Nashville hit songwriter, Fred Koller (Lone Star State of Mind and dozens of others) calls Mark Bradlyn 'an undiscovered treasure.' Now, with the release of his newest recording, Lighthouse Keeper, Mark will surely put an end to his obscurity. After over 30 years of paying his musical dues, Mark Bradlyn has crafted a CD that cannot easily be compared to that of any other contemporary performing songwriter. Recorded mostly live, and featuring guest harmony vocals by Mary McCaslin, hot fiddling by prize-winning violinist Dennis English, and the solid rhythmic support of drummer Rick Walker and bassists Stan Poplin and Matt Bohn, as well as the occasional tasteful cello line by Kris Yenney and additional acoustic guitar by Chuck McCabe and Ilan Heer, the arrangements on Lighthouse Keeper reach back to the 60s while keeping an eye on the present. Unlike many songwriters who seek comparisons and admit to working to emulate the style of artists they admire, Mark has cultivated an individual voice for as long as he's been playing and singing. Oh, there were influences 30 years ago, Tim Hardin and Fred Neil primarily, but Mark has never tried to write or sound like anyone else. And the results are plain to the ear. In a review of Mark's first CD, Outside the Family Way, 'Independent Songwriter Web Magazine' wrote, 'It's the real deal here. No fluff to get in the way. His voice is so different that it would be hard to compare with another artist. His sound is warm and honest, yet lives on the verge of heartbreak. You can connect to his music by virtue of it's humanness.... (his singing) breathes a sincerity that takes the breath away.' Born in Ohio in 1948 and raised mostly in Texas, Mark Bradlyn has been performing folk music professionally since his high school days in San Antonio. Over the years Mark has performed in a wide variety of concert situations from showcases to folk festivals, coffee houses, colleges, and clubs. He has been a featured performer at The Miami University Folk Music Festival (1966), The Peninsula Folk Festival (1976), The Santa Cruz Folk Festival (1978), The San Francisco Free Folk Festival (1978), and The Monterey Folk Festival (1979). Venues where Mark has appeared include Freight & Salvage, Ploughshares Coffee House, The Stanford Coffee House, Espresso Garden & Cafe, The Placerville Coffee House, and Strings. Mark's early influences were Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, and Tim Buckley. A verstile singer, Mark's textured tenor voice projects a wide range of emotion, and his finger-picked and strummed guitar accompaniments offer secure support for his fluid vocal expressions. He is proud to have shared concert stages with such illustrious performers as Phil Ochs, Kate Wolf, Rosalie Sorrells, Bill Staines, and Kim and Reggie Harris. From recent reviews of 'Lighthouse Keeper' 'Mark's is a seasoned, sublimely human voice. On 'Lighthouse Keeper, Bradlyn's earthy vocals, peppered with little cracks and flourishes, bring listeners straight into the heart of his powerful storytelling. His songs are poignant without being saccharine. In the title song, haunting refrains and chilling images produce an almost cinematic feeling. 'Burnt to the Ground' is pure bluegrass, while 'Words I've Heard Before' is a kick-up-your-heels Western swing number. With vocal accompaniment by local legend Mary McCaslin and the wicked fiddling of Dennis English, these tunes are definitely keepers. ' - Andrea Perkins, Metro Santa Cruz Poignant, clever and intelligent songs. Bradlyn is an undiscovered treasure. Musically this CD is beautiful. Bradlyn is a fine guitar player and he has surrounded himself with some fine backing musicians. - David M Pyles, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange A haunting, reflective mix of stories. Filled with imagery that burns deep from the soul. Vulnerable vocals on the verge of despair. A sad, yet victorous journey into the past. - Independent Songwriter Web Magazine FIVE STARS : A ISWM INDIE PICK OF THE MONTH What makes Bradlyn good is his ability to tell a complete story in five minutes or less. Damn, this guy is talented. I never thought a guy with stories to tell and an acoustic guitar could keep my attention. No amplifiers, no tattoos, no leather pants - just plain old compositions that tell stories of life, love, want and loss. - Aaron Barker, FolkWax - On-line Folk Music Magazine Mark currently lives near Santa Cruz, California. He performs occasionally and is involved in writing songs for his next CD.
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