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Mark Rubin | Southern Discomfort

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Bad Livers Danny Barnes

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United States - Louisiana

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Folk: Alternative Folk Blues: Acoustic Blues Moods: Mood: Angry
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Southern Discomfort

by Mark Rubin

Debut solo effort Acoustic Americana from Bad Livers founder Mark Rubin
Genre: Folk: Alternative Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blues Rides a Mule
3:40 $0.99
2. Key Chain Blues
3:22 $0.99
3. (Why Am I Trying To) Kill Myself?
3:01 $0.99
4. The Murder of Leo Frank
3:52 $0.99
5. Rumainyan Fancy
4:19 $0.99
6. Seriously (Aka Too Much Weed)
2:57 $0.99
7. Today I Count and Treasure
2:33 $0.99
8. No More for You
2:41 $0.99
9. Don't Wake Up Jesse Lege
2:26 $0.99
10. Whitey's On the Moon
2:27 $0.99
11. What the Other Man Won't Do
2:58 $0.99
12. Going Down to Big Mary's
2:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I've been a professional musician since the age of 15 when I played in Reggae bands in OKC, and in all that time I've never even thought about a "solo" effort. My attachment to music has always been participatory and I always felt more comfortable as part of a team. I've made baby steps in the last few years, fronting my own bands and even touring Nationally with a critically acclaimed acoustic duo where I first started composing my own tunes. As it turns out, folks seem to find my point of view compelling, so much so that they've travelled from Europe to come talk to me and record my thoughts and concepts about music and culture from my evidently unique perspective as a culturally Jewish musician operating in the American South.

This was touched on in the documentary film that I was among the subjects of called "The Other Europeans in Broken Sound" (More info here: http://www.other-europeans-film.de/) And then again in Paul Brody's "Southern Discomfort" airing in Germany and on-line in late October. (More info here: http://www.wdr3.de/hoerspielundfeature/southerndiscomfort100.html).

For the radio piece I gathered together several old friends and made a very informal set of tunes, some original and some important to me. We were really pleased with the results and everyone involved has recommended that I flesh out the tunes in the can and record a few more so that I will have a proper CD release, my very first under my own name. Here it is! Hope you enjoy.



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Ignore him at your peril

Kithfolk-Five Acts to Watch at Folk Alliance 2015
Mark Rubin is another uncompromising voice in American roots music. An endessly curious musical explorer, it would be impossible to catalogue all the bands he's been a part of and all the American musical traditions he can basically call his own. He's well known for his work in The Bad Livers, an early punk-grass band that paved the way for a lot of underground roots music to this day. He's also well known now for his brutally honest voice on the scene, calling bullshit on hypocrisy in the folk scene. At Folk Alliance, he'll be running their extensive music camp, so I don't think he'll actually be performing that much, which is why he gets bonus mention here. Mark's releasing a new solo album in 2015, Southern Discomfort, and it is a brutal and unflinching, but ultimately fascinating and deserved, look at American culture today through the prism of American roots music. A few songs come over from Mark's fabulous and under-rated earlier band The Atomic Duo (a bitter ode to rental warfare and classism with "Key Chain Blues" and a pure genius cover of Gil Scott Heron's "Whitey's On the Moon" as a jugband song), but the rest are new.

The most brutal song is "The Murder of Leo Frank", a murder ballad written in the old broadside style that chronicles the horrific mob lynching in 1915 of Northern Jewish factory superintendent Leo Frank in Georgia. You can read the details on Wikipedia, but the gist is that Frank's murder casts a light on the bitter reality of anti-semitism in the 20th century. Aside from the topical nature of much of Mark's songwriting, there are songs here that are just great fun. "Seriously (Too Much Weed)" is a ridiculously big band jass romp through weed lovin' and kudos for the sweet and charming "Don't Wake Up Jesse Lege" about touring with great older masters like Cajun accordionist Lege. Mark's a great writer aside from his songwriting, and I recommend his blog for interesting asides and opinions. Any way you cut it, Mark's voice cuts deep but is necessary in a roots music industry that's become increasingly complacent and self-congratulatory. Ignore him at your peril.