Mark Jacob
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Mark Jacob

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"Radio Quotes"

"Mark Jacob's singing style is unlike any other performer that I have heard. His voice and range is very distinctive and meaningful."


"Very upbeat,catchy and definately fits with our programming, I've Added."


"This tune fits our format well. Looking forward to the full album."


"He's definately got the goods! We are going to fit him in on our Aboriginal Rock Show."


"It's always nice to hear new talent coming out with original material, it really stands out! We have added to our playlist."


"We really like the song a lot, and have added it to our rotation."
- Mark Jacob


"BEERS, STEERS AND QUEERS"

BEERS, STEERS AND QUEERS

Over the last year, I’ve received quite a few emails from readers wanting coverage of country music. There are divas like Dolly Parton, Gretchen Wilson and The Dixie Chicks, not to mention local gay acts. So here is my recent run-in with a few local rising queer steers and their idols.

I recently profiled Richard Delamar AKA Strong Like Bull, who is originally from Alberta and did a dance track with drag star Sofonda. Strong Like Bull is now focusing mostly on country/electronica which is a growing genre of music. His latest project is a crazy-ass single with fiddle fag Ashley MacIsaac called “Smack a Hippie.” Hear him at myspace.com/stronglikebullsongs.


A new one-off event called Queers and Steers on Thu. July 5 at the Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington, 9pm, $5) has some great down-homo entertainment, including dragster Miss Conception as Dolly Parton, Country Burlesque with the always fun Trixie & Beaver & Male Gayze and DJs Big Eva Edna, Sigourney Beaver and Some Random Tall Guy. The headliner will be hot local queer band Tomboyfriend. I asked lead singer and resident gayboy Ryan Kamstra about their name, the bisexuality they sing about and Dolly Parton.

“The name Tomboyfriend is utopian,” says Kamstra. “We are all someone’s boyfriend; we are all some one’s tomboy. It is best understood in the interrogative. Will you be my tomboyfriend?” He says he “does bisexuality so unsatisfactorily” but still “I think sex should be like that Halloween game where you stick your fingers in the bowl blindfolded and don’t know what you’re getting.” On Dolly: “My favourite thing about Dolly Parton is that I know deep, deep in my heart— under the crust and pus and the goo—that she alone would let me sleep under her pink taffeta settee if I were alone in the world, without a home, without a friend, and nurse me back to strength with heaping bowls of instant potatoes and down-home joking. Huge heaping bowls, that’s what the South is about and why we Canadians are such tight-asses in comparison.” Hear them at myspace.com/Tomboyfriend.

An out gay male country singer making it big in Nashville, Tennessee? It’s a dream that could come true for local gay country artist Mark Jacob, who recently recorded a four-song demo in the world capital of country music with Tim McGraw’s band The Dance Hall Doctors.

Jacob’s career took off three years ago when he was invited to perform at an industry showcase for agents, record producers and music labels and had only a minute and a half to sing and make an impression. He blew everyone away with his unique cover of the classic “Unchained Melody.” He caught the attention of Grammy-award-nominated producer Jim Lightman, engineer with country legend Tim McGraw, and the next thing you know, Jacob is recording in McGraw’s studio in Nashville with the legend’s backing band. Jacob has just completed his first music video and will return to Nashville in a couple of months to finish off his first album with hopes of releasing it later this year.

Jacob told fab that he’s proud to be gay and wouldn’t hide it in conservative Nashville. “I just hope that I can open doors for gay singer/songwriters who have so much talent but are scared to be out,” he says. “I mean, Nashville is a very strange place. They wouldn’t play the Dixie Chicks for making a comment about the president. I don’t think they’d play me because I’m gay. It’s unfortunate and ignorant, yes, but they are very conservative and right-wing down there. I actually wrote a song called ‘Nashville Bible Belt’ and it’s all about that.”

With gay positive idols that include Faith Hill, Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Wilson and McGraw, Jacob is hoping that a song of his will one day become the first out male gay #1 country single in Nashville history. It’s been more than 15 years since a queer Canadian shook up Nashville the way k.d. lang did; isn’t it time for a gay male singer to do the same? Hear him at www.markjacob.ca - Fab Magazine


"Jacob Hits The Bigtime"

Local country singer Mark Jacob will perform during the 16th annual Canadian Aboriginal Festival at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Metis will perform two sets, playing eight songs per performance, Jacob said.

"They just called me up and said 'Want to perform?' and I said, 'Well, I have to check my schedule,'" Jacob joked.

