Exposé Online banner

McDowell — Rooks Wedding
(Saint Piran PIRANCD001, 2001, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-02-01

Rooks Wedding Cover art

Considering the cover of this album, you d think that a degree of magic or mystery would surround this album. Mark McDowell has spent a short amount of time in the UK underground scene with Spectrasonic before releasing his first album on his own label. The clues to the singer-songwriter's direction come in part from closing piece, an obscure Donovan cover, "Widow with Shawl" from his For Little Ones LP in 1967. Emphasizing folksy roots and a semi-traditional style piece offset by a few spacey sound effects and backing organ. The set of thirteen overall pieces are a pastoral meandering through the styles of acoustic T. Rex and Nick Drake (but less stark). The album's opener, "In Silence," is a quiet dirge that carries an eerie backdrop with occasional stabs of trumpet. "All Those Years" is an ode for the soldier who doesn t return from a foreign war, characterized by slide guitar and Hammond organ flourishes. "Cajun Dust" is one of the longer pieces on the album with more involved arrangements – the twist is a techno rhythmic opening against some bluegrass acoustic playing. "Chinese Year" harkens back to many of Bob Dylan's 60s ballad works while "She Fell Away" is probably the most successful ballad, with much in common with Tim Hardin's work. Short vignettes such as "Inky Blank" and "Weobly Rose" develop quickly in less than two-minute presentations much like Donovan's very earliest works. Overall the album is a pretty consistent work as the artist has been making a splash in the U.K. folk/alternative clubs to much appreciation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Mark McDowell

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Janick Top STS - Système Solaire – Janick is back... The monstrous and legendary bassist of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Magma issues his first solo effort, after years of session-work with variety singers and composing film scores. His...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues