From Southern California comes Alternative Singer/Songwriter Mark Gothard who just released his latest 13 Track CD “Fly the Coop” in 2014. Many of you are already aware how fickle this industry is. Right from the start it might be easy to just categorize Gothard as some straight ahead old school folk-country-esque rocker toting a cowboy hat and thus writing him off as the newest trending thing down in Los Angeles. It wouldn’t be wise, though because there is so much more. Sure, if you listen to some of his more-catchier tunes within this 13 song line-up that’s the impression one might get. However there is a method to his madness. There are some really good songs on “Fly the Coop” that not only have substance but step outside the traditional “flash in the pan” modern-folk pop musical boundaries as well. Listen to Track 1 “What You Came Here For” for example to you will see exactly what I’m talking about. Gothard delivers the musical magic.
First: Gothard can play and sing like nobody’s business. His voice has an amazing warm and likeability factor. Second he recruited some really good musicians and production folk for this project as well. Thirdly Gothard has many years of experience and five other albums to his credit. He’s a real journeyman having has been writing and recording for more than 25 years, airing his wares across the nation as a traveling troubadour through New York City, Nashville, D.C., Boston, the Santa Cruz Mountains and Jackson, Wyoming. Now again based in his native Los Angeles, Mark has written more than 300 songs and performed at many of the music capital’s most renowned venues, including House of Blues, Largo, B.B. King and The Troubadour – so what you see is what you get. This man has lived his music. All of the above sure go against the grain of modern “flash in the pan” acoustic pop and as a result really open up this classic album. This is not Jason Mraz of Maroon 5 wither- not even close! It’s more like classic Bruce Springsteen, Whiskeytown, Tweedy, Jason Isbell, Justin Towne Earle and One can’t help but get wrapped around songs like “Dust”,:King of Love” and “Virgin” The CD goes full circle covering a wide range of emotional subject matter and “truth be told” topics. This enhances the listening experience rather than limit it for me. Gothard is obviously experienced at performing and writing powerful music, but it’s the combination of all of the above that makes him so deadly. I mean, there is nothing here that really seems all that original or fresh, or that’s already been done before. Perhaps that is why Gothard’s on our players in the first place. Adding to his kudos, Mark’s track “Timbuktu”—recorded by Nashville’s Paramount Group Inc.—won the 2013 Director’s Award in the Nashville International Song and Lyric Contest, while his “Jesse James” was nominated for a 2012 Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) in the Folk/Acoustic Category. Forgive me if I’m talking in circles – but some bands and artists can deliver music that’s pretty straight forward, conservative and painfully simple yet brilliant in scope. Bottom line: they make it look so easy. Gothard makes this look and sound eacy because he a natural. Furthermore in lieu of the amazing string of songs Gothard has delivered on “Fly the Coop” it almost feels as if he’s on to something, well special. This latest release from Gothard is a one of a kind CD from a one of a kind artist that’s closely tied to classic blues-rock-soul, but has a more modern sounding edge to it reminiscent of guys like Ryan Adams.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Genre: Blues-Rock, Singer-Songwriter