Growing up in New York, Mark Newman’s musical journey has taken him around the world several times as both sideman and singer/songwriter. This ace stringsman (guitar, lap steel, mandolin, dobro) and accomplished songwriter is the type of singer whose warm and expressive voice sounds like an old friend. He put it all together on 2006’s Must Be A Pony (Danal Music, LLC). Now, he takes a quantum leap forward with the stunning Walls Of Jericho (Danal Music. LLC).
Sharing the stage with such notables as soul legend Sam Moore, the late Willy DeVille and Sam The Sham, has given Newman the perspective to craft an individualistic sound framed in straight-from-the-hip rock’n’roll, simmering with the subtle flavors of blues, R’n’B, funk, folk and soul.
Newman has learned his lessons well. “Willy DeVille could say more in one note than most people could in 20,” he says. “I learned so much from him. He didn’t necessarily play to the audience. He let them come to him. And, boy, did they! He was in his own world on that stage. He never compromised. By way of tribute, Newman covers one of DeVille’s most beloved songs, “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl,” playing the dobro that the singer’s wife, Nina, gave to him upon his death in 2009. Longtime Willy DeVille percussionist Boris Kinberg is also on the track.
“You’d have to be an idiot not to learn from the guys I’ve had the honor of playing with,” Newman cracks. “Hey, Sam The Sham didn’t just write ‘Wooly Bully.’ He wrote some of the best blues songs I ever heard. And Sam Moore’s 75 yet sings like he’s 25. He taught me not to over-think, just open your mouth and let it go. I don’t know if I’ve even come close to doing this but what I do know is what I’ve learned from those three is invaluable. “
Walls of Jericho is chockfull of intricate guitar work, mixed up front to create a synthesis of pure Americana: folksy charm, arrogant rock, hippie nostalgia (a charming cover of 1969 San Francisco band It’s A Beautiful Day’s “White Bird” that sounds like an old folk song) and Dylanesque moments (“Fire On The Water”). “The BP thing could’ve happened to any oil company,” he explains. “I blame the government for the insanity of letting them drill in the gulf to begin with!”
In describing the album’s sound, Newman contends it’s more fleshed out, more song-oriented. To that end, his lyrical touch has been elevated into the realm of the profound and the universal. In “Taking Pictures,” he writes, “to preserve my memories because you can’t get the moments back once they’re gone.” The first verse is about his son. The second verse is about his father. “He was a real character,” Newman remembers, “right out of a Damon Runyon story: one tough truck driving man with pancreatic cancer who never even once admitted to us he was going down.”
Yes, Mark Newman has taken the lessons he’s learned from two Sams, Willy and his father, and brought them to full flower on Walls Of Jericho. His guitar playing has been compared to that of Duane Allman and Lowell George for years. When he’s not being called upon to add color and flavor to another artist’s vision—which is often—he’s been able to construct, fine-tune and finish such an accomplished piece of work as Walls Of Jericho.
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Mark performs solo (acoustic guitar and vocal) as well as with a band.
The band consists of two guitars, bass, drums and b. vocalist.
"Walls Of Jericho" - Mark Newman
"Must Be A Pony" - Mark Newman
"Rorschach Sunset" -Tao Jones
Bluesville Sessions - John Oates
"Birthday Bash" - Lee Nestor
"Live at the Blue Note" (DVD) - Sam Moore
"Stronger Than This" - Lee Nestor
"Forever" - Chris Armata
"God's Country" - Ellen Rigas
"You Are My Children" - Chris Armata
"Wired, Fired And Inspired" - Sam The Sham
"Melancholy Tavern" - Jeff Lubin
"Cadillac Moon" - Cadillac Moon
"Small Comfort" - Cecilia Kirtland
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What are people saying about Mark Newman? Newman plays dark, mood laden roots rock Americana tha...What are people saying about Mark Newman?
Newman plays dark, mood laden roots rock Americana that invokes the
sound of Ry CooderÕs earlier work, Lowell George-era Little Feat
and Robin Trower;s more laid back material.
Newman presents solidly constructed, bare bones pop songs. Catchy
in an Allman Bros. kind of way, they swing and groove comfortably in
and around each other...Overall, a solid engaging bit of American
-The Aquarian Weekly
If there is a complaint I have with Mark NewmanÕs latest
release, Must Be A Ponyâ it is that it is too short.
Mark Newman has delivered an album full of memorable songs which
recall the best of bands such as Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the
melodic side of The Allman Brothers, resulting in a fantastic listen
for fans of those artists, or quality rock as well.
-Rock N Roll Universe
Fans of â70Õs styled guitar rock rejoiceâ thereÕs a new
hero in town and his name is Mark Newman. Newman carries on the
tradition with style. The man can rock and pull the blues out of his
guitar. This is one of the best albums of the year for the genre.
