The Mark
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The Mark

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"The Mark Feature article"

If you take a leap over the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works
and pitter-patter past the Pearl S. Buck Home, promptly cantering
about Bucks County vineyards, farming communities of garden
people bartering newly unearthed vegetables of colorful variety to
the common folk both far & wide, etc, you
may just catch The Mark…no-no-no, not “The Mark” that your
beloved etched onto your fleshy surface last night, nor the (m)Ark
of the covenant, and most certainly not “The Mark” that owes you
$17.93 for the beers & buffalo wings you bought him one night
because he was broke, and said he’d get you back next payday—
it’s been two pay periods already. No sir, I mean The Mark…as in
the band…the Bucks County based one…the umm…county I mentioned
just a few lines ago…a band built on reprising the melodies
that muses contemporary man. Appreciating such immortal genres
as Jazz, Blues and Country or “Real Country” as they prefer calling
it (Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and the like), fusing in a hint
of funk and gift-wrapping it all up with Classic Rock-N-Roll,
The Mark seeps with adroitness de musique, simply because all the
members have been playing forever. They know music; they
know the clichéd “ins” and “outs”; they’re on point with valedictorian
chord changes, commissioning appropriate tunes to rebelrouse
the crowds they play to. Their lyrics are a company
effort.
The Mark is composed of the players Tom Appleton (Vocals and
Acoustic guitars), Mark Capozio (Lead and Slide Guitars) and
adopted the name “Dirt”, not Dreck, Grime, Gook or Crud, but
“Dirt”…yeah, I was having fun with the thesaurus…sorry, Dirt,
Mark Walsh (Drums…makes you wonder why they named themselves,
“The Mark”), and Tim Komonchak (Bass and Vocals, and
like many Tim’s, has succumbed to being called “Timmay”…I
don’t know if this was by force or if he chose this epithet on his
own) and Jeff Walter (Percussions and Vocals) who doesn’t usually
play full gigs with band but I hear “plays a mean djembe”.
They all hold an affinity for the Grateful Dead, as you can hear it
in some of their tunes, especially when Dirt starts soloing ever-so gracefully
crispy/bluesy and quite “dirty” at times rhythmic patterns.
But they’re not limited to just the Jam-Band murmurs, they
are influenced by so much…and they improvise, which is most
commendable: (Tom) “I think the basis of most improvisational
music is rooted in jazz, blues, and bluegrass. Most improvisational
music starts with a basic theme and then builds on that with variations.
This is basically what we do. Blues obviously has a lot
more in common with jazz then bluegrass, but they all have similar
approaches. The major difference between these various forms of
music is the instrumentation and tone. But we’re all essentially
doing the same thing. We tend to lean more towards the blues
rock approach, but we’re all for the most part really into jazz.
We’re huge fans of Coltrane, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner and a lot
of the players that graced their bands over the years. But to be
honest, I owe as much of my personal improvisatory style to King
Crimson and ELP as I do to the Dead or any of those other bands.
We do love to improvise, but we are also songwriters at heart and
try to serve the song as best we can. Some songs don’t contain
any improvisatory exploration while others are made more to expand.
I think we try to touch on many forms of music. I’d call what we
do a fusion, but that term is so entrenched as kind of a jazz answer
to progressive music that the term doesn’t really fit what it is. But
what we do is take various influences from classic rock and roll,
jazz, blues, country, funk and kind of throw them up in the air and
see what happens. Some of us are also highly influenced
by progressive, classical,
and even punk and metal to a
certain extent so it’s really kind
of hard to keep from showing
your influences when you play.
You just kind of naturally touch
on those things that have driven
you all these years. You
can’t hide your influences
though you can try to cover
them up!”
I have to thank Tom Appleton
for such brilliant words and it
is unfortunate that I cannot fit
all of his “words” into this one
article…things like where they
met and how they met and
how they sort of incorporate
spirituality into their sound.
They play with a profound
purpose, and it’s simply that
they let the music speak for
their souls…this is what music
is, and it should be shared like
bread to a starving vagabond. Most bands can say that they
play for a “purpose”, but do they really? English novelist and
playwright Edward George Bulwer-Lytton said, “Music, once
admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.” You
may think me pretentious for referencing something so obscure,
and in reality it is; but in truth, it holds validity. Let go of your
music snobbery just for a moment, the satisfaction of impressing
sex-interests with your knowledge of band names and realize what
that quote is actually saying…to me is says, that all of us individuals
have this one good thing in common, and it’s beauty is what
makes us human after all.
www.myspace.com/themarkband
I highly recommend!
- www.origivation.com


"Making Their Mark on Music"

June 22, 2005
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
BY MELISSA YERKOV
Trend Editor
It’s a little hard to believe that two guitars, one bass and drums can successfully form a sound that renders music similar to that of The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead. Yet four local residents have convinced people otherwise since they joined forces in 2003 to form Bucks County’s own jam band, The Mark.

