Carolyn Mark Just Married: An Album of Duets

Carolyn Mark Just Married: An Album of Duets
She might think of herself as a terrible hostess but party girl Carolyn Mark must be doing something right because she has friends all over the country. Taking a tip from her last album, The Pros and Cons of Collaboration, Mark gives the pros another shot with Just Married. From her first splashes as one-half of the Corn Sisters with Neko Case, to the curatorial feat that became an all-star tribute to Robert Altman’s Nashville, Mark has made collaborating with others an art-form. Even though she’s one of Canada’s premier songwriters, Just Married features but two original songs penned solely by Mark, enabling her friends’ songs and some covers to get a run for their money. Peterborough’s Silver Hearts add their spirited barroom blues to "North Country Fair” while Mark coos beautifully with kindred spirit Geoff Berner on his "It’s All Just a Matter of (Where You Draw the Line).” Corb Lund checks in with a jazzy take on "Sweet Thing” and the Fine Options’ "The Happy Bluebird Sings” is just downright pretty. Mark and Amy Honey have fun on the spoof "Rocket Piano Man” but there is simply no better song here than Ford Pier’s brilliant soul-infused cheater, "Done Something Wrong.” It’s the perfect duet and adds much to Just Married’s status as a fun, eclectic affair.

A duets album seems like the perfect idea for you. You’re like a born collaborator. That’s sort of classier than saying I’m easy! I like it; I’m "a collaborator — I just can’t stand to be alone!” Actually I have a lot of duets albums in my collection and I really like the whole "one-song-at-at-time” approach. Because you’re alternating people, it’s a good breeding ground for songs. I want to keep doing it so that there’s a volume two and it becomes a double album someday.

Is this more like that Sinatra’s Duets or where Natalie Cole sang with her dead father? No, I’m actually there with the people. It’s not like Bono phoned it in from Dublin! But if something should happen to me, we could do it like Natalie Cole where I’m on a screen behind the person singing. I don’t know, singing with your dead parents is kind of an odd thing. And I thought it was weird that they did Sinatra’s tracks separately and put them together with Bono’s.

Everyone’s slagging Bono these days. No, when Geoff Berner and I were in Dublin I’d say, "I don’t want to go to soundcheck” and he’d be like, "I hear Bono’s going to be there” and I’d go (excitedly) "Really?!” So, I’m pro-Bono. (Mint)