-Music Street Journal
Newman creates musical environments that surround his poetic lyrics
in tasty soundscape vistas that accentuate but never intimidate this
message, mainly that no matter how cynical the adult in one gets, the
answer lies in attempting to rediscover the unbridled optimism of
With a deep voice perfect for blues and Southern rock, Newman seems
poised to take the reins as the next rough and tough grassroots
-Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina
Mark Newman::Must Be A Pony
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December 7, 2006 Mark Newman :: Must Be A Pony Danal Music CD Review By The Atomic Chaser If th...December 7, 2006
Mark Newman :: Must Be A Pony
By The Atomic Chaser
If there is a complaint I have with Mark Newman's latest release, 'Must Be A Pony' it is that it is too short. Containing a great batch of tunes that are all worth hearing at least once. Very warm, friendly, personable music. If soul music is supposed to reach deep into the heart, then this recording is a winner, lonesome and heartbreaking. As is evident on Mark's haunting rendition of the Bee GeeÕs classic "NY Mining Disaster". 'Must Be A Pony' has a great laid-back & intimate feel. Play the disk and it immediately becomes apparent that Mark draws upon his intensity and wisdom to meld eloquent songs of pain like, "Love Won't Ever Pass This Way Again" and beauty on "What She Does To Me". A master of various instruments ÒMust Be A PonyÓ to exemplify Mark's mastery of guitar, lap steel mandolin, and dobro. Which Mark exhibits perfectly on the title track along with musicians Anton Fig (Dave Letterman) and Steve Holley. Mark's folk-blues fit squarely within the tradition of the genre, but the power of his feeling and emotions of his composition give the music a freshness and immediacy that is surprising at a time when it is easy to feel that the limits of creativity have been exhausted. Considered one of the most sought after musicians in New York, after listening to 'Must Be A Pony', it would be safe for me to say Mark Newman's music is going to be sought after on a global level.
Review by The Atomic Chaser
Must Be A Pony
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CD Review: Must Be A Pony - Mark Newman (January 27, 2007) by Brian D. Holland. Must Be A Pon...CD Review: Must Be A Pony - Mark Newman (January 27, 2007)
by Brian D. Holland.
Must Be A Pony
Must Be A Pony, the debut release from singer-songwriter-guitarist Mark Newman, possesses a style and sound that gives the impression itÕs performed by a seasoned veteran. Though he's been associated with the likes of Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) and Sam the Sham (Domingo Samudio) over the years, heÕs a relative newcomer on the music scene. His songs are as classic and mature as a fine red wine. TheyÕre suggestive of a '70s style, with beautiful melodies driven by sweet guitar tones and stimulating rhythm textures. However, in conjunction with a classic rock ambiance, the songs are fresh, innovative, and exciting.
Though most of the songs are Newman compositions, one cover that easily stands out is his rendition of the Bee GeesÕ ÔNew York Mining Disaster, 1941Õ. I love to hear covers of classic material, especially those not done very often. This is an excellent choice; and although itÕs done in a Newman acoustic and folk-rock style, itÕs just as haunting and melodic as the original.
Both the opener, ÔDead ManÕs ShoesÕ, and the title song, ÔMust Be A PonyÕ, have an appealing Joe Walsh and James Gang atmospheric link to the way they sound. As with much of NewmanÕs material, the melodic structure in the verses, as well as in the bridge and chorus changes, are totally reminiscent of the perfection in arrangement utilized by many classic artists. This becomes blatantly noticeable in songs such as ÔMean Season (Lucille, Lucille)Õ and ÔLove WonÕt Ever Pass This Way AgainÕ. Although theyÕre fresh and new Newman compositions, the melodies sound as if they belong in a classic hit category, especially the latter ballad. ÔGod For SaleÕ is a rocked up number in which Newman belts out expressive lyrics criticizing the blatant abuses of religion by those cashing in on it.
Mark Newman plays lead, rhythm, and slide guitar, as well as dobro, mandolin, and lap steel. His voice is reminiscent of Paul Rogers, Steve Miller, and Lou Gramm at times, melodic though raw and resonant, a classic quality in itself. The other musicians involved assist in making this a wonderful CD. Anton Fig, Paul SchafferÕs drummer on NBCÕs Letterman show, does his stuff on a few of the songs. He rocks it up on ÔMean SeasonÕ.
I canÕt use the word ÔmelodicÕ enough in describing Must Be A Pony. That classic framework is prevalent throughout, though diverse in its approach throughout as well. The tunes are timeless. This Mark Newman debut is a CD that should be heard by all lovers of classic rock music.
Must Be A Pony Track Listing
1. Dead ManÕs Shoes
2. What She Does To Me
3. Must Be A Pony
4. Hard In The Rain
5. Mean Season (Lucille, Lucille)
6. God For Sale
7. Mambo Dancing
8. Little One
9. So, So Cynical
10. New York Mining Disaster, 1941
11. A Love In Vain
13. Love WonÕt Ever Pass This Way Again
14. Going Underground
2006 Danal Music
Must Be A Pony on Amazon
Songs from "Must Be A Pony" (14) and "Walls Of Jericho (12)
1- 3 sets.
Acoustic or full band
There are no upcoming dates at this time.