Mark Lennon – Down the Mountain
Mark Lennon is a North Carolina native whose southern roots can be heard in the bluegrass-inflected harmonies of this third release. His adopted Los Angeles has also made an impact on Lennon’s music in the airiness of his melodies and the sunshine of the guitar strumming. His music brings to mind the folk- and country-rock sounds of early `70s Golden State transplants like Brewer & Shipley, but also acts like the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Grateful Dead. You can also hear the flowing road rhythms of the Allman Brothers in the piano and guitar jam of “What I Could Be With You.” Lennon’s voice bears a strong resemblance to Ryan Adams’; he conjures a modern balance of instruments on the superb “Wildside” by adding horns to piano and acoustic guitar for a duet with Simone Stevens. Lennon has been in California for seven years, but he still considers himself a Southerner, offering up the lovelorn letter of homesickness, “Tennessee.” At twenty-eight minutes this is halfway between EP and album, but all eight songs are solid, so really all you’re missing are the four album tracks that don’t always measure up.
This album was originally released in April 2009.