Mark McDonald: Great Long Time (2002)
Want the flavor of old time front porch Delta and Country blues, with swampy smooth slide guitar, crisp acoustic solo licks and racked rythm harmonica? On Great Long Time, Mark McDonald performs seven of his original tunes, along with four classics which will be familiar to all blues aficionados. The disc’s excellent quality is revealed by the clarity in the lyrics, without the usual mumbling, slurring and marbles in the mouth sounds so often heard in more inferior blues captures. To authenticate the reproduction of the 20's and 30's recordings, scratch and click noises of a 78 record have been subtly superimposed on the beginning of the first cut, “Key to the Highway,” and the last, “Steady Rollin Man.” The record has many shining moments. Listening to the instrumental title cut raises visions of hot humid Summer days, an approaching freight train rumbling past the old wooden homestead, and the dust of cotton fields.
Mark McDonald, from Santa Rosa, California (50 miles north of San Francisco) is heavily influenced by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Bukka White, Son House, and Blind Willie Johnson. Contemporaries who have woven their style into Mark’s creativity and performance are Duane Allman, John Hammond Jr., and Jorma Kaukonen. His sound is embellished by an affinity for pre-World War II blues with the occasional modern humor added as a spice, as in “Dr. Laura’s Blues.”
A notable effect of Great Long Time is McDonald’s musical ability to place one's mood into the realm of tranquility. Hectic work weeks, family problems, money worries, lovers’ quarrels, and crying children can be easily forgotten with this blues collection. The delicacy of the music is extremely digestible, and the more you hear it, the tastier it gets.
Great Long Time is available at Amazon.com, CDbaby.com, and through McDonald's website, http://www.markmcdonaldblues.com
Track Listing: Key to the Highway/ Walkin' Blues/ Great Long Time/ Not Around Blues/ Porch Pie/ Ain't Nobody's Business/ Dr. Laura's Blues/ Open Door Blues/ Lucky Few/ Driftin Blues/ Cherry Street/ Steady Rollin' Man
Personnel: Mark McDonald (acoustic guitar, slide, harmonica)
Record Label: Intune