The highly anticipated follow-up to Kevin Mark’s award winning “Rolling The Dice” is here… and it’s a doozy!
“Cuttin’ Loose” showcases 14 tunes that’ll take you on a ride from the West Coast out to Chicago – with a pit stop in New Orleans – all while maintaining Kevin’s unique sound and songwriting approach (11 of the 14 tracks are brand new originals) that has won this guitarist/vocalist/songwriter numerous blues awards and nominations.
Recorded at Hideaway Studios in Montreal, Canada, “Cuttin’ Loose” features long-time rhythm section of bassist Costa Zafiropoulos and shuffle king Rob “Big Daddy” Marcheterre on drums – and sees the return of a three-piece saxophone section on most of the cuts – including Red Gauthier (tenor), Mat Mousseau (baritone) and Kevin Mark Blues Band alumni Little Frankie Thiffault (tenor), who also helped with the horn arrangements. Three tracks get a full 5-piece horn section treatment, helped out by Rachel Therrien on trumpet and Etienne Lebel on trombone.
Also making a return for “Cuttin’ Loose” is keyboard great Michael Fonfara, currently with the Downchild Blues Band. He laid down some mean B3 organ as well as some groovin’ piano lines.
Quebec blues singer Tina Dee rounds off the guest list by lending her vintage-flavored vocals to the Kevin Mark original “If Your Phone Don’t Ring” – which probably includes one of the most humorous quotes on the CD; “If your phone don’t ring, boy you’ll know it’s me”. Great stuff!
To top it off, the CD was mixed out in California by West-Coast blues engineer Jerry Hall who has worked with Little Charlie & The Nightcats, James Harman, Junior Watson, Kid Ramos – to name but a few.
From start to finish, the CD is exceptionally strong. The tunes fly by and once those last few notes fade off, the listener is left wanting more. Most of the songs fall into that “classic radio” length of under three minutes – which is a nice change for a blues album. Kevin’s influences do peek in occasionally (and exceptionally so on the instrumental tribute to Albert King, appropriately titled “King Albert”), but this album is far from being a copycat of any exact artist or style – and refreshingly so.
This is simply good ‘ole horn-driven blues that will make you want to move them hips!