Friday, April 1, 2016

Mark Cameron -- "Playing Rough"

From the very first few notes of the first song, "Doctor In The House," Mark Cameron lays down a winner with his new cd "Playing Rough." Of course, with a 30 year track record of making music based in Minneapolis, Cameron knows what he is doing...and he does it so good. This is his fourth blues release, following “Life Of Illusion” (2009) “Built To Bust” (2011) and "One Way Ride To The Blues" (2014). I took the tour to give all of those releases a listen, and "Playing Rough" is both a continuation and a fresh start. 

The band this time out includes Cameron on guitar, Bill Keyes on harmonica, Scott Lindberg on bass, Dan Schroeder on drums, and Sheri Cameron on flute. Additional musicians include Sara Renner and Tonia Hughes on background vocals, Scott Sansby on washboard and bones, Jason Craft on keyboards, and Greg Schutte and Nick Salisbury. All the songs were written by Cameron. One song, "Bluesmans Lullaby," is dedicated to BB King. 

I don't know where to start, trying to describe this cd. Every song reels you in. Sometimes it is a guitar lick, or a harmonica break, or the flute, or the vocal, and the band is always deep in the pocket. Lyrically, this is a very strong release. And musically, the band sounds like they have played together for years--because they have. I wish I had been a fly on the wall in the studio--it sounds like it was a great time! 

My favorite song here is "Rusty Old Model T." It sounds like it could be a song from another one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Dick LeMasters, from Texas. His new cd "Gasoline And Fire" should be reviewed here pretty soon.        

You can buy this cd on cd or vinyl at  


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