carolyn markCarolyn's Side of the Story...
I grew up on a dairy farm in Sicamous, BC with my Austrian father, my English mother and my Canadian brother. My father, an accomplished violinist, taught me how to play the piano when I was very young. He liked nothing better than to play duets with me for any visitors that happened by. Paying no heed to the musical tastes of the times or our guests, my father would perform for his hostages, launching into a favourite Dvorak or Chopin, poking me in the back with his bow if I appeared forgetful, shy or unenthused. Mortified, I longed for giant flames to eat the piano and my father.

I have since developed a more light-hearted relationship with music. My first band was The Vinaigrettes. We started as an all-girl foursome from Victoria and played together, in spite of a dizzying number of line-up changes, for seven years. We toured our pop - surf - punk - art - country - rock asses across Canada several times, but then, after a few years, Brigette, the smart one of the group, consulted an atlas and we started venturing South when we realized that Los Angeles was closer to Victoria than Edmonton - and the swimming was better! The Vinaigrettes recorded six albums, achieving a modest amount of obscurity, and broke up in 1998 due to "nervous indifference" and "creative exhaustion," vowing to "sue the industry for abandonment," and leaving dozens of fans mildly disappointed.

Exhausted and emotionally crushed by the failure of my first band and the ensuing two year bender, I attempted to find solace in the rehearsal spaces of other bands such as: Hat Head, The Fixin's, The Show Business Giants, The Metronome Cowboys, The Corn Sisters (a duo with label-mate Miss Neko Case), Monster Tweety, and Klugman. But eventually, while hiding under the bed at one of our neverending house parties, I decided to use my own name when I played. So far it's been a good idea - I'm not married to any one style of music, I can play solo or with a band depending on the money or my mood, and it's almost impossible for me to break up with myself. Those curious about my "sound" will just have to listen to the record I guess. If you are a newspaper sort who doesn't know what to say, I've never had a problem with the words "lovely and talented." Thank-you and goodnight.


What the Newspaper Sorts Have to Say...
"There's two kinds of women you let in your life/ Exciting new mistress and boring old wife," sings country throwback Carolyn Mark on her new album, Nothing Is Free. The line is indicative of Mark's straightforward style - she doesn't take shit and she's not afraid to let you know it. And, safe to say, Mark is not boring. She's good friends with fellow twangy siren Neko Case (the outspoken duo released an album together in 2000) and the Canadian songwriter has made a name for herself with five brassy albums over the last seven years.

Mark's music is so authentic in its back porch vibe, it seems to come with its own direct link to Loretta Lynn's '60s heyday - like her heroes, Mark is not afraid to rail against a man too drunk to understand his own fuck-ups. Not to say Mark is some kind of saint: Her gigs are known for their off-balance candor and ribald humor as much as the homespun tunes. Go for the music, stay for the dirty jokes.

Metromix New York

Carolyn's Mint Records Press Page
(hi-res photos can be found at bottom under "resources")

Downloadable Press Blurbs PDF

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