Best of Mark Easley
Review by Tom Weel, Beatles Unlimited Magazine Issue #183: 'Mark Easley's website includes a broad collection of downloadable cover versions of favorite pop songs. This compilation of him includes the biggest hits as voted by the fans at his website in 2003, plus a parody of Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to the Pound) about his two dogs and two new original songs, dedicated to his wife and son. The voted tracks include compositions by Enc Clapton, U2, Gordon Lightfoot, three John Denver-related songs, and four Beatles tunes: In My Life, Blackbird, Dear Prudence and Here Comes The Sun. He performs the songs in the same way as the originals and plays a pretty well acoustic guitar on all the tracks, with some added (rhythm) instruments here and there. In most of the songs his country-flavored voice moves from the middle regions to the higher notes (at the end of In My Life) and gives a psychedelic touch to Dear Prudence. But his way of singing seems to fit the Denver songs the best - his Annie's Song version is very sound-alike. Three more Beatles cover versions can be found on his website, ready for download.' Introduction by Mark Easley: 'Back in the late '60s and '70s I taught myself to play the guitar and sing along with my favorites including The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, James Taylor, Crosby Stills & Nash, Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, and others. It is a wonderful way to express yourself. Now I am also writing my own songs, and teaching guitar and great songs like these to others via youtube. Thanks for listening and learning with me.' Mark Easley YouTube goldhat3 Production Credits: Recorded 2000-2003 at GoldHat Music, Morrisville, North Carolina. Vocals and Guitars by Mark Easley. Produced and Engineered by Rufus Dickerson and Mark Easley. Sequenced and Recorded on Sonar. Licensing through Harry Fox Agency. Distributed by GoldHat Music USA. Copyright © 2004 Mark Easley. All Rights Reserved. Guitars: Guild D-25, Martin 000-16, Sigma AE, Dean Exotica RSE, Fender Strat, Dean Backwoods 6-string banjo, Ibanez classical, Ovation Celebrity, Fender 12 string, Yamaha bass. Listener Comments: 'I am here in Hong Kong and working on my computer listening to your MP3 songs. I just wanted to tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying listening to your music. A true gift and heart felt activity by you that comes thru.' Mike H., San Jose 'I enjoy music where you can tell the artist has a passion for what they are doing. One of my all time favorite songs is 'With or Without You'...and I must say you have one of the best versions I have ever heard. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of your songs. As an artist, I always like to give credit where credit is due. Keep the good music coming!' Kenny C., New York 'I LOVED your CD, especially your versions of 'Blackbird', 'Dear Prudence' and 'With or Without You'. The music kept me going all the way from Atlanta to Roanoke, Alabama!' Michael S., Phoenix 'I enjoyed 'In My Life', one of my favorite Beatle songs. I also make music here at my home in Blain, Pa. and the Beatles are always playing here. It was nice to listen to you, thank you much. I will gladly pass you on to my friends.' A.M., Blain Pa. 'I really enjoyed the CD. It took me a little while to figure out what was doggin' Ruby; clever parody!' Paul M., Raleigh 'Hey Mark....just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your CD. This is one I can sing along with..unlike the stuff my kids listen to!' Jeryl S., Indianapolis 'I just found your mp3 site. I really admire your talent... and especially your sound. May I ask how you get your acoustic to sound that great on your recordings?' Roy R., Texas 'I really enjoyed your music, a refreshing twist to some great songs.' Ricky W., Miami 'My name is Nik A. and I am a 2nd year animation student in the UK. I would like to ask permission to use your music in an upcoming animation piece that I am doing as I feel that it fits perfectly.' Nik A., United Kingdom 'My name is Shon, I am a technical director at WB22 WLFL television in Raleigh, NC. I am currently editing a piece on the North Carolina South Carolina rivalry. I saw the music on your website and would like your permission to use excerpts of the version of Dueling Banjos by Mark Easley, to liven up the piece. Thank you. ' Shon L., Senior Technical Director, WLFL-TV Song Notes: Dueling Banjos 1972 from the movie Deliverance Let's go down south and do a 'Top Ten Songs Every Acoustic Guitar Player Has to Know' song, that great theme from Deliverance called Dueling Banjos. It was actually performed by Eric Weissberg and friends, but has been made famous all these years by that haunting scene in the movie. It wins the all time award for 'Best Use of Guitar and Banjo for Dramatic Effect'. Annie's Song 1974 John Denver I first saw John Denver in a concert at Purdue in 1973, and I was immediately hooked. He played beautiful guitar and great songs, and I wanted to learn them all. I spent many hours with my guitar and John's music and he was one of my biggest influences, particularly his singing. I went to his concerts as often as possible over the years, including several times at Harrahs in Lake Tahoe where he would play and ski every winter in the '80s. I was shocked and saddened when John Denver died not far from my home in California in 1998, but his music lives on. La Bamba Traditional Spanish Folk Song This traditional song was made famous as a rock and roll number by Richie Valens back in the 50's. It is still a great song. Dixie Traditional American Folk Song This instrumental version is from the Civil War series by Ken Burns and was arranged for the guitar by Bobby Horton. It is the slow version that Burns used to back up the sad parts. In My Life 1965 Lennon/McCartney One of John Lennon's most beautiful Beatles tunes. It's amazing that he could write music and lyrics like this at such a young age. Tears In Heaven 1996 Eric Clapton Just about the saddest song ever written. Some Days Are Diamonds 1976 Dick Feller This beautiful song was made famous by John Denver. It expresses some of the feelings that come from growing older. It is dedicated to my mom in Indiana, Alice Easley. Early Morning Rain 1973 Gordon Lightfoot This is one of my favorite tunes to sing. With or Without You 1982 U2 One of the few songs I know from the 80's. The wailing at the end really says it all. Blackbird 1968 Lennon/McCartney The Beatles influenced and overshadowed everything and everyone musical in the '60s and ever since. Here is a good example of why. The song Blackbird is another 'Top Ten' acoustic guitar song. Paul McCartney sat in the studio with a guitar, a metronome, and George Martin to record it. Paul repeated playing the song until he had done 26 takes, at which point he said it was finished. He had created one of the great guitar classics of all time. Dear Prudence 1968 Lennon/McCartney When John Lennon went to India, he sat down with Donovan to learn to finger pick his guitar. This beautiful song was the first one he wrote using the technique. Here Comes the Sun 1969 George Harrison George Harrison created a song on everybody's all time 'Top Ten Songs Every Acoustic Guitar Player Has to Know' list for the Beatles album, Abbey Road. This is a fantastic song, and many people feel it is one of the Beatles finest. If I was stuck on a desert island and I would only be allowed to play one song for the duration, this would be the one. Nice job George. Back Home Again 1974 John Denver Back Home Again was always one of my favorite John Denver songs, and I used to like to sing it when I was out traveling around the world to remind me of home. When my father passed away in 2000, I chose this song to sing at his funeral. My whole family joined in and sang it with me. I have been lucky to be able to feel all my life that my mother and father's home is also one of my homes, because they are that kind of people. This one's for Jack. Ruby © 2003 Mark Easley I wrote this song from the point of view of my male dog Rui. He had to get neutered a few weeks before our female dog Ruby got fixed. This left him in quite a predicament for awhile. Time For Us Tonight © 2003 Mark Easley For my wife Maria. No matter how busy life gets, we still make time to support each other. Mark Jr. created the drum track for this song. Lift You If You Fall © 2003 Mark Easley For my son Mark Jr. Raising a child is the most important thing in life.