Turpentine’ from Mark Harrison - maintains its intense presence(July 06, 2016)
Holding a reputation for both genuine old-time rootsy feel augmented by writing songs with ‘messages for today’ themes, Mark Harrison takes his idiosyncratic style, absorbs a range of influences and produces individualistic, original music. There's early blues mixed with contemporary folk, accomplished songwriting, and a generous slice of acerbic observation coupled to a plentiful feel for rhythm with gutsy hooks - take that and you’ve got ‘Turpentine’ from Mark Harrison.
This album is fresh as morning sunshine and as sharp as a well-hoend razor. The vocals take you inside their narratives, while the music pulls you along without you ever feeling the slightest tug, you’re just there with it. As each song follows its predecessor with the same honest attraction, Harrison’s rhythmic finger-picked style on ‘Turpentine’ maintains its intense presence. Which tracks standout? Well this album is so good it’s hard to choose, however for my money the best of the best are ‘Black Dog Moan’, ‘The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek’, ‘Dog Rib’ and ‘Fade Away’ – will you agree? There’s one sure-fire way to check - buy a copy.
Playing on ‘Turpentine’ are Mark Harrison (National/ 12-string guitars, lead vocals) Charles Benfield (double bass, vocals) Ed Hopwood (drums, percussion, harmonica, vocals) and Paul Tkachenko (mandolin, piano, organ, accordion).
Review: Tom Franks