Mark Erelli (from the album Mix Tape)
Before being used as arrows hitting send, fingers were touching buttons to receive. Mark Erelli grew up between the musical worlds of vinyl and CD, making him a member in good standing of the cassette generation. Mark recalls the times when messages were delivered by music, songs conveying the words and sentiments that never seemed to surface in conversation. For his latest studio recording, Mark Erelli delivers album number eleven in his catalog as a collection of covers with Mixtape. The album is an extension of a yearly gathering of musical friends and fans at Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Under the Covers shows with Mark Erelli along with musicians such as Lori McKenna and Rose Cousins offering versions of cherished songs from other pens.
As an audio gateway drug, Mark Erelli credits the Grateful Dead, citing the band as a personal favorite that he followed back to other bands and genres such as Blues, Folk, Bluegrass, and Soul through their concert tapes. Mixtape opens with a cover of The Dead’s “Brokedown Palace”, the track joining cuts from artists ranging over the past fifty years of music from Roy Orbison (“Crying”) and Solomon Burke (“Don’t Give Up on Me”) to Arcade Fire (“My Body is a Cage”) and Neko Case (“Deep Red Bells”). The tune segue-ways on Mixtape dig deep into catalogs, unearthing gems like “Tony” from Patty Griffin and “I Feel So Good” from Richard Thompson as the album reworks movie soundtracks such as Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”. Mark Erelli slows the frenetic pace of Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer”, re-telling the tale over an arrangement as sparse as the empty streets he cruises while Mixtape turns into “Ophelia” wonder along with The Band’s cut just where the mysterious lady has gone.
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