John called Mark
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John called Mark

Westlake, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Westlake, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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"John called Mark: The Money/Songs From the Basement Review"

Review from, September 15, 2005

John Called Mark - The Money/Songs From The Basement (Eversong)
Christian music has changed out of recognition in recent years and these two albums, spanning 5 years, from John Called Mark aka John Everson, are testament to that. The Money, from 2002, opens with Ride On Me and this is very much like Chris Rea. John Called Mark is a fine vocalist, there's some superior guitar work and this is a good middle of the road rock song. Latter Rain is not overtly Christian and could be compared to Marc Cohn if you were so inclined. This is very catchy. Holy Men is the first outright religious reference, is very powerful, especially in the chorus and makes a great power ballad. Whether you believe or not, this guy will get you going on the title track. Another great song and, added to the grand production by Jim Gaines, you won't believe that you are listening to Christian music. Unfortunately, not all tracks are up to the standard and the weak ballad Liftin' My Eyes is one of those. John Called Mark is much better when he is rocking and on Preacher Man he does just that. The rock vocals are back and the gritty delivery makes this track. There's a Springsteen quality to the vocal and song writing on The Holy One. Great guitar solo too. Shadows On The Road is an acoustic-based rocker and could easily be mistaken for bands such as Nickelback if you close your eyes. This one is a personal favourite. John Called Mark can turn his hands to a few different genres and the blues influenced rock of Back To Memphis is a showcase for guitarist Jack Holder who certainly knows his way around a fret board. Gift Of Lauren is, I assume, a song about a loved one but, no matter how heartfelt, this type of song always manages to sound sickly sweet. The penultimate track, Muddy Highway, has John Called Mark on his continuing path of rock and he pays homage to the blues although the song itself is not a blues. Finishing on He's Coming Home is a masterstroke. Verging on new country, this is John Called Mark summed up in one song.
Songs From The Basement was released in 1997 and sounds as if it could have been from last year. Opening with Run To Me, Everson's gruff vocal is the stuff of great rock music and this song would pass for non-Christian rock easily. Start Livin' is bouncy and blues based and his voice would have won me over by now on this album even if I hadn't heard The Money before -- great piano from Ernest Williamson on this one. It doesn't matter if you are into Christian music or not, LOTW is just great acoustic rock with a sing-along chorus. Just enjoy yourself.
Prodigal One has guitar from none other than the great Larry McCray and the track is sheer class. Light Your World is another of the sugary sweet songs that will appeal to song, but not me. But fear not, Larry's back on Floatin' Boogie. This is blues based, as you would expect, and has one of the best lines that I have heard for some time – “To walk on the water, you gotta get out of the boat”. Carry My Load is a slow one and could have become trite but is carried by John Called Mark's voice. There's a slide guitar festival on Master Of The Sea where Billy Earl McClelland adds his not inconsiderable slide talents to the power of Larry McCray. Glory Land is a Bo Diddley style chugger up to the choral chorus and the last original track is All I Know, a rock ballad that would not be out of place on a film soundtrack. The last six tracks are slightly different edits of Run To Me, LOTW, Prodigal One, Carry My Load, Light Your World and All I Know.
These albums are a good introduction to John Called Mark and Christian rock in general.
David Blue
- Sept.15, 2005


Songs From the Basement 1998
The Money 2002
Are You Ready 2009
Qwitness 2010
God Please Slay the Wicked 2011



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