Jack Marks Lost Wages

Jack MarksLost Wages
Toronto, ON troubadour Jack Marks is one of the hardest working cats out there, and he's earned serious peer respect. This is reflected in the composition of his band, the Lost Wages, featuring such scene veterans as David Baxter, Sean Dignan and Frank Nevada, while guests on this album include Jadea Kelly, Brian Kobayakawa (Creaking Tree String Quartet), Cleave Anderson (Blue Rodeo) and Jason Sniderman. They flesh out Marks's gritty, yet poetic, compositions, while Baxter also contributes typically empathetic production. Marks's voice could not be deemed "pretty," but the extensive use of female backing vocals is a nice contrast to his rugged delivery. Opening track "Borrow It Gladly Away" has an early Dylan-esque drawl, while album highlight "New Girl Now" has a Springsteen-like feel via its upbeat horns. There are 17 songs on the hour-long disc, with nary a clunker; it's a strong follow-up to his debut, Two Of Everything. Spending for this record certainly won't be a case of lost wages. (Independent)