What would you get if you merged
Bob Dylan with Hank Williams? Odds on, you'd come up with a quirky approach and insightful
lyrics that might sound a whole lot like Mark Brine.
Mark Brine may not be a well-known name in the Nashville circuits, and it's pretty unlikely
anyone will ever hear his music on corporate "country" radio stations. That's okay, though.
People who are looking for the over-produced commercial country aren't going to be drawn to
the highly eccentric sound of Mark Brine. His music is pure and rootsy and brimming with an
emotion that would have made him seem right at home with the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers;
yet his modern approach to that old sound tells us only how well it ages. In fact, the
homely quality of Brine's voice is as timeless as the rough-edged voices of other
impossible-to-categorize artists such as John Prine or John Hiatt. It touches the soul
through the impact of the thought which went into the lyrics, direct and to-the-point.
Brine was making folk music in New England in the 60s, a music which itself had fragmented
from old-time mountain music. These days they call it all Americana. In the 70s, he moved to
Nashville to take in some traditional country of the sort he already loved, but unfortunately,
he got there too late. By that time the commercialization of "Golden Age Nashville" Countrypolitan was demanding a different sound, and Brine was already "too country" in a time when that phrase hadn't even been thought of. He wasn't out to be an "outlaw," so he wasn't one of the outlaws; nor was he a California honky-tonker, so Bakersfield wasn't his destination, and neither of those neo-traditionalist movements attracted him. Instead, he continued forward with his own unique yet thoroughly traditional sound, and probably single-handedly shaped the Americana genre by releasing "Return to Americana" in 1985, a time when today's current Americana artists were still being called "country" or "blues" artists (if, indeed, they were recording yet!).
It was that keeping true to his sound which brought Brine to the attention of Hank Snow,
who was so impressed with the 1992 single, "New Blue Yodel," he invited Mark to
appear on the Grand Old Opry. That old-time style of Opry, when Acuff and Minnie Pearl were
still around, was exactly where Mark Brine belonged. Unfortunately, the Opry was going to
change as much as country music itself in very short order, and what should have led to some
much-deserved recognition simply vanished under the enforced pop sounds and slick productions
that characterized "country" music throughout the nineties.
But none of that has kept Brine from recording the music he does best. Consistently
writing and performing old-time country with his timeless folksy sound. And that timeless
quality is captured perfectly with his upcoming release "Iím Not Anyone • The
Nashville Sessions" a special edition CD commemorating his induction into the
National Traditional Country Music Associationís (NTCMA) Hall of Fame.
Plain and simple music may never come into "style." But it will always have an audience that appreciates it. Mark Brine is possessed of the genius required to speak for the ordinary everyman. His music speaks both to and for anyone who yearns for love, who hurts for strangers, and who wishes on stars.
Click for larger image.
Staff writer and roster artist for two Nashville record labels • Winner of the Jimmie
Rodgers Memorial Contest, Meridian, MS • Opening act at the legendary World Famous Tootsies Orchid
Lounge in Nashville for six years • Appeared on Ernest Tubbís Midnight Jamboree with Roy Acuff and
the Smokey Mountain Boys • Appeared on Rig Rock Jukebox, Diesel Only labelís compilation of northern
alt-country acts • Two preliminary Grammy nominations for Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country
Song • Debut performance on the Grand Ole Opry with Hank Snow and his Rainbow Ranch Boys •
ECMAís DJ listing of top 200 country artists in Europe • Inductee into the National Traditional Country
Music Association (NTCMA) Hall of Fame
• 1978 Hello Lady Door Knob Records (45rpm)
• 1978 Comin' Home To Love Door Knob Records (45 rpm)
• 1978 Words Door Knob Records (45 rpm)
• 1979 The Carol (aka The Christmas Carol No One Listens For) Society
Records (45 rpm)
• 1980 My Folks Were Like Ma and Pa Kettle Society Records (45 rpm)
• 1985 Return to Americana KJK Records (cassette)
• 1988 American Pieces KJK Records (LP)
• 1992 New Blue Yodel <resigned> records (45 rpm)
• 1992 Rig Rock Jukebox Diesel Only (CD)
• 1995 New Blue Yodel <resigned> records (CD)
• 1999 American Bleak House KJK Records (CD)
• 1999 Real Special Feelin' Wild Oats Records (CD)
• 2000 Back in the Country Sound Asleep Records (CD)
• 2003 for Karrie Wild Oats Records (CD)
• 2003 Songs & Stories from Mrs. Alexander's Farm KJK Records (CD)
• 2004 Fortunes • the Best of Mark Brine Shut Eye Records (CD)
• 2005 I'm Not Anyone • The Nashville Sessions Door Knob Records (CD)
• 2006 I Deliver KJK Records (CD)
• 2006 My Christmas Song For You Miss Rebecca Music (CD)
• 2008 Out on Luke's Highway Wild Oats Records (CD)
• 2009 Live in a Field of Bluegrass Wild Oats Records (CD)
• 2010 Return to Americana KJK Records Reissue(CD)
• 2010 Return of the Drifter Wild Oats Records(CD)
• 2011 The Carol Soundtrack KJK Records (CD)
"Since migrating from Cambridge,
Mass to Nashville some three decades ago, Mark Brine has carved out a strong
reputation as an uncompromising traditionalist on the country music scene which
has made him one of the elder statesmen of Americana."
-- Shaun Dale, Cosmik Debris Magazine
"I could listen to him sing
all night long
he does a good job that boy does."
-- Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree
"A fine young man who I think
has a great future."
-- Hank Snow,
Grand Ole Opry
"Brine could easily have been added to the cast of 'O
Brother, Where Art Thou' without raising an eyebrow. He belongs
to that group of artists whose individuality and quirkiness consign
them to the periphery of what's commercially viable. But God bless
him for not just being another cog in the musical wheel."
-- James McSweeney, Flyin Shoes
|"Brine has made a long career of flying under the
for a long time and has picked up a bunch of awards and recognition
just the same.
A real Americana act,
Brine fuses elements of all the stuff we've been
listening to for years that you really can't compare to anything else thatís sure to really
draw you under it's spell."
-- Chris Spector,
Midwest Record Recap
"I think Mark Brine must be Americana's
best kept secret. A singer/songwriter for over thirty years, friend of the late and legendary
pioneer fiddlin' Sid Harkreader, Brine writes wonderful story songs about ordinary people and
ordinary places. To tell these stories, Mark has a voice that is as comfortable as a favourite
-- Pete Smith,
Country Music Round Up
"His career has pursued the path of a truly independent artist -
someone who follows his soul and does things his own way his ability
to write and produce has made his name synonymous with quality."
-- Doug Floyd, AltCountryTab.com
"I think what makes Mark Brine such
a gifted songwriter/storyteller is the fact that he seems to be such an
obvious fan of many genres of music. He's someone who is like a sponge
when it comes to reintegrating influences into his own work."
-- Gail Worley,
©2009 Mark Brine Music. All rights reserved.
MARK BRINE MUSIC • PO Box 962 • Westmoreland TN 37186 • email@example.com