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MARK MAWBY - Waters Rising

MARK MAWBY - Waters Rising
Private Label MMCD01

Mark is a West Yorkshire-based musician and teacher, originally from Lincolnshire, and this self-produced album contains twelve tracks, nine of them instrumentals, that showcase Mark's crafted and eloquent fingerstyle playing. Waters Rising offers a lyrical and pleasing selection of tunes from England, Ireland and Scotland, including the well-known compositions Jerusalem, Hebridean Air and Miss Eleanor Plunkett's. All these instrumental tracks offer lots of detail and consequent listening pleasure. His structured, unhurried style invites the listener to give close attention to his playing, for Mark is a highly polished and engaging guitarist. I understand that he's played in a variety styles on a range of guitars (including instruments he's built himself) but he now concentrates solely on fingerstyle playing. A few tunes feature uilleann pipes, percussion and additional guitar, and this additional instrumentation gives vibrancy and depth to tunes such as The Rolling Waves.

The album's three vocal tracks are its weak point, however, and even seem something of an indulgence; the relaxed listening ambience created by the finely crafted instrumental tracks is somehow 'interrupted' by these songs, one of which is a cover of Richard Thompson's Farewell Farewell. Mark's accomplished finger picking commands your attention immediately, but the range and timbre of his singing voice cannot match his undoubted instrumental skill.

Debbie Koritsas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 71 of The Living Tradition magazine.