Mark Wein is proud to announce the release of his first solo album, “Black Market Hearts”. Using Mark’s love of traditional blues, rock, soul and New Orleans styles of music as a jumping-off point, the 11 songs that make up “Black Market Hearts” were fleshed out and brought to life by producer Scott Francisco, bassist Martin Torres, drummer Tyler Walton and keyboard player Gary Pritchard with help from guest artists Tommy Harkenrider (James Harman, Lynwood Slim, Big J McNeely), Scheila Gonzalez (Zappa Plays Zappa) and Sean Billings (Brian Setzer Orchestra).
Mark’s last release was 2002’s release of “Desert Center” with the rock band Felt, which not coincidentally also included his group of close friends Francisco, Torres and Pritchard. In the intervening years , Mark opened his Orange, CA music school Premier Music in 2004 and MarkWeinGuitarLessons.com in 2007. Running these ventures and starting a family kept Mark from recording or writing original music during those years, although he did stay busy performing with local blues and cover bands such as the Metropolitans, Kingsize and the All Star Trio. In mid-2012 Mark decided that after years of playing cover gigs and being known to a fairly large online community at the “YouTube Lesson Guy”, it was time to record a new album and re-establish himself as an artist.
After enlisting a team of his favorite local players and good friends, Mark wrote 17 songs for an album to be entitled “Black Market Hearts”. Recording started by the end of the year, and the musicians spent the next year scheduling around busy careers and family lives to record the 11 songs that ended up making the final cut.
The songs on “Black Market Hearts” combine Mark’s desire to tell stories lyrically with his intent to have the songs musically stretch beyond traditional blues forms and feels. Mark decided that no two songs would have the same groove and wherever a tweak could be added to a song structure or chord progression to better serve the song, it would be done. The final album is packed with grooves influenced by funk, soul, New Orleans and rock music as much as from the blues of Chicago, Texas and Memphis. If there was a song that needed a second guitar part, other musicians were brought in to keep a more organic band feel instead of a wall of overdubbed guitars from Mark. The end result is something more than a traditional blues album stylistically, and the production has more in common with a rock or alt.country band of the last 10 years than a classic Chess Records recording. Mark and album producer/engineer Scott Francisco decided fairly early on that, instead of regurgitating all of their favorite blues recordings, the band would make THEIR blues album distilled from their own musical journeys and tastes.