Jack Marks
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Jack Marks

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Folk Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jack Marks, Lost Wages (Independent)"

Vrij snel na de fenomenale eersteling van Jack Marks (gedateerd 2009), een Canadese singer-songwriter uit Toronto is er de opvolger ‘Lost wages’, tevens de naam van Jack’s zevenkoppige band. Maar liefst 59 minuten en 59 seconden lang schitteren Marks en zijn makkers in een veertiental prachtige songs. Behalve de band ‘Lost Wages’ is ook de band (?) ‘Hired guns’ actief. De man heeft zo’n heerlijke gruizige stem en schrijft werkelijk schitterende verhalende liedjes. De productie is wederom in handen van David Baxter (Toronto. David speelt gitaar, mandoline en lap steel en draagt vocalen bij), Frank Nevada horen we op piano, Sean Dignan op drums, Benny Rough op harmonica, Arif Mirabdolbaghi is de bassist en Robbie Marks (broertje?) speelt gitaar. En Jack zelf speelt gitaar en banjo. Er is hulp van wat vocalisten, met name de vrouwenstemmen zijn goed gekozen (Angie Hilts, Danielle Bourgeois???), waardoor we een duidelijke verwantschap met de beroemde landgenoot Leonard Cohen bespeuren (luister naar ‘Best time for dancing’). De CD begint overigens Dylanesk. In de eerste twee nummers lijkt het alsof de Dylan van eind jaren 60 (‘Bringing it all back home’) is gereïncarneerd. Maar er zijn ook verwijzingen naar Jimmie Rodgers, zoals in ‘’Down on ronces’ en ‘Old people town’. En Jack voegt ook nog scheutjes pop, rock, rhythm ’n blues en soul toe. Zoals gezegd zijn de teksten de moeite waard, Jack schrijft over personen en gebeurtenissen. Een must voor de liefhebbers van de ‘echte singer-songwriter’, want Jack kan er wat van.

Mijn enthousiasme over Jack Marks na het beluisteren van zijn debuut uit 2009, ‘Two of everything’, wordt door deze ‘Lost wages’ alleen nog maar groter. Jack handhaaft niet alleen zijn hoge niveau, hij doet er nog een lekker schepje bovenop. Een magistraal mooie CD is dit ‘Lost wages’, met daarop een prachtige variatie aan muziekstijlen en leuke verwijzingen naar grote collega’s als Cohen, Dylan en Rodgers. Maar Marks doet absoluut niet onder voor zijn grote voorbeelden. Hij is toe aan een grote doorbraak naar het Walhalla der singer-songwriters.

(Fred Schmale)

- Real Roots Cafe

"Concert Review - Jack Marks & Lost Wages - Dakota Tavern, Toronto ON July 15"

Isn't it vulgar to call a young singer-songwriter Dylanesque? Here I'm looking at you, proselytizers of Conor Oberst. But with Jack Marks, there are so many charming similarities: clipped phrasing (when he so chooses), graceful notes finger-picked by nicotine-yellowed fingers kept that way to "keep the classy girls away," and a growing portfolio of songs as likely to incite giggling, à la "Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues," as to punch me right in my "Hollis Brown"-heart.

To further that comparison, Marks's set is heavily littered with Dylan B-sides. "Pledging My Time," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Meet Me in the Morning" and "From a Buick 6" are rendered so effectively they should become the exclusive properties of Jack Marks.

But Marks's originals are what make him such an exciting talent. As Justin Rutledge said somewhat hyperbolically of him, "Jack Marks writes not only songs, but statues." And songs like "Michigan Love" or "Dress Song" are statues indeed. His ceiling as a lyricist is somewhere in the Jim Cuddy range, and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Marks's potent songs, if properly disseminated, could find a very marketable niche between lovers of alt-country and regular old oblivious consumers of commercial radio. Think Steve Earle, think Townes Van Zandt, think of someone that should be on your radar.