The distinct sound of the group is an integration of Tom Appleton, a Levittown resident, on lead vocals and guitar, Mark Capozio of Warrington on lead guitar, Mark Walsh of Newtown on drums, and Warrington resident Tim Komonchak on bass.

Members of The Mark met through mutual friends and a shared love for music. Each musician has been active on the local music scene for some time and became familiar with one another through diverse live performances and friends. It is difficult to place the music of The Mark into one genre. They incorporate many types of music, such as classic rock, blues and jazz, into their unique sound. The Mark reflects the strong musical influences of Bob Dylan, The Allman Brothers, Phish and The Grateful Dead. Because of the spontaneous nature of their music, The
Mark could be commonly categorized as a “jam band.”

“We used to make playlists for live shows, but eventually just called them suggestion lists,” lead vocalist Tom Appleton said, laughing. “Just because we never stick to them. It is much more personal to listen to the audience, and then play how we feel.” The Mark will incorporate some cover songs by such bands as The Beatles, The Doors, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and many others into their performances. Appleton emphasized that the band will not play just any covers. Rather, they try to stick with musical influences and inspirations to reveal their own personalities
through their music.

When playing an original showcase, The Mark will play original music, however, when playing a party venue or bar, they tend to play more cover songs to keep the audience involved and interactive with familiar songs. “Although we may play a lot of cover songs, we incorporate our own style into each of them,” explained drummer Mark Walsh. “We still want to achieve that level of uniqueness.”

The Mark’s first recorded track was on a compilation album composed by Bowsh Records. The company recorded 20 bands for a two-disc collection album. The release of the album was followed by an online contest to determine the two most talented bands. The winners received an all-expense paid record deal with Bowsh Records, including professional studio time. Once the votes were counted, the winners were revealed. The prize went to The Mark and Strik9. “We are the type of band that excels at live performances. We love working interactively with the audience,” explained Appleton. “So it was such an unexpected achievement to win a contest where we were studio-recorded.”

As a result of their well-earned prize, The Mark is in the process of recording their debut album, Plain as Day. They have been recording since April, with a projected release date in September. Although all members have recorded albums in the past, this will be their first album under the collective effort as The Mark. “The band is presenting a full-on product with this upcoming album," explained bassist Tim Komonchak. “We are involved in every aspect, from the artwork for the cover to the mixing of recordings, and we’re looking forward to getting it out to the public.”

The Mark hopes to follow the album release with a tour. There are plans for a promotional campaign on their Web site, with more information as the time approaches. Also, exposure through national magazines and advertisements will publicize the message. In the meantime, The Mark will continue playing local shows, including an upcoming performance at Irishman’s Pub in Levittown on June 25.
Several of their recent shows were a strong success, including a May 27 performance at Walsh’s Tavern in Warminster. “The show was such a pleasure to play because of our familiarity with the area,” said Appleton. “Walsh’s is right in our backyard.” The band also had a good time during a recent stop at The Road House in Newportville, where an enthusiastic audience helped to energize the musicians. Although The Mark has had the opportunity to play in many notable venues throughout the area, the Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope and the Grape Street Pub in Manayunk have been among the more enjoyable spots because of the enthusiastic crowds.

To stay sharp and refine the musicianship, the members of The Mark practice at least once a week and deliver live performances as the opportunities arise. “The practices are necessary to make the live performances flow as smoothly as possible,” said Komonchak. “The live shows are a payoff for all the hard work at practice. That’s the time to do what we do and have fun.” The members of The Mark are extremely satisfied with the progress they have made during their three years together. The upcoming release of their first album, they hope, will lead to other high notes as they go where the music leads them. ••
- The Trend


"The Mark: Plain as Day"

April 27th 2006

One of the brightest strengths of this new release is their ability to swing in different styles and still sound like themselves. The opener, "Temptation" is a funky psychedelic jam that has a nice jam where lead guitarist Mark Capozio can seem a little stretched in places but he ends up bringing everything back together in the end which provides a pretty nice intro to the rest of the album.

