[Nashville, Tennessee, December, 2018] Proving that you can put a new slant on tried and true formats, is listening to the new album by Mark Wayne Glasmire [Traceway Records MWGCD 2018-1] who “Can’t Be Denied” stardom. Take out your neatly included little lyric booklet, so you can follow along with me…
From the first snare drum accents of “I’ve Got A Feeling”, this album captivates you into the professionally gleaned clean sound of “MWG”. Hark! I think I even hear a friendly banjo pluckin-away and soulful, groovin’ organ on that first track! Yes! Checkin’ one of the SoMuchMooreMedia press advances, I read that we are hearing wonderful Wanda Vick on banjo, fiddle and mandolin (I so wanna see her, upon hearing this!) and Dennis Wage on the Hammond B3. It all comes so-together from start-to-finish on this record musically; the band is tight.
Next in line, the very relaxing ‘Those Nights”, my first-favorite song here and reminiscent of The Eagles in the the late 1970s/early 1980s of my early Top 40 DJ days on the radio. It changes the pace of the former by starting with a three-note piano flair, the bluesy, plaintiff organ and then midway through a classic Country music piano/guitar solo interlude. I frown my face up to keep from cryin’ with joy. The more you listen, the more you’ll love it.
I have a feeling that Mark “Can’t Be Denied” consideration for a CMA award. This tune continues the feel of the former, flowing naturally next; great song positioning! I love the unique way the guitar’s three note progression becomes the hook! Tracks four and five play in the same key and “Alysia” is the best of that hook-up. This song is somehow reminiscent of “Spanish Lei”, an instrumental on the late Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “White Gold” album. Mark sings to and the guitar workings, (“bling, bling,bling…”) reveal her Latino roots. “Hey Alysia, (strum, strum, strum), You’re inside my [musical mind] heart …” It must be the mandolin; all they need is a marimba to complete the south of the border groove! She also mixed into my head magically, on other songs of the album as I went about my daily chores in recent weeks while working-up this review.
The sixth song, “Borderline”, is a bad-ass story of waking up to a bad day, a card game gone sour and attempted escape, only to cross that final ‘borderline”, that we all must at some point. Shades of Kenny Rogers on this one and I like that kinda storytellin’.
With so much to describe on this album, I don’t want to leave much out nor bore you because I “Feel Your Love”, as Mark so cleverly works real talk lingo into the lyrical mix. You have to hear how he hides the last word in this (paragraph) to know what I mean, “I guess that I could walk away and hang it up with dignity and class/But I would rather swing away and tell them all to kiss my…aaaaa-asss!” I smile out-loud, every time I hear it.
Unfortunately, we all know someone “Gone Too Soon” these days. A a nice fiddle interlude contributes perspective within the complimentary guitars and a Glen Campbell-style feeling throughout. “This Too Shall Pass” is a sobering ballad towards the end of the album, that addresses earthy, serious topics in all of our lives and its so philosophically introspective that I almost teared-up again, here at the end of a oft-sobering 2018 year. “Sometimes I sit back and wonder/How I made it this far/Nothing to show for the battles I fought/But the pain and the loss and the scars…”
Honorable mentions to check out are, “Deep Inside” for your traditional uptempo Country music jam-party foot-stomper and “Frying Pan Into the Fire” to hear some of our elders favorite admonitions when we were going up, in-song. ‘I’ve got a feeling’ that Mark will be heard at the upcoming 2019 CRS in Nashville and wish I could spy it.
This is cool, traveling and radio ready – even in radio’s current configuration – music. An Adult Contemporary, Americana or Country Music Director would have to be deaf not to add these tunes; yet, use’em sparingly, because the album can last a long time. With a glossy CD cover that spells label commitment, I couldn’t even make notes on it with a sharpie!
Congratulations, Mark! Major Props on producing music that truly touches all bases and produces potential dreaded “tune wedgies” at every other track. Five-out-of-five Country acoustic guitars is my rating.
Thanks for reading, please comment, if you wish and remember to check back to my “mothership connection” blog at www.achilliad.wordpress.com anytime for non-music opinion.