Mark Nelson | The Water Is Wide

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World: Slack-Key Guitar New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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The Water Is Wide

by Mark Nelson

Lilting instrumental music for Hawaiian slack key guitar and dulcimer; moving, relaxing and fulfilling.
Genre: World: Slack-Key Guitar
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Water is Wide
3:54 $0.99
2. The Road to Duke's
4:00 $0.99
3. Mood Indigo Slack
4:02 $0.99
4. The Crossing
3:38 $0.99
5. `Opihi Blues
3:09 $0.99
6. Sî Bheann Locha Léin/Samhradh, Samhradh
4:15 $0.99
7. Annie's Slack Key Lullaby
4:04 $0.99
8. Sanoe
4:04 $0.99
9. Las Blancas Flores
3:52 $0.99
10. Auntie's Christmas Goose
3:04 $0.99
11. Drizzle
4:28 $0.99
12. Pua Sadinia
5:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Mark Nelson has been on the forefront of the contemporary acoustic music scene since the early 1970's. His mastery of the Applachian dulcimer and its European cousin, the Swedish hummel, has redefined what these deceptively simple instruments are capable of. Growing up surrounded by the music of the Pacific and Caribbean, he has developed a uniquely appealing Island-style guitar technique that blends elements of Hawaiian slack key guitar, finger-style, and Celtic influences.

He and noted master musician Keola Beamer co-authored the first ever comprehensive tutorial for ki ho`alu, the wonderful Hawaiin guitar style: "Learn to Play Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar." (Mel Bay Publications).

Mark was one of a handful of free-spirited musicians who created a whole new vocabulary for the Appalachian dulcimer. He created a driving flatpicking style, playing the dulcimer with a force and passion seldom heard before. This led to a first place win at the National Mountain Dulcimer Championships in Winfield, Kansas in 1979, appearances at festivals, colleges and coffeehouses across North America and Europe, and a recording career spanning over 20 years.

Mark has performed just about anywhere - from Barrow to Boston; Sligo to San Diego. He's shared the stage with performers as diverse as Grover Washington, Jr.: Norton Buffalo; Doc Watson, and the Skagway Girls Jr. Varsity basketball team. He once worked as a banjo playing gorilla in Dublin, but that's another story...

He has recorded numerous albums, including the award winning "After the Morning" with legendary Irish fiddler Kevin Burke (The Bothy Band, Patrick Street) and "Southern Light", a genre-defining project featuring steel pan virtuoso Andy Narel, new acoustic pioneer Dave Balakrisnan and Celtic bopsters Danny Carnahan and Robin Petrie.

Mark's release, "The Water is Wide," features 12 heartfelt instrumentals played on slack key guitar and dulcimer. The music comes from islands real and imaginary - places as far away as the South Pacific, the Irish Sea and Old California. "When I play slack key, I want to honor all of the great musicians who came before. And I want to put a little of my own experiences into the mix. As a friend once said to me: 'I don't care what notes you play, I just want to feel your aloha.'" The nahenahe strains of ki ho`alu meets the sweet sound of the dulcimer - creating music that is at once refreshingly new and timeless.

Several years ago, Mark was given the name "Kailana" (Floating Gently on the Sea) by revered Hawaiian kupuna Aunty Nona Beamer. Be sure to check out his more recent CDs recorded under the name Mark Kailana Nelson here on CDBaby.

When not touring Mark maintains a small recording studio and writes about music and music technology for several national magazines. He and his wife live in Southern Oregon's rural Applegate Valley.



to write a review

Duke Walls

It's my sunset-have-a-martini-sit-on-the-lanai soundtrack-every night.
What a beautiful creation! It's just lovely. Every time I hear "The Road to Duke's" I can't help but smile and remember that I could hear you playing a bit when you were out on the lanai. It's a really nice, happy song. I love the instrumentation on this recording. It is currently "stuck" inside my CD player. It's my sunset-have-a-martini-sit-on-the-lanai soundtrack-every night, so far. Timing couldn't have been better too. I just got new Polk Audio stereo speakers and man! You should hear yourself on these puppies.

John Berger, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Transcends conventional concepts of genre and culture.
Nelson is a musician who possesses that rare combination of insight and talent necessary to successfully transcend conventional concepts of genre and culture. Hawaiian standards and Scottish airs alike assume wondrous new forms in these arrangements.

A slack-key treatment of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," an Appalachian-flavored take on "Pua Sadinia" and a bluesy interpretation of "'Opihi Moemoe" are among the gems that await discovery.

Rowena Fenstermacher

The Water is Wide
When I had a stiff neck for over a week, due, I think, to stress, I turned off the radio in my car and listened to Mark Nelson's Autumn. Then I started Christmas shopping and found The Water is Wide, and I bought one for my stressed-out sister and one for me, and I have been playing it in the car non-stop. What a great antidote to anything that ails you, whether it is blather from talk radio or all the canned music that you encounter on most music stations, or all the stuff that is running around in your head making you crazy. This cd (and, I suspect, all Nelson's others, too) helps you to get a new perspective either on your way to work or on the way home. My neck continues to get better the more I listen to this cd and Autumn.

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Achingly beautiful slack key."
Mark Nelson seems to be on to something new and sweet with his marriage of dulcimer and slack key guitar. "Drizzle" is one of the most achingly beautiful slack key numbers heard in years. – Danny Carnahan

Kim Len

I love every track!
What a musical treasure. I love every track. Your music is pure
delight...truly NAHENAHE. Mahalo nui for sharing your musical gifts with others. The world would be a much better place if more folks would listen to and let your music melt away the "hardness" in them. Keep creating and playing your wonderful music. – Kim Len, Kailua-Kona

Susan Mumma

It is absolutely gorgeous!!! The nicest CD I've heard all year.
I am listening to your CD now. It is absolutely gorgeous!!! No kidding at all, I think it is the nicest CD I've heard all year...

Something about the music you have made on this CD just really gets to me .. I am not sure if it makes me feel sad or happy...maybe a little carried away . Not just to Hawaii, but to all the pretty places...