April 25, 2012

Mark Newman with the John Oates Band in the Boerderij Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

Growing up in New York, Mark Newman’s musical journey has taken him around the world several times as both sideman and singer/songwriter. This ace stringsman (guitar, lap steel, mandolin, dobro) and accomplished songwriter is the type of singer whose warm and expressive voice sounds like an old friend. He put it all together on 2006’s Must Be A Pony (Danal Music, LLC). Now, he takes a quantum leap forward with the stunning Walls Of Jericho (Danal Music. LLC).

Sharing the stage with such notables as soul legend Sam Moore, the late Willy DeVille and Sam The Sham, has given Newman the perspective to craft an individualistic sound framed in straight-from-the-hip rock’n’roll, simmering with the subtle flavors of blues, R’n’B, funk, folk and soul.

Newman has learned his lessons well. “Willy DeVille could say more in one note than most people could in 20,” he says. “I learned so much from him. He didn’t necessarily play to the audience. He let them come to him. And, boy, did they! He was in his own world on that stage. He never compromised. By way of tribute, Newman covers one of DeVille’s most beloved songs, “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl,” playing the dobro that the singer’s wife, Nina, gave to him upon his death in 2009. Longtime Willy DeVille percussionist Boris Kinberg is also on the track.

On Sunday April 22nd Mark Newman was back in The Netherlands! This time as a bandmember of the John Oates Band with a gig in Cultuurpodium Boerderij in Zoetermeer (near The Hague).

There were sociable dining bistro tables dropped. In advance therefore was already known that it wouldn't be a crowded room in the Boerderij Zoetermeer. The concert was not sold out, not at all. Actually pretty incomprehensible. John Oates sure is 'a name' in the history of music. He wrote with Daryl Hall (Hall & Oates) multiple hit songs and they are in the top 100 best songwriters ever. And thus you would expect in such a small-scale music venue the Auditorium should be easily filled.

John Oates came around 09:30 PM on stage, but immediately put in with a few classics, such as 'Maneater' and 'Alone Too Long'. I noticed that John Oates' voice sounded very well and that the band was also perfectly attuned in harmony. The sound in the room and the alternation were good, with a build-up from the '70's and 80's to songs from the new album 'Mississippie Mile' and finaly a classic. Delicious soul, country blues and rock were subtly blended into each other. And the band played also a brand new song in Zoetermeer.

The interaction with the audience was great to watch, and even request songs were performed. Nice anecdotes, such as a trip to Jamaica and a taxi driver as an intro to the song 'Six Men Are Gonna Lay You Down', it was very entertaining. And although in the beginning of the gig the sound wasn't perfect, that was later corrected, it was a very fine gig in The Netherlands.[Angelo van der Klift]
More photo's here.

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