Review Archive

‘Latecomer’ from Mark Waistell

(April 24, 2012)

Allegedly some bottled water or other brands itself as filtering through rocks for thousands of years to Latecomerachieve its quality - that may be, but clearly the same applies to music. The album ‘Latecomer’ from Mark Waistell is a reflection of matured feelings and emotions filtered down through years of living life and a 30-year break from music. From a student that used to play a guitar, through the pressure of business and the vagaries of life to a point where the music came back (along with acquiring a handmade guitar) Mark found his muse and started recording – ‘Latecomer’ is the result, a collection of striking melodies and charismatic songs.

These are songs of depth and feeling delivered by a voice that has the substance and richness that only time and experience can engender. There’s love in the achingly poignant essence of ‘Go To Sleep My Child’ and minute celebrations of truth in ‘And In Her Eyes’ – with both the humanity is palpable. While for genuine understanding of people and places, and knowing how they get away from you unless you hold on to them - listen to ‘Western Skies’ and ‘In Paris’. And for me the keenly observed and lovingly constructed ‘My England Of Long Ago’ is stunning – hold on to this one, it will become a classic.

The talent on the album speaks for itself, aside from the exceptional compositions by Mark (vocals, six and twelve-string guitar) there’s Phil Beer (violin) Mark Tucker (bass, synthesiser, backing vocals) Gerry Conway (percussion) Barney Morse-Brown (cello) Jane Griffiths (violin) and Spencer Cozens (piano).

All of this begs the question, if other lives and pressures hadn’t got in the way, how many classic Waistell albums would be behind him now? No matter, all we do now is stand by as the muse picks up speed and wait for more to follow.

‘Latecomer’ is out on Autumn Music, it releases on 7 May 2012 and it’s available from Mark’s web site, iTunes and Amazon – buy it and this is one album that you will play again and again.

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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