrument. Mark's guitars are the glue holding the various musical elements together; the hooks and riffs draw listeners into the world of the song and the intriguing, original lyrics hold them there as each narrative unfolds.
I enjoyed Crooked Smile but The World Outside represents a step further for Mark and his individual, original style. It's good know that in a world which sometimes seems to be filling up with manufactured bands and conveyor belt pop, people are still out there making real music and crafting real songs.
Follow Mark's news and tour dates over at his official website.