Mark Allan Atwood & Brimstone
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Mark Allan Atwood & Brimstone

Burnet, Texas, United States | SELF

Burnet, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Country Americana




"Mark Allan Atwood & Brimstone Burned At The Crossroads review."

Though it doesn’t do men like Mark Allan Atwood justice to compare them to others, I’ll try futilely to convey my impression of his album anyway. He’s somehow nestled between Mike Ness, Van Morrison, James Taylor and Guy Clark- plain spoken and accessible and clearly wise and seasoned. This album fits easily with the late 60’s early seventies, when session players were sages not mercenaries, and songwriters knew how to convey a message that was complex with subtlety and ease. Atwood plainly states as much when he references Zeppelin in the first track of the album.

It would be simple to say that the production on “Burned at the Crossroads” is understated, so I will say it. That is, understated compared to many of the albums that make their way to the radio today. I’ll amend that and say that the production here is true and appropriate. It isn’t hard to imagine that Mark Allan Atwood and Brimstone sound just like they do live as they do on this album. I’m sure they have much more energy and ferocity on stage. I just get that feeling from these songs, and from Atwood. I’m certain they’re a force to be dealt with live."

See the rest of Davis' review by clicking the link to his blog. - Richard Paul Davis

" Review of How Country"

Mark Allan Atwood
©2009 Independently released
Review by Lucky Boyd

I peeled back the cover of this CD and found a rock star doing a country album. It worked for me. Mark Allan Atwood has the soul of a rocker and the voice of a successful country singer. Atwood brings his love for harder styles and his powerful voice to a collection of relatable and entertaining tunes. Atwood pens the lion’s share of the album, with a lone cover of Kristofferson’s “Jesus Was A Capricorn.” The songwriting on the album is direct and allows listeners to take a ride around life with Atwood as he sings about his travels as a performer. Musicians who hear the CD will understand a few of the inside jokes that others might not readily connect with. The album opens with “Honkytonk Blues” (no, not that one) but a good one, in which Atwood pays tribute to getting it done out on the road. “Full Of It” is a hilarious look at touring musicians in general and as you might have assumed, the title could be missing a couple of letters. Clever. Atwood’s title cut is an anthem for all who have every played songs for money that they would never play otherwise. It’s also a tribute to Atwood’s own ability to morph into the performer he’s expected to be all for the sake of pleasing the crowd. Noble. “Hurricane Wind” (no, not that one) is Atwood’s heartbreak song, and is a great example of his rock roots, featuring his most dynamic vocal performance. “Kill My Guitar” is a guitar player’s lament, blaming all of life’s problems on the guitar. Symbolic for all that ills most musicians, the guitar takes the fall for our hero’s little failures. The guitar takes its revenge during the solo. Clever again. One of the most well-conceived cuts is “Oakalla Road” which is wrapped in a comfortable ‘bojangles’ rhythm that endears the listener to the abstract visionary so expertly generated in the lyrics. “Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde” (no, not that one) is a favorite of the album. The arrangement is thumping and contagious like a Golden Earring tune. You shouldn’t use your CD player’s shuffle feature when listening to this disc. You have to experience the progression of the album as Atwood shows you how country he can be in the beginning and then about the time he asks “how country do you want your country” the gears shift and Atwood falls seamlessly into his impassioned genre. The album wraps up with its most hilarious track, poking fun at America’s obsession with political paranoia. This is one of the most entertaining releases of the year. There’s something for everyone here, but get your travelin’ shoes on. Once you’ve heard the disc, you’ll stop at nothing until you can catch a live show. - Lucky Boyd, co-founder of

"Live Central Texas Music Review of How Country"

This is the much anticipated and talked about initial CD from a long time musician, and his first in a decidely country vein. It features 10 original songs varying from tender ballads to full out rocking anthems. It is also not a CD full of the typical country cliches, either. Instead it is a fun, rollicking ride through the life of a professional musician who has a great sense of humor and can certainly laugh at himself. Mark Allan Atwood may have spent the better part of 20 years as a heavy metal rocker but his roots are definitely outlaw country and it is very evident both in his performance and style of writing.

For a laugh, listen to the playful “Full of It” or the wistful “Gonna Kill My Guitar” and catch glimpses of a musician’s life on the road. “Lonely Highway” is sad, pensive, and haunting all at the same time, filled with pain and solitude. “Oakalla Road” is a gem of a song about a tiny road out in the Texas Hill Country, and is just plain beautiful with a lilting lead guitar riff from Robert Johnson and the piano work of Uncle Mitch Connell. For a solid, rocking anthem, don’t miss “Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde” – a regular request at all of Mark’s shows and favorite of the fans.

The musicians on this CD really make it stand out as an initial effort. You will find incredible, seamless lead guitar work from Robert Johnson (Robert Johnson’s Soul), Rhoades D’ablo, Dennis Phillips (Redneck Jedi along with being the producer), Chris Reeves (john Arthur martinez as well as his own band), Tim Rozelle, as well as Mick McMillan and Wayne O’Neill. Keith Scroggins is solid on bass, with Johnny Reb Kelsey and Stephen Meyer providing a steady pulse on drums. Emmett Roch on dobro and pedal steel guitars and Dean Rimmer on banjo add elegant touches throughout the selections. You can’t ignore Mark’s harmonica playing, either.

The only criticism I have of this release is that it feels a bit short. For once I am faced with not quite having enough of a meal, and I want more. I have heard lesser CDs from other Texas bands and felt satisfied after a few cuts. On this one, even though I have heard all of these songs from this band live, I wanted to hear more and will look forward to their next release as much as I have this one. The maturity and growth of this band has been amazing to listen to, and I want to see where they go next! - Julie Mercier - Owner of Live Central Texas Music


Burned At The Crossroads, Mark Allan Atwood & Brimstone, 2012

Trading Pains, Atwood-Childs, 2011

How Country, Mark Allan Atwood, 2009



Winner of 2010 Texas Music Awards Rising Star Of The Year ( for debut album How Country 2009) and 2012 Texas Music Awards MyTexan Award (Founder's Award) and 2012 Texas Music Awards Duo Of The Year nominee (for Atwood-Childs Trading Pains 2011).

Seventh generation Texan, from Ellis County, with roots deep in the North Texas soil, Mark Allan was singing as soon as he was talking. He credits his mom (who recorded vocally with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra) for the music in him and her record collection for his desire to be a songwriter.

Having started gigging at age 18 playing as part of the acoustic songwriter scene in Dallas, Mark Allan branched out into a sideman job for various regionally successful country cover bands, on guitar and back up vocals, before fronting his own band that was a mix of his developing country rock style and classic covers. He did a stint as a frontman for two of D/FW and Texas' most successful hard rock acts, providing tour support for platinum artists of that genre, before taking a hiatus to focus on family after an 18-year career.

Returning to writing and performing in 2005, Atwood has been one of the hardest working performers on the scene since, sometimes playing as many as 25+ shows a month all across Texas, and into Oklahoma and beyond.

His duo album with Heath Childs, titled Trading Pains, has recently charted its first single (Devil's Angel) and has received overwhelmingly favorable reviews for it's artistic content, despite a lack of easy and immediate commercial appeal as a stripped down acoustic record.

His newest release, with his band Brimstone, Burned At The Crossroads, has already received great independent reviews and and features stellar production at the hands of Adam Odor (Cody Canada & The Departed, Dixie Chicks, Willie & The Wheel, etc.) and great performances by the band, including Rich Tulp on drums, Matt Nunn on Bass and Mitch Connell on keys. It also featured guest appearances from Lloyd Maines and Bonnie Whitmore.