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Mark T. Small "Black, Whites, & The Blues"
Imagine if you will, listening to an album in which 6 Guitars ranging from a 1947 Martin 000-21 to a 2008 Fender Telecaster were used. Now imagine that the songs on this album were a collection of songs from the late 1800's to the early 1950's. Finally, imagine that their is only one performer on that album, playing the Guitars and singing the songs. Well the imagining of such an extraordinary album is now over, especially with the release of "Black, Whites, & The Blues", by famed Guitarists Mark T. Small.
Mark T. Small has been plying his trade for over 40 years, learning as much as he could about the music he loved, particularity old time music. Mark has played in several bands, but in the end found that his true calling was via doing solo performances, after all, he had all the credentials, with the mastery of Guitar, a great singing voice, and super honed showmanship skills from performing as a frontman. "Black, Whites, & The Blues" has put all that skill and knowledge onto one amazing album.
"Black, Whites, & The Blues" consists of 14 Tracks of not only great but also historical Tracks, in addition, one of the Tracks Mark T. Small wrote himself. As mentioned earlier, the 13 cover Tracks consists of a variety of songs from the late 1800's to the early 1950's and are played exceptionally well by Mark T. Small. In the cover of "Black, Whites, & The Blues", all the songs have a brief description, which in most cases I found quite interesting. A few examples of that were "Sweet Home Chicago", which Small describes an "unquestionable variation of another song of the time, Kokomo Blues, popularized by Scrapper Blackwell", and "The Thrill Is Gone", a song that became B.B. King's biggest hit, so far, but a song that was also recorded 18 years earlier, in 1951, and was a minor hit for Roy Hawkins.
"Black, Whites, & The Blues" is simply loaded with great songs such as Hesitation Blues, A Georgia Camp Meeting, Old Grey Mare, and Little Red Rooster, to name a few. Some of them are also done in a version you may not have heard before, but one that is more truer to their original version.
Their is no doubt as to Mark T. Small's expertise as a musician, as well as, being a mighty fine vocalist. "Black, Whites, & The Blues" also shows Small's station as a wonderful historian of American Roots and Blues.
Mark T. Small is an artist I have not heard of before, but one whose talent has certainly caught my attention. "Black, Whites, & The Blues" is an exceptionally good album and one that I hope he will follow up with more of, in that style.
Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
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