A confident, talented, up-and-coming artist
Eclectic singer/songwriter Mark W. Lennon is a transplanted tarheel guitarist who now makes his home in Los Angeles, so he’s probably encountered a little upheaval in life’s routines. Lennon points out that we can always count on the river to stay the same.
A connection with The Songwriting School of Los Angeles is helping Lennon to further find inspiration, tap his creativity, and develop the craft. He’s said that his 2009 EP release “Down the Mountain” was an album without a plan, which “led to more of a jam style record.” And he realizes that the more songs he writes, the better they become.
Lennon’s connection with the Burbank, Ca. songwriting school also led him to this new album’s producer Marvin Etzioni, who also plays mandolin, guitars, bass, piano and percussion on this rawboned, soulful project. Lennon’s full-length album debut Home of the Wheel displays his developing maturity in Americana and contemporary folk music.
The title cut is a ballad that begins with the birth of his father in 1938 and “tobacco fields run red in the rain, ‘cause World War II was closing in.” I reckon this boy is making his family proud. With its country twang, “California Calling” emphasizes that life is not only full of change, but also presents different roads that influence one’s journey. That song and the rocking closer “Stop and Go” were co-written by Lennon and Etzioni.
Lennon’s songs are clear, concise and well-defined. Others helping to bring Lennon’s songs to fruition include Jerry Zacarias (drums, percussion), Jacob Morgan (bass), Dean Vivirito (ukulele, piano, vocals), Bryan Dobbs (guitar, steel guitar, lap steel, vocals), Scarlet Rivera (fiddle), and Sally Jaye (vocals).
Mark W. Lennon is a confident, talented, up-and-coming artist you should check out. His debut album indicates that he’s still developing his specific personalized musical identity, and he shows interest and skill in a broad multi-genre spectrum. (Joe Ross, Sun209: The Americana Music Journal)
Home of the Wheel Reviews:
"County, folk and Appalachian strains combine in sweet and sour melancholic tunes, some aided by ex-Dylan fiddle player Scarlet Rivera, that, like the lovely and poignant 'Before the Fall,' mine a rich vein of dusky and affecting Americana." -American Songwriter
READ MORE: http://www.americansongwriter.com/2011/10/short-takes-phil-spector-laura-veirs-mayer-hawthorne-and-more/
"Mark W. Lennon may be a new name to most people but there is no reason he should or likely to stay that way because his music has a mass of wealth to offer....a man who can and does out sing Ryan Adams and all those alt-country acts that have for years been heaped with praise" -Americana UK
READ MORE: http://www.americana-uk.com/cd-reviews/item/maurice-hope-34?category_id=175
"Listening to Mark W. Lennon’s new release Home of the Wheel, I felt as if I was transported back to depression era America without leaving 2011...His sound is now complete and he is establishing himself as a rising star in the roots music community of the area. Look for the buzz to get louder on future releases. Mark W. Lennon’s music needs to be heard." -Twangville
READ MORE: http://twangville.com/8446/mark-w-lennon-home-of-the-wheel/
"As much as his personality carries over to his songwriting, it also translates into who he is as a performer. And in an industry driven by image, it is clear that he isn’t trying to be anyone other than himself.
But what is perhaps most unique about Lennon, is his ability to write sentimental songs that maintain a hopeful innocence, which is something that is rare to find in an artist." -Turnstyled, Junkpiled
READ MORE: http://turnstyledjunkpiled.com/?p=81
"North Carolina native (and current L.A. resident) Mark Lennon is the unassuming, easygoing guy next door. That’s what I enjoyed about his debut EP, Down the Mountain (2009, Vagabonds Tune) — it was like sitting on a wide and comfortable front porch, drinking ice cold beer and listening to a friend play some solid, honest guitar tunes.
His first video off the new album is “California Calling,” and the song is heavy on pedal steel, close harmonies, and that unmistakable high lonesome sound. Mark was nice enough to chat with me for a peek beyond the music." -Awaiting the flood
READ MORE: http://awaitingtheflood.com/beyond-the-music-mark-lennon/
"...a more earthy and eclectic collection of songs, Home of the Wheel takes meandering stroll along the path of American music, stopping along the way to soak up musical sound bites and use them for inspiration and affect." -Beat Surrender
READ MORE: http://www.beat-surrender.com/2011/11/07/mark-w-lennon-home-of-the-wheel/
"The consistency of Mark Lennon’s voice is what drives this record...He sings with a great deal of emotion that penetrates deep down into the listener’s soul, driving the purpose behind his creations home.
Home of the Wheel is one exquisite record that should definitely be appreciated by any aficionado of the folk, or as we so often call it today, Americana genre." -From Under the Basement
READ MORE: http://fromunderthebasement.blogspot.com/2011/11/mark-w-lennons-debut-album-home-of.html?spref=fb
"I spent a chunk of the fall listening to Home of the Wheel and humming along with his (mostly) slow, sweet grooves...It’s difficult for me to pick favorites here because I pretty much like them all, but I’m especially fond of The River Stays the Same and Paper Doll." -Now This Sound
READ MORE: http://www.nowthissound.com/ntsib/2011/12/13/california-calling-mark-w-lennon-home-of-the-wheel/
"I had to listen to Home of the Wheel, the song, more times than the other songs in this post. I needed to convince myself that Mark W Lennon could not have been present for the events described in the song. Yes, indeed, Lennon does tell us that this happened the day his father was born. Lennon is a very visual writer, and his songs have an immediacy that sounds like the songs are drawn from personal experience.
As much as I enjoyed Lennon’s debut EP, Down the Mountain, Home of the Wheel, the album, is the work of an artist who has found his voice." -Oliver di Place
READ MORE: http://oliverdiplace.blogspot.com/2011/09/poetry-men.html
"The River Stays The Same is a beautiful song meandering through the landscape of roots music." -AltCountry.nl
READ MORE: http://www.altcountry.nl/blog/2011/12/mark-w-lennon/
"Favorite tracks off the album are The River Stays The Same, Blues Forever and Paper Doll." -No Deal Music
READ MORE: http://www.nodealmusic.com/2011/11/amerikabrev-vol7-reviewshine.html
"Mark has a wonderful emotive tenor voice, which he effortlessly draws all the attention... "Home Of The Wheel" is a dark and melancholic album, with over 32 minutes while on the short side but on the whole excellent and exciting and has grabbed me by the throat." -altcountryforum.nl
READ MORE: http://www.altcountryforum.nl/2011/11/17/mark-w-lennon-home-of-the-wheel/
"Blues Forever(In Your Eyes) one of the best ballads heard this year, simple but very charming..." -Rootshighway.it
READ MORE: http://www.rootshighway.it/outsiders/lennon.htm
Home of the Wheel News:
Turnstyled, Junkpiled Pimp Podcast:
Turnstyled, Junkpiled – Wild West Sessions: Mark W. Lennon
Freight Train Boogie Podcast #139 | FTBPodcasts.com:
Americana Roots' Americana Rock Mix - Episode 118:
"Cold Mountain Steel" surfaces in this 2011 playlist:
WNCW Album Spotlight:
Taproot Radio - Rotation 280 on iTunes: