It can certainly be said that a labor of love is not much of a labor at all, and with singer/songwriter and guitarist Mark Newman’s latest release “Empirical Truth” (via Danal Music) this is very much the case, as he’s proven once again his power of true musicianship.
Packed with Newman’s usual penchant for dynamic storytelling and political commentary throughout his lyrics, Empirical Truthcertainly lives up to its name. With songs ranging in topic from the state of gun control in the U.S. to the Dakota Access Pipeline, an innocent man blamed for murder, love and loss and even a few covers from Little Feat, John Oates, and more – the album is brimming with a dynamic mix of Americana/Blues/Pop and slide-guitar work from start to finish. Newman is joined on the LP by Drummers Shawn Murray and John Michel, Keyboardists Kevin McKendree, James Dower and Mark Bonder, Bassist Craig Privett and Vocalists Naomi Margolin, Janet Montalbo, Maag Stanley, Steve Bluth, Jeff Lubin, Jacob Koch, and Norm Madnick.
A New York native, Mark Newman’s musical prowess has taken him around the world several times over, playing with an eclectic mix of noted musical talents from Sting to Elvis Costello, and Travis Tritt as well as his own solo work. A multi stringsman, Mark has mastered electric/acoustic/lap steel guitar as well as the mandolin and dobro, and with a voice reminiscent of many rock and blues men before him- it has the familiarity of an old friend yet the power and soul of many of today’s rock, soul, folk and R&B icons. For over five years, Newman and fellow songwriter Naomi Margolin have run the “Music From the Hive” Singer/Songwriter Series, and for the past three years- “The Original Music Series” for bands, in an attempt to keep original music alive on Long Island.
Although Newman has played a ton of exciting solo and full-band showcases–notably Delbert McClinton at Highline Ballroom just last month and Les Dudek at My Father’s Place at the Roslyn Hotel, The Paramount in Huntington opening for The Doobie Brothers, The Space at Westbury opening for the one and only Don Felder and David Bromberg on separate occasions, The Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan, and NYC’s Legendary Bitter End–he has also worked alongside so many soul, blues, and rock greats of our time including John Oates (Hall and Oates), Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds), Willy DeVille (Mink DeVille), Sam The Sham, Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominos) and Sam Moore (Sam & Dave)!
Past releases include 2010’s “Walls of Jericho” filled with intricate guitar work and mixed with a plethora of sounds from hard rock to a lighter more Dylanesque folk tinge, and 2015’s “Brussels” – a live acoustic-driven EP that packs a bluesy punch reminiscent of Clapton’s “Unplugged” album through both the guitar work and raw vocal power. His latest LP “Empirical Truth” is due later this year.