Slaid Cleves on "Southern Discomfort" "Delightfully disturbing, or disturbingly delightful?"

I don't have the kind of finances that allow me to hire a publicist to "work" the release of my solo CD, I just have myself and my friends to rely on. But that doesn't really worry me, because even if I did the whole music industry is so confused right now I could just be setting the money on fire for all I know. When I started out making music, we were entirely on our own with no infrastructure or roadmap, making venues where we could find them and printing up our own 'zines. We didn't get our music out to everybody, sure. But we got it out to the other music freaks, just like us, and that's who we wanted to be connecting with in the first place.

When the internet came along, we jumped on it (Bad Livers had a website up in 1993, before I had a browser to even see it.) It was a great tool to communicate directly with our fans and circumnavigate the normal channels that were, and are, frankly toxic to good music making.

Oh how the times have changed, and the disruptions of the web based economies have made what once looked like a great way to connect appear today to be a swampy morass, with its once flowing pipes now choked with pap and dreck and the good stuff seemingly just as hard to access as ever. Sometimes it feels like its built that way on purpose.

Good thing I have such great friends who I'm hoping with turn their friends on to my music. Slaid Cleves is one of those friends. I sent him a copy of my debut CD, with trepidation as Slaid is a wonderful storyteller and songwriter and this was my very first songwriting effort. Here's his response:

"Hey Mark,

Great job, man.  That's one to be proud of.  I don't know if you were looking for quotes, but it certainly did inspire a few:

That's the least boring album I've heard in a long time.  Jam packed with sweetness and angst, it's delightfully disturbing (or maybe disturbingly delightful).  One thing it's not is subtle.  Recommended for any roots music/Americana fan who's been a little bored lately."

Thanks Slaid!

(I have another really great review from my pal Papa Mali, but that's going to be published in the Austin Chronicle soon!)

Here's me backing Slaid singing a Don Walser tune at the Broken Spoke: