Mark's second CD - the follow up to the
excellent Stories. Eight songs and eight instrumental sets
played with flair and invention on guitar and dulcimer.
|this page updated 17 September 2010|
CD Review ROUTES – Mark Newman - Green Opal GO-CD102
This being my first ever CD review, I have resisted all attempts by our esteemed Editor to review CDs in the past, as I did not feel qualified to comment on “Folk Music”. However, I actually volunteered for this one.
I was lucky enough to catch Mark playing live recently as a fellow floor spot “doer” at Skipton Folk Club. I was even luckier to win this CD in the raffle!
Mark Newman is a superb acoustic guitarist (I am eminently qualified to make this observation). He has clearly been playing for a very long time, maybe even longer than me and his approach ranges through blues, jazz, ragtime and (I assume) traditional folk music. He also writes his own, mainly instrumental numbers and adds his own flair and style to both traditional and contemporary songs.
I played this CD the very next day and it stayed in my car CD player (the only place I get to really listen) for at least a fortnight. There are 16 tracks on this, Mark’s second CD, running for over 55 minutes (good value for quantity alone!), half with vocals, half without and featuring Mark with his various trademark Martin Guitars and other stringed plucked instruments, with support in part from his brother Chris, who I gather is internationally renowned (not qualified to confirm this).
The numbers range from traditional reels and jigs, through songs by Tom Paxton, Rev Gary Davies, Sonny Boy Williamson (“Eyesight to the Blind”, my personal favourite here) and others, to Mark’s own penned number “Kirk’s Fault” (dedicated to his friend who got him back into performing live). Each track is slightly different in its approach, yet each track is the same, in that it has Mark’s chic and rather distinctive guitar playing technique.
Mark can play acoustic guitar very fast indeed (do they have machines to measure picking speed?), yet he plays with such wonderful elegance, panache, feeling and emotion. His voice ain’t bad, either.
I don’t propose to list every track and give you my own Tyro Folky views of them individually, just to prove that I have listened, or that I know something about blues, jazz, ragtime or folk guitar playing. I will say just this – if you don’t appreciate awesome acoustic guitar playing of any kind, pass this one by; however, if you do, you will love every track on here.
Mark lives in France for most of the year these days so, if you get the chance, go see him live, listen, watch his fingers – they never leave his hands, buy this CD from him, or better still, win it in the raffle and buy him a beer!
Tony Levy, Tykes News
scroll down for tracklist &
|Road to Durham/Reelin' round the Tarn|
|Church Street Blues|
|Molly McAlpin/Lilliburlero/Gander in the Praitie Hole|
|All my Friends have gone|
|Feed the Ducks|
|When You're Winning|
|The Blacksmith/To be a Pilgrim/The Week before Easter|
|Eyesight to the Blind|
|Peg 'n' Awl|
|That's All Right|
|Musicians||Mark Newman - guitar, dulcimer & vocals|
|Chris Newman - guitar, mandolin & bass|
|Catalogue details||Green Opal GOCD102 2006|
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