Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Mark is a singer/songwriter from Ohio. He plays a very compelling brand of guitar driven and country inspired rock and roll. Cantwil is a very impressive writer and he had some top notch musicians backing him up on Diggin’ On You. Brett Mullins, who plays guitar, does an amazing job of playing interesting guitar parts on every single song. Mark is a family man who does the daily chores in raising a family like car pools and soccer practice which makes his talent even more impressive. Obviously, people like Mark do it for the love of playing, not for the money. But, these are the people who should be making the money because their songs are far superior to what is being passed off as music. I just stepped down from the soapbox. Mark has also had the good fortune of playing with some national acts such as Chris Knight, Sister Hazel, The Bacon Brothers, Bret Michaels, and Molly Hatchet.
Tonight (Track 7) immediately caught my attention because of the dazzling guitar intro and throughout the song. Brett Mullins is quite the guitar player. Tonight is about people with broken hearts and getting out again on the dating scene and all of the awkwardness that goes along with it. As Mark has observed and written, you can tell the people that have just gotten their hearts broken. “You start seeing them more often, they have new look, new clothes, haircut and usually get in shape and drop a few pounds….. Like a male peacock spreading his feathers. This mating ritual goes on until a mate is found and then that person disappears. But not to worry….. This beloved character is always replaced quickly with a new, freshly jaded romantic.” He has garnered some keen observation skills after being on stage for so long.
Play It Loud (Track 2) is a Springsteen type song with great guitar, lyrics, and harmonies. A really good rock and roll number. Another song that draws on Cantwil’s keen observation skills and ability to put these events down on paper. This song is about events that occurred over Mark’s 25 years of playing bars, clubs and venues. There is a lot of ass kissing involved when trying to make it in the music business. Of course, it is all worth it when you make it on stage and hear the roar of the crowd. This song also pays homage to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
This is my usual plea but it is sincere. Support local artists that are making music for the right reason, the love of their craft and the desire to share it with people.
Feel free to listen to Diggin’ On You as well as Mark’s first album here.
Click here to buy Diggin’ On You. And you will dig it, promise.