John Called Mark - Songs From The Basement

Wednesday 1st December 1999
John Called Mark - Songs From The Basement
John Called Mark - Songs From The Basement

STYLE: Blues
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Independent
RRP: £16.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

The eccentrically named John Called Mark is also one John Evenson, a lawyer out of Ohio who rather than spending his legal fees in condos, cars and the rich life, has poured some of his resources back into his twin loves, Jesus and blues music, and financed an album which, in every way, fulfils his desire to make "gospel with guts". In this the singer/songwriter is helped on 'Songs From The Basement' by a legendary engineer/producer Jim Gaines credits include Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana}and a hand-picked band of blues rock musicians (Larry McCray's turbulent lead guitar licks are a constant delight). Not that this is a vanity project where a minor musical talent lays down the readies to indulge his ego trips. This guy has the chops, a gritty, emotive voice, rather like Larry Howard. As well as the rootsy blues cuts, John is able to handle soulful ballads, where he's aided by some righteous sisters and even a siring section plucked from Indianapolis Symphony. The songs themselves are full of clever imagery (eg, "If you want to walk on water, you've got lo gel out of the boat" or "Then I crawled in the bottle and I didn't come out too long") and if you're looking for bluesy, honest music which finely balances gutsy authenticity and state-of-the-art contemporary feel, John Called Mark is an artist you should take the trouble to investigate.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Murray N Rothbard in Denver Colorado @ 14:29 on Dec 29 2010

John Called Mark is a must for anyone who loves Christian Blues. He transcends the soul of Christian Blues.

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