Online since August 2002

The rough edge of country

From the Summer 2003 issue.

By Mark Insley

Rustic Records: 2003

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

Mark Insley looks and dresses like Mojo Nixon on the inner sleeve of his latest CD; but if he looks the part of a redneck clown, he writes classic country/folk songs in the vein of Tonwes Van Zandt and Guy Cark.

"The Devil's Knocking" and "My Neighborh's Dog" and "Meat, the Devil" – they're all the kind of jagged, slice-of-life songs Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson used to write; stories about truck drivers and factory workers and other regular folk.

And when he chooses a cover, he chooses very well – "Deep End of the Bar" by D. Holstein and "Heart Out in the Snow" by Alex Brumbaugh both have that "Haven't I heard this before" instant familiarity.

His voice is no great shakes, but its roughness has its charms. Clare Muldaur, daughter of folk icons Geoff and Maria, chimes in on harmony vocals.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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