Rate: 192 kbps CBR / 44100
Size: 60,48 MB
There are two voices in every song. The lyrics and the musical framework. Mark DuFresne has always had the gift of turning a lyrical phrase to entertain and sting with edgy truths. His lyrics are highly original, smart, and nearly always framed with wry wit. Mark is not looking to be derivative or retro-hip in his poetry, rather like a good stand-up comic or novelist, he communicates with vignettes from the common experience. You smile or wince, and say, "I've done, seen, or heard that".
Marks opening volley is 'Seasoned Veteran', a little boast about those of us with a creak in our bones and a lot of street wisdom from simply surviving. 'Born To Lose' is my favorite, with its pessimistic chronology of a Joe Lunch Bucket life. There's so much more here. Listen carefully, children, and learn. It's original and fresh songwriting at its best. It doesn't hurt, by the way, that Mark has no peer in pure singing power and range.
However, like all thoughtful writers in this genre, Mark knows that there is precious little new to say, musically, in the blues and R&B idioms. The music usually becomes a selective homage to the originators who have gone before. Given this 'truth', you need to have a group of musicians who can sagely nod and recognize the right obscure references that are required. Mark wanted an experienced band, that knows each other like brothers, with mountains of studio background, and chops days. What the Meters were to New Orleans 60s and 70s recordings, this unnamed gang of gunslingers is to Los Angeles blues recordings in the 90s.
Kid Ramos has a genius facility for calling up tone and guitar figures from everyone who has gone before. Fred Kaplans able left hand, and rangy right, can deliver musical threads drawn from Gospel to the whorehouse and turpentine camp professors. Legendary bassist, Larry Taylor massages both upright and electric bass with a wonderful ability to only be noticed if he stops. Richard 'The Crusher' Innes defies his nickname with restrained, yet propulsive, drumming and . hold on to your hat, superbly syncopated brushes on one tune!
Mark rides these waves of support, masterfully, with harp sounds leaning on both Walters, Wolf, Rice Miller, and even some thick humid Memphis rat-tone, here and there.
I don't want to forget a tip of the hat to the producer, Lynwood Slim. The recording is proof that he got all the players pulling in the same direction, at the same time. A tough job. Take my word for it. Mark had many nice things to say about Jerry Hall, who engineered the LA sessions and Canadians, Jack Lavin and Ken Burke, who ably handled some post-production re-mixing plus the mastering.
The sum total, preserved here, is a fresh voice riding over taut veteran support from the Los Angeles 'A' Team. It's uncommon proof that a talented artist, with vision, can get the most from a thoughtful producer and reverently skilled musicians. ('Uncle' Ray Varner)
01 - Seasoned Veteran 02:46
02 - The King, The Man, The One 03:32
03 - Two For The Price Of Ten 04:19
04 - Born To Lose 05:01
05 - Squeaky Clean 03:13
06 - A Song In There 03:08
07 - Call My Name 03:10
08 - Take It All 04:57
09 - The Deal You Get 02:44
10 - Tonight, Twice 05:15
11 - Out The Door 05:55
Gamble for more Mark DuFresne Band