"Of course, I said yes -- without a doubt.'"

The event is North America's largest multi-discipline Aboriginal arts celebration with organizers predicting more than 40,000 in attendance over the three-day event.

"It's really exciting. There's going to be a lot of people. I'm definitely nervous," Jacob said. "My biggest crowd was 4,000 people."

In the past, well-known musicians Shane Yellowbird, Crystal Shawanda and Buffy Sainte-Marie have performed during the Canadian Aboriginal Festival.

"It's awesome to share the stage and be in the presence of these great musical artists who are just doing their thing and loving what they do," Jacob said. "It is inspiring to be with them and play on the same stage."

Jacob was invited to sing during the festival after submitting two songs from his album, Vindictive, to the 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.

His single, The Sweetest Thing, held the No. 1 spot on the Aboriginal Radio Network's Top 30 Songs list for two weeks this past spring. Jacob recently signed with Sunshine Records and writes many of his own songs.

Fiddle legend Ashley MacIsaac and producer Strong Like Bull joined Jacob in creating Vindictive. The album will be released in January. He will go on his first tour in March, beginning in Ontario.

Jacob says he is a "D-list" Canadian musician, but hopes his name and music continue to spread.

"I think some people at the festival would know me because they are really into the aboriginal music. They are really into the aboriginal market, but let's face it... I'm totally on the D-list," he laughed. "Having a No. 1 hit people have definitely noticed me a little more, which is greatly appreciated."

Festival tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, or at the door during the event. To learn more about Mark Jacob, visit www.markjacob.ca. - Orillia Packet and Times


Discography

Vindictive - March 2010

Photos

Bio

Mark Jacob is a Toronto native who has been singing and performing for much of his life. Starting young, Mark has performed in many venues. Mark is very well known by all, has received many performing awards, and has participated in many events across Toronto. It was during Marks high school years when he realized his true love was singing, performing, and entertaining audiences. Through an odd series of events Mark had come into contact with Marie Dafnas, president of the Canadian Showcase for Models and Talent. An audition quickly found him an invitation to attend one of Maries Showcases in Toronto, Ontario, May 2004. Marks outstanding version of Unchained Melody captured the entire audience, which included agents, record producers, talent managers, and record label executives from around the world. After his performance Mark met with Grammy Award Nominated producer/engineer Jim Lightman. Although many liked Marks unique voice and stage presence, Jims offer of a production in Nashville really caught Marks attention. What better place to get a start when Mark always dreamed of making a record in the worlds only music city , Nashville , Tennessee. Though Mark is a singer/songwriter/composer/musician, and listens to every genre of music he had no idea of which musical genre he wanted to head towards. He always had a love for country and that is what kind of music came through the songs. So Mark found a starting point. He wrote an abundance of songs but couldn't decide which ones he wanted on the demo. The songs that really impacted Mark were the some of the first songs he had ever written, Still My Angel , How Can I , and Piece of My Heart. Those are the original songs Mark chose to add to the demo. In August 2005, with Marks very supportive parents by his side, Mark was headed for Nashville to begin production on his CD. Jim Lightman called upon some of his best colleagues and acclaimed session musicians to work on the project. This prominent crew included Denny Hemmingson of Tim McGraw's band The Dance Hall Doctors . Mark and this amazing crew created a very vibrant, stylish, country rock demo entitled Can U Believe It, which included the songs Mark had chosen Still My Angel, How Can I, Piece of My Heart, and always a favorites of Marks, a Juice Newton cover, The Sweetest Thing. Currently Mark is performing every opportunity he can. He has opened for Canadian songstress Naomi Streimer. Mark's first single "Piece Of My Heart" hitCanadian radio in May 2008 and reached 4 . Currently, Mark's second single "The Sweetest Thing" is 1!!!. Mark's third single "Still My Angel" was just released to mainstream and Aboriginal radio so be sure to listen for it. Mark will be heading for Nashville in 2009 to finish his debut album, "Vindictive." His album is due to hit the music scene by late 2009. Once released, the CD is sure to hit airways and gain attention from music stations and country fans across Canada. Mark is currently working with award winning Canadian fiddler Ashley McIasaac and Canadian Electronica/Country DJ Strong Like Bull.He is preparing for a small tour across Canada to visit some of the reservations that has supported his career thus far. As many have said, where your dreams are concerned the sky is the limit, and Mark is well on his way to reaching the stars!!!!!