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    MARK EASTON – Dark Blue

    MARK EASTON – Dark Blue

    MARK EASTON – Dark Blue / Plastic Donut Records, Mark Easton Self-released, CDBaby, 2023 / CD, Dig / rock, blues, world / Australia

    Mark Easton has been part of the blues scene for over 20 years, but a few years ago he had forced break due to Covid 19. It ended up being the best thing that could happen to him. After a trip to Inner Mongolia, in 2019, he became inspired by music from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Middle East, Nordic and North Africa. He started to teach himself throat singing, dombra, morin khuur, jaw harp and incorporating it into blues. Album “Dark Blue” is an inspiring journey through the blues to other worlds, sometimes joyous and sometimes very dark. You gonna love this with a passion or hate it with a vengeance, but its worth a listen.

    DiscographyMoney Is The Root Of All Evil (Plastic Donut Records, Mark Easton S-r, 2009) ; Live At Sydney Blues Festival 2009 (Plastic Donut Records, Mark Easton S-r, 2010) ; Grind (Plastic Donut Records, Mark Easton S-r, 2012) ; Free Yourself (Mark Easton S-r, 2020) ; Dark Blue (Plastic Donut Records, Mark Easton S-r, 2023)

    Mark Easton – guitar, harmonica, bass, drums, Mongolian horse fiddle, Kazakh Dombra, Siberian jaw harp, throat singing

    The blues has a distinct melancholic and somber tone, which is achieved through vocal techniques such as melisma, rhythmic techniques such as syncopation, and instrumental techniques such as “choking” guitar strings on the neck or applying a metal slide to the guitar strings to create a whining voice like sound. The name of this great American music probably originated with the 17th-century English expression “the blue devils“, for the intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. Shortened over time to “the blues“, it came to mean a state of agitation or depression.

    Let’s pay attention to the music of this album. Mark stated – “I am an Australian blues/world music artist. I have a new album out that combines blues with central Asian and middle eastern folk music, called ‘Dark Blue’“.

    I received Mark‘s offer to listen and to review his actual album. My first impression was – why someone from “the another side of the world” want to be presented in one European regional web site. Immediately I concluded – every chance for promotion is good chance. People missing small chances will, sooner or later, miss the big one, as well. Bravo for Mark‘s way of thinking.

    Musically, this is not ordinary clean blues dedicated album. This is much, much more. As described in introduction part of this text – inspired by music from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Middle East, Nordic and North Africa – Mark decided to incorporate new experiences into his musical expression. Given that he is multi-instrumentalist, also, helped him to achieve high levels of quality and expression. Music, we all know, knows no borders and “speaks” in an international language. Mark‘s singing itself is clean and regular. However, in some songs he changes his vocal expression which gives him new vocal and emotional expressions. Only a few can do that.

    I will finish this short review with title of one song – “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” – it describes that good musician, sooner or later, achieve proper attention related to his/her work. I think that time came in relation to Mark Easton music. Well deserved, of course.


    Mark Easton – “Dark Blue” – 1. Kongurey ; 2. Hold on to What You’ve Got ; 3. Ya Um Al-Abaya ; 4. Chasing the Blues Away ; 5. You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down ; 6. I Won’t Forget Your Love ; 7. I’ve Got Nothing to Lose Except You ; 8. Reindeer Herder Blues ; 9. Kazakhstan ; 10. Dark Blue ; 11. The Sky’s on Fire

    Photo – Steven Byrne

    https://www.facebook.com/markeastonblues / https://www.reverbnation.com/markeaston / https://open.spotify.com/album/3JWOC7Ws97EtMAJtpWdHmq /

    YT – Mark Easton – Dark Blue

    YT – Mark Easton – Kongurey