"Through the Ages" is a bit faster and more serious. "Isn't It a Pity" is a slower, lazy (good lazy) song with some slide guitar and a chorus that has lyrics that are very close to those of George Harrison's "Isn't It a Pity?" "I Want Someone" has some lead guitar lines that reminded me of "Brown-Eyed Women" by the Grateful Dead. Not so much the notes being played, but the vibe they created It's very positive and a song that'll make you wanna bop around until you hear the rain come in the background and then you slowly sway back and forth.

There are a number of tracks that keep things going at a steady pace but "New Beginning" seems to really get things back where they were at the beginning of the album. The beautiful guitars go all over the place, sounding like tie-dyed rain drops flying to the ground. "Dance of the Dwarves" closes out the album and has some of the most far out guitar he plays, making you put the album on repeat. "Plain as Day" deserves a listen, and another. Luckily, it appears to be an album that gets better with multiple listens, so give them a shot at www.themarkband.com and check out some samples and pick up the disc at http://cdbaby.com/cd/markband/

For full review see:
http://www.jammedonline.com/themarkcd.html - Jammedonline.com


Discography

Comp Post- 2004 Bowsh Records (1 song "I Want Someone" on a compilation release)
Plain As Day- 2006 Bowsh Records
Common Ground - 1/15/2008 AIMM Group (1 song "All Night Long" on a compilation release)
Could Not Be Denied- 2008 F Flat Productions
Lizard Tales Live: Vol. 1 - 2008 F Flat Productions

Streaming audio can be heard on www.myspace.com/themarkband and MP3 downloads can be found on www.themarkband.com

Photos

Bio

The nucleus of the Mark was formed back in 1989 when Tom Appleton was introduced to guitarist, Mark Capozio. The two played together for fun and professionally in various bands over the years. It wasn’t until the two returned to the stage together in 2003 with a new rhythm section that the band was truly born. Mark Walsh, a power house drummer was first to lend his talents to the band. A chance conversation in Nashville, TN. brought Tim Komonchak into the band on bass and vocals. His vocal talents allowed them to expand their repertoire further than ever before.

The band’s first recording was “I Want Someone”, an exciting single on Ibanez Guitars & TAMA Drums ComPost compilation CD (Bowsh Records). An online contest, where listeners voted for their favorite track on the CD, won The Mark Bowsh Records’ “Best Un-Signed Artist of the Year” award for 2004 as well as the recording time that made their first full length recording possible. Spending 2005 gigging, rehearsing and recording, the resulting CD “Plain as Day” was released March 7th 2006, and has been receiving moderate airplay on college and internet radio stations throughout the US and Europe.

Singer/acoustic guitarist , Tom Appleton was chosen by the Ibanez Guitars in early 2006 to endorse their guitars in a national ad campaign which launched in several magazines including Harp, Relix, Performing Songwriter, as well as receiving prime placement on the inside cover of Acoustic Guitar World several months in a row. The ad was also featured in the program distributed at the Bonnaroo Festival in June of ‘06. In addition to a live shot of Tom, the ad also featured the “Plain As Day” artwork by Bucks County Artist Tom Plassa.

After two plus years behind the kit, Mark was forced to leave due to continuing medical issues with his wrist. Jeff Walter, an old friend of Tom’s and an exceptionally talented song writer in his own right was called to the rescue and now rounds out the band on drums and percussion. Jeff is also a talented producer and engineer which would play an important role in the band’s next CD ventures.

They are currently working on booking a fall tour up and down the east coast focusing in college towns and venues to help promote the simultaneous release of their sophomore studio effort, “Could Not Be Denied” and their first in a series of live CD’s “Lizard Tales Live: Vol. I”, both on their own F Flat Records imprint. Both releases feature Jeff Walter on drums as well as in an engineering and production capacity. They also both feature new artwork by now ‘Artist in Residence’ Tom Plassa.

“Could Not Be Denied” was recorded entirely in the band’s home studio outside of Philadelphia & features such stand out tracks as ‘Break Before You Bend’, ‘Can’t Go Back’, ‘I Wanna Know’ & ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’.

2008 will see them venturing up to Saratoga Springs, NY for two festival dates, (Good Omens Fest in July and Hobofest in September) as well as opening up for David Allan Coe in Allentown, PA. in November, with local gigs rounding out the time in between. Look for The Mark.