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New York City-based Paul Mark is a triple-threat songwriter-musician-producer whose vibrant music has been turning the heads of critics and barflies for decades. With a striking lyrical edge and an encyclopedic facility with American roots music, Mark has curated a top-drawer original song catalog that grabs the ears of the most jaded listeners.

Paul Mark's latest collection, Gravity, on New York City-based Radiation Records, completes a trilogy of albums that pushed Mark’s songwriting and recording into a space well beyond his blues and Americana bona fides. Following up on Stowaways and Smartest Man In the Room, Gravity is Mark’s 11th studio album.

Mark's recorded output spans several decades, embracing the roots spectrum with a relentlessly original take on blues, rock, soul, country, surf, cabaret, R'nB, and old-timey sounds.

Mark is best known for unique songwriting and for the raucous barroom sounds of his urban blues/roots rock ensemble, the Van Dorens. His originals such as When God Finds the TimeFritos, BBQ and ScotchI'm Going BlindOne More Coat of Paint , How Do the Blind Become So Famous?, and The Drinks are On Me take on traditional genres and weave them into contemporary, vital music.

Mark's collaborative musical family, the Van Dorens, is a revolving-door collective of dedicated musicians and engineering contributors. Mark has said that the name was  sourced from the schlock exploitation flick High School Confidential. Over several decades he's performed more than a thousand sets of live music at clubs and festivals with his band.

      

Mark has written and recorded hundreds of songs (see the Lyrics page). Before setting up his own studio in New York City he cut albums at numerous world-class facilities including Ardent Studios (Memphis), Compass Point Studios (The Bahamas), The Music Shed (New Orleans) and Dockside Studios (Maurice, Louisiana). Most frequent among his session collaborators is the Grammy-winning Memphis producer/engineer Jeff Powell, who to date has collaborated on seven Paul Mark albums. Mark's also worked with Grammy-winning producers Jim Gaines, Terry Manning and the late John Hampton.

Most recently Mark released a trash-guitar cover version of the Yardbirds classic Heart Full of Soul. Radiation Records has also pre-released several singles from Gravity, including the holiday original December at the P.O. and the download single Con Man VIP, a blistering take on a certain White House occupant.

On his instrumental roots guitar CDs, titled Roadside Americana and Mirage Cartography, Mark pays quiet homage to country blues greats such as Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and Rev. Gary Davis, as well as next generation influences including John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

 

Paul Mark is principal owner of Radiation Records Inc and its publishing affiliate Last Warning Music. Both were founded in 1995.

Mark grew up in Connecticut then attended University of CT and got bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and English. Mark then attended grad school at New York University where he earned a Masters in English. There he was nearly finished with his Ph.D in English when a recording contract halted his studies. After travelling in Europe and living in Paris for an extended period he returned to Manhattan where he's lived for the past 25 years.

Mark toured for decades with his band, normally performing three sets a night in bars and clubs. He claims his worldview was permanently affected by long van rides, inadequate sound systems and low-budget hotels.

 Paul Mark press archive:

 



 



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