“Walk Thru The Fire” – Mark Karan – A Review
I became interested in reviewing Mark Karan for one reason only, because He played in Ratdog, Bob Weir’s Band, and He had played with the Other Ones a few years ago, a group consisting of The Dead without Jerry. He and Steve Kimock were the guitarists. This is a very eclectic recording, but one thing is consistent , Mark provides lots of good guitar chops and jams many a song out at the end. Mark is a super talented guitarist, with many tones being shared in the mix. His guitar sound reminds me a bit of Dickey Betts and others.
“Walk Thru The Fire” is a song wrote while going thru cancer treatments, which is a slow paced, but victorious song. He plays some beautiful slide on this song. He has some help with some all star musicians like the Persuasions, Billy Payne (Little Feat), The Rowan Brothers, and a release of rock legend Delaney Bramlett, that was released after his death.(Love In Vain)
“Leave A Light On” (Mark Karan) is my favorite, it has a real nice slow, groove to it and I love the guitar jam at the end of the song. The whole album has a neat Americana, bluesy type sound to it. He does a great job at jamming out on the Dead’s “Easy Wind” which is the only Dead song here. His vocals have some Pigpen Grit here, John Molo, sounds great on drums.
Walk Through The Fire was recorded over a four year period in six studios by eight engineers with twenty five musicians. Mark produced the record himself. It was mixed by Davy Vain, and mastered by the great Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering(student of the great Doug Sax). “Memphis Radio” is another bouncy song I like alot, real melodic, great hooks, nice guitar.
Mark’s present band “Jemimah Puddleduck” shows up all over the place. This group showcases Mark on lead and all guitar, John Molo on drums, JT Thomas (Bruce Hornsby) on keyboards, and Bob Gross (Albert King, Delaney Bramlett) on bass. This is a solid recording, go on and pick up a copy.