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Mark Ambrose - Put The Hammer Down

Put The Hammer Down

Mark Ambrose

Redbird Records - 4708

Available at CD

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

These stories, yes they are more stories than songs, were all written by Mark Ambrose, except for Redbirds which he co-wrote with Pam Bailey. He was invited by Gillian Welch and her partner musical David Rawlings to their studio in Nashville to lay down the tracks for this disc. Rawlings then played guitar, piano and contributed vocals as well as acting as the Producer for this third disc by Ambrose. He pulled in members of the studio band, that included Gillian on bass and then vocals and drums on Un-Huh, where David Stele switched off his usual drums to take over the bass duties. He also played guitar on My Little Girl, and on that cut Matt Andrews took over the piano. The sound is stripped down to its essential elements with as few added pieces as possible past the filling out of the sound.

Mark Ambrose's voice is an acquired taste with a rough sandpapery husky quality, however it is not unpleasant, just not as melodious as you might be expecting when you think singer/songwriter. There are the tinges and shades of country, folk, with an earthy early Bob Dylan speaking manner, early rock and roll, and various other styles all gathered up in a Texas wind and jumbled together in a manner that seems to fit the individual story he is spinning. His songs seem familiar without sounding as if you've heard them before. It's an interesting mix of elements.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2005, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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