To offset all this fawning it should be noted that the sound was muddy, and there were a few rough moments as a couple new players were getting a try-out in his band. Also, there was an over-reliance on Springsteenian dance numbers in his three-set marathon, but that had to be done to appeal to the nearly adolescent paying audience, who probably wouldn't know Dave Van Ronk or the rich tradition to which he and Marks belong.

- Mike Sauve - Exclaim

"Live at The Ironwood in Calgary"

"Jack Marks & Lost Wages concluded their 2011 Alberta Canada tour with an incendiary three sets at the Ironwood Stage in Calgary on October 9th." - No Depression

"JACK MARKS & LOST WAGES staying relevant 100 years later"

Jack Marks is no stranger to hard work. He has released two albums back-to-back as a solo artist, 2009’s Two Of Everything and the follow-up, Lost Wages. Along the way, he picked up a nomination at the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards for New/Emerging Artist Of The Year and put together a band, Lost Wages, to tirelessly tour with him across Canada. Before he launched himself headlong into a career as a country and folk musician, Marks went to school, twice, for a BA in English at St Mary’s University, in Halifax, N.S., and a B.Ed. from Lakehead, in Thunder Bay, Ont. It was not until he moved back to Toronto that he met a group of musicians and, crucially, David Baxter, who produced his first two albums, that his music career took a life of its own.

“It’s sort of obvious that this is what I should be doing,” says Marks while en route to Lethbridge, where he will be playing at The Slice Bar & Grill later tonight after having done a successful gig at Mikey’s Juke Joint here in Calgary. “I think that before (moving to Toronto) I never took it quite as seriously, which may have been a product of the musicians I had to work with and whatnot, just feeling like it was quite the right time.”

It is clear that timing has played a large role in Marks’ life. Not only was his meeting with Baxter a serendipitous and fruitful encounter, but he has also found the time to put together a stellar live band with which he tours, foregoing his previous solo jaunts across the country and down into the United States, to cities like Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York.

“This is really my first year getting on the road with a band. I find it amazing,” he says in a stark voice that ends abruptly after every string of thought. “All the guys in my band are fantastic musicians and good friends. It makes everything more enjoyable - we never stop laughing.”

Touring with a group of likeminded musicians has had an effect on Marks and his songs. His solo compositions included on his first two albums have evolved in a live setting with the band, making them their own songs, rather than his songs.

“I feel like my best music is live. The band’s evolved a lot since my last recording, actually. The first thing I’d like to do when I get back is start working on another album. I’ve got almost two albums worth of material ready to record, which makes up the bulk of the material we play these days,” he explains, a faint tinge of pride lining his words.

Indeed, it is Marks’ hardworking personality, coupled with his academic and personal background that always pushes him to keep writing. It is impressive that he already has two albums worth of material ready to go and there seems to be no end in sight.

“I feel like you get out of it what you put into it and music is no different. It’s like a muscle and if you exercise it, it only gets better.

“Writing is pretty important to me,” he later explains. “I like to write short stories and stuff like that … I’ve always enjoyed writing third-person stuff. Some of my stuff is personal, from the first person, but a lot of my short stories and songs, the characters use stories to get a bit of a message across or to get a laugh.”

Counting seminal icons like Raymond Carver, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Jimmy Rogers amongst his influences, Marks tends to character-driven vignettes that stem from the world around him. The eternal observer, one of Toronto’s most prolific country musicians, is always ready, pen at hand, to help explain the world.

“I try to write in their tradition,” says Marks of his influences. “I don’t limit myself to that, but I definitely think that there’s a reason those songs remain so current and relevant, even 100 years later. Just sort of that nature is what I’m aspiring towards myself.”
- Sebastian Buzzalino - BeatRoute Magazine

"Roots and blues Marks the spot for up and coming singer-songwriter"

