Falling somewhere between a revival tent preacher spouting fire & brimstone and that angry guy on the corner wailing at people to get off his lawn there is Paul Mark. With a voice that sounds like he has been gargling gravel then chasing it with kerosene, his vocal delivery is about as subtle as the proverbial bull in a china shop. Backing Mr. Mark up is the Van Dorens, and their job is to supply the smooth bluesy rhythms that compliment his gruff transmittals, and they just that.
The latest record, Smartest Man In The Room, is a collection of ballsy blues rants about today’s society being torn apart and demolished by corrupt world leaders, crooked bankers, money hungry executives and immoral civic captains. Driven by vicious guitars and the infusion of soulful keyboards the album takes on the flavor of the two cities it was recorded in, New Orleans and Memphis.
Highlighting the record is the blistering opening track “Smartest Man In The Room”, the haunting “When God Finds Time” and the Latin infused instrumental “Barrio Stroll”. A nice addition is the cover of “Don’t Ya Tell Henry” as they give it a nice juke joint flavor.
Check this record out, crank it loud then I dare you not to break out your air guitar and/or keys, because it is one fine group of tunes that are a fun listen.