- Rock My Soul
- Mark Stutso
- Moondog Records
Mark Stutso, long-time drummer for Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, that stellar blues-rock band, has contributed vocals on several albums in the past but this is the first album of his own. It was worth the wait.
Produced by second guitarist Norman Nardini, the CD features 11 strong songs penned mostly by Nardini, and sung stylishly and forcefully by Stutso. The tunes range from the slow and soulful, such as “Three Times Your Fool,” to the uptempo ilk favored by The Drivers, like “Scared Straight” and Heart Break Shake.” There is even a song with a Latino flavor, “Are You Feelin’ Me?” “Bow Legged Woman,” the longest cut on the album, sounds strikingly like the late 1960s’ incarnation of Fleetwood Mac when it was an excellent British blues band featuring the guitars of Danny Kirwen and Jeremy Spencer.
For the most part, Stutso focuses on his singing; his sticks work is solid and yes, driving, but he only adds rhythmic embellishments and variety on a few cuts, such as the rave-up rockabilly “Victoria’s Secret.” Tom Valentine on bass provides laudable accompaniment throughout, as does Glenn Pavone on lead guitar. The guitar interplay between Nardini and Pavone on the opening number, “Million Tears,” is particularly compelling.
As a singer, Stutso is impressive. He has power and range, and his pipes are reminiscent of Curtis Salgado with faint flavors of Little Milton and Boz Scaggs.
His vocal duet with Whitey Cooper on “You Go Your Way” is especially stellar.
No misleading title here: this album, a tasty amalgam of blues, rock, and soul, has the perfect name.