Josh Fewings
A & E Editor

To paraphrase Trooper: Toronto-born musician and songwriter Jack Marks is ‘here for a good time, not a long time’. Completing his B.Ed. here at Lakehead is what brought him to Thunder Bay, yet he also continues to play shows and write further material for his debut album due out in the spring. Marks will be teaching and recording when he returns to the big city, but is also aiming to bust out at some Ontario folk festivals this summer.
His musical style is a rootsy hybrid of folk, and blues: “I grew up listening to guys like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Neil Young, and blues music [too]. I try to put those influences into my own stuff.” Even though his inspiration for songwriting was steeped in the music of legends, he maintains a unique sound, and perspective on the world. Marks stays loyal to a folk and blues core, because as he says: “It’s hard to explain but I think there’s a certain authenticity and universality to it, and a certain staying power to it [as well].”
Recording at Knob and Tube Studios in Toronto has been a great experience. He is working with some big names in the Toronto, and Canadian music circles. David Baxter, someone Marks describes as being “a sideman for some great Canadian musicians for a long time,” is producing Two of Everything. Basil Donovan, bass player with Canadian heroes Blue Rodeo, played standup bass on several already recorded tracks as well. The excitement that Jack is feeling about his record will no doubt soon match the hype behind it. Having a chance to preview some songs recently, I admit that he has an ability to catch your ear with heartbreaking ebbs and joyful flows.
A melancholy world always yearns for new roots rock icons. In the post-genre reality of today, Jack Marks is close to being recognized as yet another high-quality Canadian indie act with so much to offer fans of acoustic music. Thunder Bay has been another stop along the road for him, as he says, “it is a little isolated, but I think that it creates a sense of solidarity among the people here.” Having played shows at the Apollo and other venues around town he noticed right away people’s “friendly nature” in the city arts scene.
Jack takes to the stage with some special guests this Saturday, Feb. 7th at the Apollo. The show will also feature members of The Sons of Birches, and P.A. Shakedown. You only have so long to see this great songster before he rambles on. Check out some songs before you see the show on Myspace.com/CompulsiveRamblers.
- The Argus

"Essential Tracks"

TWO OF EVERYTHING, Jack Marks, from Two of Everything (Independent; sample streaming at cdbaby.com/cd/JackMarks) Jack Marks, currently holed up every Friday night at Toronto's Cameron Room, wears this original tune like the battered boots pictured on his album's cover. The song's a cross between bad-luck blues (the lyrics) and a hymn (the music), with a sly twist at the end of the tale. - The Globe & Mail

"Album Review"

“Jack Marks has hit the bulls eye when it comes to straight up blue-jean wearing, whisky-sipping, two-stepping country blues music. Marks has crafted a wholly endearing album of tunes that could stand up in any barroom, juke box, or country music station that I'd darken the door of, place my money on, or tune-in to.” - Amanda Putz (CBC Bandwidth) - CBC Bandwidth

"Album Review"

“Toronto country troubadour JACK MARKS has come up with a winner in his new album, Two Of Everything. Produced by DAVID BAXTER, its all-star line-up includes BURKE CARROLL, BAZIL DONOVAN, BRIAN KOBAYAKAWA, TREASA LEVASSEUR, and SCOTT B. SYMPATHY. Marks’ gritty vocals and lyrics are kept nicely to the fore.” - Kerry Doole (TandemNews.com) - Tandem News


Two Of Everything - SOCAN 2009


Lost Wages - SOCAN 2010




Making his home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Jack Marks released his debut album Two of Everything in 2009. It received radio play on CBC programs The Drive and Deep Roots, was featured in The Globe and Mail’s Essential Tracks column, was a Hot Box featured album for Alberta’s public radio institution CKUA, achieved album of the week on Radio Blueprint in the Netherlands and rose to number twenty-two on the Euro-Americana Chart. It also earned him a 2010 CFMA nomination for Emerging Folk Artist of the Year. His follow ups, 2010’s Lost Wages and 2013's Blues Like These also received national and international radio play and garnered praise in a variety publications. Marks has toured extensively both as a solo artist and with his band Lost Wages playing shows and festivals in Holland, Germany, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and across Canada. His newest release, 2015's Wicked Moon is already earning praise with Exclaim stating, "Marks delivers a great collection of cleverly written songs here, sung in his signature conversational, matter-of-fact style."