Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Newman dropped Empirical Truth, his new album on July 12, via Danal Music.
The monarch of almost any instrument with strings, including electric, acoustic, and lap steel guitar, along with the dobro and mandolin, Newman has played with Sting, Elvis Costello, and Travis Tritt. He’s also opened for Don Felder, David Bromberg, and The Doobie Brothers, and shared the stage with John Oates, Jim McCarthy, Willy DeVille, Sam The Sham, Bobby Whitlock, and Sam Moore.
Along with Naomi Margolin, Newman has run the “Music From the Hive” series, as well as “The Original Music Series” for bands on Long Island.
Empirical Truth comprises a dozen tracks, beginning with “Scapegoat,” which opens on delicious bluesy guitars flowing into a down and dirty melody full of driving energy. A potent bassline and crisp drums provide the rhythm, as a drawling organ infuses the tune with oozing tones. Newman’s rasping tenor glides with gritty timbres over the music. When the keening organ solo kicks in, the song blazes with heat.
Outstanding tracks on the album include “Mississippi Mile,” which exudes yummy viscous Mississippi blues textures, gooey and sticky. Layers of gummy-flavored guitars leer on sweltering tones, imbuing the tune with delectable dripping savors. Put simply, this track delivers sweaty blues, the kind you rarely hear anymore.
If slow yawning blues is your thing, don’t miss “Sharin’ The Blues.” This track positively brims with dark seeping colors, thick and syrupy. Newman’s voice grinds with passion and gravelly tones. Another stellar track is “Are You Lonely for Me,” opening with bluesy gospel vocal harmonies flowing into a chugging, undulating blues melody with R&B aromas. The rhythm section on this track really pumps it out – taut snapping drums and a cavernous bassline. Combined with the searing guitar licks and the glow of the gospel-laced harmonies, this song is a tasty gem.
All twelve tracks on Empirical Truth offer superb blues dynamics, surging rhythms, grand harmonies, and the delectable scratchy voice of Mark Newman.