One of the coolest parts of my job as an entertainment writer is the opportunity to get my hands on a wide varity of music from both new and established artists. For the most part, I have an idea of what to expect, as most of my reviews are from well-established artists. I've listened to them for years and know their musical style. I know when I put a CD in the player or download a tune, exactly what I am going to hear. I have yet to be disappointed. But when someone new crosses my desk, there is always that question in the back of my mind, "what if I don't like this artist's stuff?" I am always honest with my reviews, but there is a fine line between being honest while not dashing a dream. I breathe a sigh of relief when the artist takes that decision out of my hands
Although I have had previews of music by The Mark Chapman Band in the past, hearing several cuts in a row can be a different experience. The Nashville Sessions lives up to everything I have heard from and about Mark Chapman. The man knows his way around a lyric.
Burn 'Em Down opens up the five-track EP with a tune overflowing with visual artistry, showcasing Mark's ability to translate what he sees in his brain to something his fans can as well. Of all the songs on this EP, this one screams to be made into a professionally produced video.
Fireflies is the grooviest song on here. Whether you are sitting on a log around a camp fire in the Ozarks or on a beach somewhere, Fireflies is that summer evening dance tune everyone will sing along to.
Love Finds You is the longest track (4:20). While that seems long for a tune these days, this is that song to pull your sweet someone out onto the dance floor and just be. I think the length of the tune is a large part of what Mark wanted to convey in this tune, thus showing his mastery of the ability to make each song an experience.
The visuals continued with Rosary On the Rearview. I could envision a young couple cruising the back roads ejoying each other and the day full of promise.
While Waves is that feeling we all experience with various aspects of our life, Mark brings the imagary to a new level. As I listened, I was reminded of Cheyanne by Garth Brooks - whom Mark has admired for a long time. While the stories in the two songs differ, there is still that sense of the power waves in any form carry.
If you like folks like Granger Smith and Garth Brooks, you will love Mark Champan - The Nashville Sessions.
The only thing that confused me about this EP is the track listing order on the sleeve did not match the order on the player. While a minor item, that was just something from a marketing stand point that jumped out. I am also not sure if this was just something that occured on the promotional copies or the actual release.
I am tipping my hat
You can download this EP HERE
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SonicBids (great info on this site!)