Mark Westin has been a songwriter and performer for long enough to be good at it. "dirty folk" represents some of his finest work. By the way, the songs on "dirty folk" aren't dirty. The people in 'em are.
Mark really wants people to enjoy his music and doesn't like the idea of compromising. However, he's writing this right now in the third person to create the illusion that there's an enormous PR machine behind him, because that's what he's been led to believe you're supposed to do in his position.
His position at the moment is seated upright in a wooden chair by the fireplace of his old farmhouse in New York's Hudson Valley. Some other positions he likes are leapfrog and reverse cowgirl. Some people call those compromising positions but Mark has never understood why. There's far more compromise in making music for money than in making love for free.
Here's what Mark has to say about his record:
"The original idea was to do a record that was as live, immediate, and one-take as possible, warts and all. I'd sacrifice technique for energy, emotion and pure balls.
That's the spirit in which I recorded. But when I got to the mix phase I suddenly found myself filled with conflict; what order should the songs go in for best effect? Should I turn up the guitar or move the vocals to one side? Which song should I "produce up" for most commercial potential?
And then I remembered what I was doing this record for. As a gesture of respect to all the artists who influenced me musically and personally, who shaped my worldview and taught me how to express it. The artists who spoke through their songs about the way life really works. About politics, society, religion, humanity. You know, all the 'difficult' subjects. All the ones that require individual thought to comprehend. All the non-commercial ones.
I realized I had to leave my record alone. I wrote the songs as best I could and sang 'em as best as I can. And I'm leaving behind a document for future generations to know that life on this planet in 2K wasn't all manufactured, processed and focus-grouped before being implanted into the willing brains of a love-starved public.
I made the record I wanted to make - unvarnished, immediate, real. As a tribute to the artists before me who did the same in their time. The artists who attempted to say something - whether or not anyone was listening, whether what they were saying was in vogue at the moment, and even whether what they were saying made any sense at all. The artists who searched for truth in all its myriad forms and struggled to bring their discoveries to a wider world. In short, the artists who MATTERED. I don't claim to be their equal; I'm just walking some of the same roads they did and reporting on how the view has changed or stayed the same."