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Mark West | A Long Road Home

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Jackson Browne John Prine Neil Young

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United States - Oregon

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Folk: Folk-Rock Country: Americana Moods: Type: Lyrical
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A Long Road Home

by Mark West

At least once in your life, you already experienced the emotions in every one of these songs... so each one will make you cry or laugh or think or dream.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Dancer in the Rain (For Paula)
3:46 $0.99
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2. Angel Eyes
4:41 $0.99
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3. Old Friends
3:10 $0.99
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4. Why Did You Leave Us So Soon
2:48 $0.99
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5. Coming of the Rain
3:41 $0.99
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6. Sit and Wonder
3:35 $0.99
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7. Seeds That You Once Sowed (For Jan)
4:29 $0.99
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8. Hope You See
4:06 $0.99
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9. Stoney
5:16 $0.99
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10. A Long Road Home
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Mark West turned 55 right after his 11th birthday. He writes, sings, and plays a multitude of instruments and has spent much of his musical career as a supporting player. After numerous requests from fellow musicians and fans, he decided it was high time he recorded some of his own works, so he hunkered down in his studio and with the help of some outstanding musician friends, created this mostly all-original debut CD, "A Long Road Home". These songs are a small collection of experiences that we all encounter at some point along life's journey. All of the tracks are original except for "Stoney" which was written by one of Mark's songwriter heros, the great Jerry Jeff Walker.


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Reviews


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LibraryFire

Pacific Northwest Private Reserve
Long Road Home’s collection of ten songs greet the listener like a good friend, someone you’d invite to come sit with you on the porch, sharing a beer or glass of wine and conversation until late in the evening. This is Mark West’s first solo CD, and his songs come from the hidden corners of everyday life, places familiar to us all, and at the same time wonderfully specific, thanks to West’s thoughtful storytelling. He has a way of sneaking up on you with a beautiful melody or a glistening guitar riff, and then revealing with a deft, unexpected word and a note or two the sudden truth of the moment. It’s so subtle, your ears do a double-take.

His nuanced arrangements reflect a West Coast/country/folk-rock sensibility combined with an ear for life’s double-edges that is the mark of a true singer-songwriter. Long Road Home is by turns mellow and melancholy, romantic and wistful, reminding one of vintage Jackson Browne, Neil Young, John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker, one of West’s personal heroes, to whom he doffs his hat toward the end of the CD with a rendition of Walker’s “Stoney.”

It is friendship rather than hero-worship that is the beating heart of A Long Road Home, however. West’s own musical friendships, many of them life-long, show up in many forms, for example in “Seeds that You Once Sowed,” and by the inclusion of “Angel Eyes,” a song West originally wrote and recorded with his previous band CenterLine, (from their 2006 CD Bend in the Road) featured here in a new arrangement giving pride of place to ace-violinist Megan Moran. West’s former bandmates Angela and Jon Greenblatt also supply warm harmony vocals and additional acoustic guitar on several tracks. His current performing partner and longtime friend Charlie Brunner’s burnished electric guitar animates the title cut and also “Hope You See,” an up-tempo love-song to Mark’s wife Tammy, celebrating that most-underrated component of a great relationship: gratitude.

West knows that love and friendships make us vulnerable to pain, however. The gently haunting “Dancer in the Rain,” a ballad about missing a dead friend whose lingering presence is still felt, uses echoing vocal harmonies in the chorus that create the sense of something between a doppelgänger and a duet. “Why Did You Leave Us So Soon” is a nursery-rhyme waltz about the death of a child that captures both numb loss (“In a place on the edge of heaven and nowhere…”) and the obsessive questions such a loss leaves with the mourners. We never know what’s around the corner in our relationships, which is what makes them precious.

A Long Road Home comforts without sugar-coating, mourns without becoming maudlin, but most of all, laughs and dances in full knowledge of life’s shadows, all the while managing to stay just inside the sunlight. It’s music for grown-ups who haven’t forgotten how to be dreamers, but who understand by now that our best dreams are sometimes found carved into the grain of the everyday.
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J

Everyone should own this CD
Each song on this CD is great...a beautiful mix of folk-rock, Americana and cross-over country. Every melody is memorable; every lyric meaningful. Every car should have a copy...the music makes traffic jams tolerable (and other idiot drivers on the road almost bearable).
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