"New Blue Yodel"
New 1999 release: "Real Special Feelin' "
"Just think of Woody Guthrie and Lyle Lovett taking Mark Twain on a picnic facing off with Jimmie Rodgers and Louis Armstrong on a hot, dusty afternoon in the Mississippi Delta" and you've got a good idea of Mark Brine's sound.
Singer/songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, and yodeler, Mark hails from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was part of the 60's folk scene. His rich, authentic roots sound was developed in Nashville and America's south, where he continually impressed musicians who can detect authenticity (or lack of it). Despite having spent eleven years in Nashville and having played at the Grand Ole Opry with Hank Snow's band, Mark will say he is not a "country" artist, but a blend of folk, country, and blues. He won the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festivaltalent contest in 1979 and was the first folk-oriented artist to be included on "The Tape", produced and distributed by the New Music Seminars, NYC in 1986. The single "New Blue Yodel" led to two preliminary Grammy nominations in 1992, for "Best Country Music Vocalist" and "Best Country Song". Mark has also become an author, releasing "The Carol", an audio book with folk music, which was thirteen years in the making.
His newest album release of classic Americana, New Blue Yodel, (<resigned> Records), was made to "sate the roots-starved music lovers of the '90's". Tom Pomposello president of <re:signed>, was struck by the purity of Mark's throwback country sound and teamed up with him to make the album. (In addition to running Pomposello Inc., a New York City-based sound design and production company, Pomposello was a protege of Mississippi Fred McDowell and is a blues veteran himself.) Working with ten sparkling Brine originals with some traditional tunes thrown in (Stephen Foster, Fred Rose), Pomposello, Brine and a wild cast of musicians crafted a rich mix of early century yodeling, smoky blues and folk raconteuring with an edge heard only below 14th Street.
A recent issue of Citypaper (Baltimore) perhaps sums it up best. "Brine knows his stuff well enough to know that there was a time in this country when blues, country, jazz, gospel, and popular song were not nearly as isolated from each other as they are today." Mark's songs live in an entirely different, intangible place you can't find on a map... a place where some people are, in fact, shy! Where life is still precious and significant and death is still a heartbreak that can shatter a soul.. .where a down 'n out singer is still standin' at the intersection.. just try'n t' fig're how t' make a meal."
"Mark Brine plants both feet
in American traditions, wears his heart on his sleeve, and his head...
well, its in a very unusual place. His phrasing and his sliding yodel will
stick in your head long after first hearing. Brine is a genuine true blue
folk singer, with no apologies."
"Mark Brine may originally
hall from Cambridge, MA, but to hear him sing and play you'd assume he's
been slouching on collapsing front porches and wandering dusty back roads
all his life."
"Just think of it as Woody
Guthrie and Lyle Lovett taking Mark Twain on a picnic somewhere in the
heart of the Mississippi Delta. You know the place, a place of earth, grass,
hickory smoke, cool water and so many different colors of blue."
"A fine young man that I
think has got a great future!"
"Wild Blue Yodeler"
..... his Jimmie Rodgers
tribute record was one of the great listening experiences of this reviewer's
year to date. A DiSCovery Award winner, for sure."
"Brine's got the moaning/yodeling
vocals down cold."
"With each and every recording,
Brine cements his standing among the best singer/songwriter's
"I could listen to him sing
all night long. He does a good job, that boy does."