Mark Erelli | Milltowns

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Folk: Folk-Rock Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Mark Erelli

A masterful and deeply personal tribute to singer-songwriter Bill Morrissey.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Birches
3:37 $0.99
2. Night Train
5:02 $0.99
3. 23rd Street
3:54 $0.99
4. Man from Out of Town
5:05 $0.99
5. Letter from Heaven
1:54 $0.99
6. Handsome Molly
4:27 $0.99
7. Ice Fishing
3:21 $0.99
8. Time to Go Home
3:46 $0.99
9. Morrissey Falls in Love At First Sight
1:38 $0.99
10. These Cold Fingers
4:40 $0.99
11. She's That Kind of Mystery
3:55 $0.99
12. Long Gone
3:55 $0.99
13. Milltowns
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
There’s a theory, dubbed “Literary Darwinism,” which holds that stories are heard, told and retold according to what they tell us about how to adapt and survive. When we hear a story that teaches us something we recognize is important, we store it for later use, as opposed to stories that only entertain before moving to the mental trash-bin. The same is true of songs, which register anywhere between ear-candy danceable pop-songs with throw-away lyrics to songs with lyrics so important they change our lives. It’s the difference between background music and foreground music, songs that demand (and reward) our full attention. Anyone who ever heard Bill Morrissey in solo performance realized, two or three minutes in, that they were in the presence of a master of foreground music, an artist whose songs contain a wisdom hard-won from experience, distilled to its essence, and conveyed with as little superfluous ornamentation as possible.

Mark Erelli came to Bill Morrissey’s music the way the rest of us did, drawn immediately to the content and the genius of songs which, as a body of work, limn the New England population and landscape with an eye countless reviewers recognized as literary, filled with astute observations of the human condition in all its complex and contradictory mystery. The irony, of course, is that over a lifetime of writing songs that teach us how to survive, the writer himself could not survive, but that in no way vitiates their power, and in fact, it speaks to how deeply Bill was tapping into his own personal struggles. What Mark Erelli has done, in this masterful new album of Bill’s songs ( and one of his own), is act on that impulse we all had, the first time we heard Bill, the feeling that we’d discovered someone truly important, music that meant so much to us that we wanted other people to hear it too. When you bought one of Bill’s CDs, the first thing you did was listen to it, but the second and third and fourth thing you did was play his songs for your friends. They were songs you wanted to hear, then learn, then teach.

Milltowns is a labor of love, and the song choices and arrangements are pure Erelli, sweetly voiced and smart and tastefully considered, but the love is not unique to Mark—it’s what we all felt the first time we met Bill or heard his music. Having your songs outlive you is, in the end, all any songwriter can hope for, and that’s the true legacy, the work Bill left behind. It’s also the very definition of folk music, music people feel compelled to pass along to people. In that sense, Mark Erelli may be the first, possibly the best, but certainly not the last musician to record the songs of Bill Morrissey. With Milltowns, he has set high the bar to which others may aspire.

Recording credits:

Mark Erelli – vocals, acoustic, baritone & tenor guitars, dobro, mandolin, harmonica, shruti box, bass, drums & percussion

Sam Kassirer (piano, organ), Charlie Rose (pedal steel, banjo), Zack Hickman (upright bass) and special guest vocalists Rose Cousins (13), Kris Delmhorst (6), Jeffrey Foucault (10), Anais Mitchell (3,12), Peter Mulvey (8) & Rose Polenzani (11)

Recorded at home by Mark Erelli (with assistance from Owen Erelli)
Additional recording at Great North Sound Society (Parsonsfield ME), The Echo Chamber (Halifax NS), New Haven VT & Buckland MA
Mixed by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios
Mastered by Erick Jaskowiak

Design by Meghan Dewar, Sketchie Design
Cover image from “Robertson Paper,” a painting by Charlie Hunter

All songs written by Bill Morrissey (Dry Fly Music/BMI, administered by Bug Music), except “Milltowns,” written by Mark Erelli (Hillbilly Pilgrim Music/ASCAP)



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