Jack Marks Blues Like These

Jack Marks Blues Like These
7
Toronto songsmith Jack Marks notched award nominations and rave reviews for his two earlier albums (2010's Lost Wages is a gem), though he still merits greater recognition. Certainly his peers have great respect for his talent as a writer, as shown by Belle Starr's recent cover of his "New Girl Now." Marks is hardly a vocal stylist, but his rugged voice (at times Earle-like, as on the six-minute-plus title track closer) suits these down-to-earth frills-free compositions. A stone cold killer cut here is "Song For Me" ("how come you never wrote a song about me?"), featuring a sweet melody alongside witty bittersweet lyrics. "Maggie's Hardware Store" has a real Dylan-esque feel (including a shared character in Maggie), while "Stray Dog" sounds like a tune you might hear in a New Orleans bordello. Producer Aaron Comeau shines on a number of instruments, while guests include Jason Sniderman and Devin Cuddy. Marks my words, this is another winner. (Independent)