Mark Rogers drops new LP
Mark Rogers grew up in Virginia, “absorbing” every Beatles album and learning his craft from the masters. After being in a couple of bands over the years he set his guitar down in the 90’s and 00’s to raise a family in Washington, DC. It wasn’t until 2010 that some factors contributed to him rediscovering his music, one of them being reconnecting with “the one that got away.” By 2017 Mark released – Rearranged – a six track EP to be followed-up on in 2018 by a full-length album release. And these six songs contain a wide variety of styles, but at the end of the day it’s acoustic driven folk-rock with bossa rhythm.
Rearranged is an EP that comes recommended for its mellow pace and tremendous songwriting, which combine a slow groove with a variety of interesting topics. “Right Here” opens the set with a mighty familiar ring to it, because when he starts singing it’s not hard to be reminded of artists like Elvis Costello. It falls somewhere between that and John Cafferty’s singing style. At least this opening track has that ring of familiarity to it, ready-made on the same level for radio. This track also deals with the subject of “rearranging.” It turns out a great choice for an opener and single, turning in one of the EP’s best efforts.
Following up with “Slow Parade” you immediately hear some of that bossa rhythm as the guitar opens the song with some intricate patterns that go directly into a more straightforward acoustic number. And it’s maintained throughout the song with some sweet electric fills in just the right parts. This is a very hypnotic track you can’t skip as you tap your toes the whole way through it. If the EP has a sleeper track, this might be the biggest contender for that. It helps prepare you for what’s to come, even though it couldn’t be more different than this cut, as well as the EP’s great opener.
“I Can’t Say Why” delivers on another level, with a nearly full-blown pop track, as it gets away from the deeper sentiments of the previous tracks. It’s about not being able to answer questions, and it’s the most musically uplifting track on the EP. This is one of the best reasons to buy this title. It’s worth the price of admission and then some, because when you hear this, you’ll be awaiting his next release. It also plays well in unison with the next number “Waiting,” which also some air of familiarity to it, but this time Rogers eludes on just where his influences are coming from. The result is still yet another remarkably original tune.
As the EP winds down, Mark Roger has more treats for the taking with some tasty guitar playing and some of the best singing on the disc with “Takes Me Back Again.” As mentioned, the guitar work on this is simply excellent, with a vibrant solo which shows just how good his chops really are. This track is a very Beatles influenced song that even reminds at times of Billy Joel, also a huge Beatles fan himself. And you’ll love how he closes it out with “The Blue Of December” to end things on a heartfelt somber note. The piano makes this track shine for all it’s worth and it ultimately sells you on the choice music of Mark Rogers.