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Lose Me In The Sand

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Audio CD, February 15, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Rehearsed and recorded in Tucson, AZ, 'Lose Me in the Sand' is the second location-based album by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Growden. It follows on the heels of his accordion-driven Americana-noir Oakland masterpiece 'Saint Judas'. The new album is crafted around the banjo, chosen by Growden for its timbre and its place in the history of American folk music. It is a tribute to roughshod beginnings of American music, the spirit of resilience and fortitude that music represents and to Growden's own rural mountain roots in Oldtown, a small, depression-stricken California logging town.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Porto Franco Records
  • ASIN: B004G196AY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,635 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mark Growden is probably tired of the Tom Waits comparisons, but at least he has drawn the right lessons from the man. The lazier musicians who have followed in the footsteps of Waits seem to think that low-fi recordings, junkyard percussion and unusual instrumentation are a sure-fire recipe for success. The first time they ever heard a banjo outside of that scene from Deliverance was when Waits recorded Gun Street Girl. Now every hipster with pretensions of folkiness thinks that all they have to do is plunk out a few notes on a banjo and voila! Instant artistic credibility!

Mark Growden understands melody. He understands arrangement. And he actually knows how to play the banjo. For real. He isn't a virtuoso in a league with Bela Fleck or Tony Trischka, but he knows his way around the instrument. While those hipster charlatans described above don't know John Henry from John Hardy, Mark Growden can record his own takes on old chestnuts like John Hardy and Shady Grove and add something to the canon because he understands tradition and how to carry it forward, drawing on folk and old-timey music with Waits' openness to dissonance and darkness. This isn't an album built around junkyard percussion or making weird sounds for the sake of weirdness. It is an honest homage to traditional folk music from a post-Waits musician with his own identity. So stop comparing Growden to Tom Waits. Like occasional collaborator Eric McFadden, he is his own man, who just happens to include Waits among his many influences.

Of course, some of the music here may go over the top in terms of irony, like setting Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz to the tune of the national anthem. However, there is enough individualistic life to the album that even a jaded traditionalist will find something to like here.
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The overall album is pretty good; his version of Shady Grove is exceptional! One of my favorite tunes in the world, and even better than the version by The Lonesome Sisters.
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