Exposé Online banner

McDowell — Rooks Wedding
(Saint Piran PIRANCD001, 2001, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-02-01

Rooks Wedding Cover art

Considering the cover of this album, you d think that a degree of magic or mystery would surround this album. Mark McDowell has spent a short amount of time in the UK underground scene with Spectrasonic before releasing his first album on his own label. The clues to the singer-songwriter's direction come in part from closing piece, an obscure Donovan cover, "Widow with Shawl" from his For Little Ones LP in 1967. Emphasizing folksy roots and a semi-traditional style piece offset by a few spacey sound effects and backing organ. The set of thirteen overall pieces are a pastoral meandering through the styles of acoustic T. Rex and Nick Drake (but less stark). The album's opener, "In Silence," is a quiet dirge that carries an eerie backdrop with occasional stabs of trumpet. "All Those Years" is an ode for the soldier who doesn t return from a foreign war, characterized by slide guitar and Hammond organ flourishes. "Cajun Dust" is one of the longer pieces on the album with more involved arrangements – the twist is a techno rhythmic opening against some bluegrass acoustic playing. "Chinese Year" harkens back to many of Bob Dylan's 60s ballad works while "She Fell Away" is probably the most successful ballad, with much in common with Tim Hardin's work. Short vignettes such as "Inky Blank" and "Weobly Rose" develop quickly in less than two-minute presentations much like Donovan's very earliest works. Overall the album is a pretty consistent work as the artist has been making a splash in the U.K. folk/alternative clubs to much appreciation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Mark McDowell

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Carmen - Fandangos in Space & Dancing on a Cold Wind – It's about time that these albums received a proper re-release after the butcher job the German Line label did with them in the late 80s (large parts of tracks missing, track indexes in the wrong...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues