mark cool
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mark cool

Band Folk Americana


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"one of the top 20 cds of 2007"

americana uk top 20 staff albums of 2007:

#15. Mark Cool and the Folk Stars: "Introducing..." (Independent)
Someone described Mark Cool’s latest record as being like Nebraska era Bruce Springsteen mixed in with a bit of Keith Urban, with a smattering of Townes Van Zant, Johnny Cash and the Carter family thrown in. Sounds good enough to us – and the record does too.

cd review:

Folking cool

Power chords, histrionic vocals, drum solos, orchestral backing score, ‘wall-of-sound’ production. These are just some of the things that you won’t find within a country mile of this record. Hallelujah.

For an ‘Introductory…’ record this doesn’t do any of the things you might imagine it would – it’s not ‘immediate’, it’s not ‘catchy’, it’s not a grabber of the ‘short and curly’s’.

Whilst we are on the subject there are no superstars present, there is no showboating musically or vocally, there is a particular dearth of hit singles.

So what’s left?

Well…honesty, integrity, simplicity, humour, understatement, restraint, a ‘joire d’vivre’ that can only be found in folk who know exactly where the bottom and the top can be found, catharsis, realisation…

Musically and vocally Mark Cool is Bobby Bare Jr. without the baggage. This is a rootsy, country, bluesy exposition of the highest order. Its partly Lambchop that you can actually hear, partly 1950’s country music that realises that this is the twenty first century, partly damn fine music that X-Factor fans should be required to listen to. When I tell you confidentially that the upright bass on “Woman At A Gas Station’ is better than sex, and you can see where I am ‘coming’ from, then hopefully we are of an accord.

Best track: “Foolish Dreams”. Or perhaps any of the other ten.

Date review added: Monday, November 12, 2007
Reviewer: Paul Villers
Reviewers Rating: 8 out of 10

- americana uk magazine

"pleasantly nostalgic"

"The more I listen to Marks music the more it grows on me.It has an authentic beatnick 50's-mid 60's feel about it ,not disimilar to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan that I find relaxing and pleasantly nostalgic."
- dodgy dave, -

"earthy, gritty"

"...Mark Cool and the Folk Stars is music that is well-grounded, even earthy and gritty in its texture. Yet, it moves forward in an upbeat dynamic way that finds its mark straight to the heart. I trust his words and the authenticity of the music. ... I highly recommend it to you."
- reid baer, -


mark cool songs -ep, 1999
dawn- lp 2001
introducing mark cool and the folk stars- lp 2007
pie- lp 2009



Mark Cool is an American classic whose musical honesty is fresh, organic, and timeless. True to the last name Cool, his licks come partly from what he learned from singers such as Holly Near and Chris Williamson when they stayed with the collective family he was raised by in Syracuse, New York. Now a North Carolinian, Cool shares the kind of talent and values he learned from his roots in live shows worldwide.

Cool's passion and style has already won him acclaim throughout the US and Europe. Selected by Americana-UK magazine as one of the top 20 of the year, his first release Introducing Mark Cool and the Folk Stars is getting airplay on a few hundred radio stations.

. . . honesty, integrity, simplicity, humour, understatement,
restraint, a ‘joire d’vivre’ that can only be found in folk
who know exactly where the bottom and the top can be found . . .
this is a rootsy, country, bluesy exposition of the highest order.
Paul Villers, Americana UK magazine

Cool’s self-produced Folkstar Recordings are authentic and he keeps a strong ear to the earthy textures of real life. His voice is rich with depth and compassion, often compared to Woody Guthrie and Townes Van Zant, and his finger-style acoustic guitar is a testament to the music of Elizabeth Cotton, whose accompanist was one of Cool's guitar teachers.

A slice of Cool’s new CD Pie will get you six new acoustic original songs, four finger-style instrumentals, and a cover of the classic country tune, Delta Dawn. Pie was recorded at Overdub Lane in Durham, NC where Cool is the hometown favorite, backed by other local stars Greenie Marley, Art Champagne, David Shore, and Scott Laird. His first release featured special guests Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Ben Palmer on stand up bass.

Headed for his third Euro-tour in May with new CD, “Pie”, in hand, Cool is making his own mark in the limelight as an American Classic. His 100-House Concert Tour is in full swing and despite the downturned economy, Cool will be touring the eastern seaboard and southeast throughout the coming year. Nowhere to go but up for Cool, who just signed Jesse White, School for Wonder founder of Authentic Voicework Records, to book his tours. Ann and Mike Dwyer are doing promotions, street team organizing and website consulting.

Mark grew up listening not only to classic folksingers, but also to his father spin Johnny Cash albums and his grandpa playing banjo in a bluegrass trio. Cool found his own way around the guitar early in his teens, creating a living portrait on his own record label that has nearly bloomed into a full time touring career.