All Night Station
In the spring of 2006, Mark Duval emerged in Southwest Michigan from a 10-year musical hiatus with "Rhythm of the Rustbelt", his brilliant debut album, described by reviewer Dustin Walsh of Creem Magazine as "...the soundtrack to a summer sunrise over a dusty, forlorn Route 66." Mark Duval's songwriting versatility goes wide and deep, taking the listener from haunted landscapes of brooding fingerstyle folk ballads to rhythm-driven latin dance grooves, alt-country waltzes and smoky, shuffling blues and jazz riffs that show off his skills as a rhythm guitarist. With lyrics that stick in your craw, Duval weaves stories and social commentaries on love, loss, and the human predicament. His follow-up release, "Two-Track Mind"(2007), was nominated for "Best new folk album of 2007" by WYCE in Grand Rapids The production on his first two albums is sparse, earthy, organic, and intimate, alternating between folk and roots rock, and using banjo, violin, cello, organ, harmonica, trumpet and slide guitar to create a unique atmosphere for each song. Both albums were engineered and produced by Ian Gorman, who has become one of the most sought-after producers in the Michigan folk music scene. His latest release, "All-Night Station", features lush percussion, vocal, string, and horn arrangements, is more rhythm-driven, and was inspired by playing more gigs in bar venues and music festivals. Mark performs his music regionally with Two-Track Mind: In bar venues and music festivals as a 5-piece band, centered around Mark's guitar with drums, bass and horns, playing sets of rhythm-driven roots, grooves and blues that keep the dance floor crowded. Two-Track Mind features Mark Duval (guitars and vocals) Traci Seuss (guitar, vocals) Bill Caskey (upright and electric bass) Carolyn Koebel (drums and percussion) Cori Somers (violin and vocals) and Kevin Murphy (saxophone and guitar) In listening room concerts, Mark Duval and Traci Seuss are backed by Bill Caskey on upright bass and Cori Somers on violin, and play an eclectic mix of fingerstyle folk ballads, jazz and blues with 3-part vocal harmonies. PRESS Who IS this guy and where did he come from? - mature songwriting, wonderfully tasteful arrangements, and naturally pleasing voices draw you in...This stuff has it all...it's genuine, catchy, thought-provoking and fun. Throughout the album, banjo, violin, percussion and clarinet are used sparingly and with great effect. Harmony singer Traci Seuss is feelin' it, and her parts add even more substance and soul to the sound. These albums by Kalamazoo singer/songwriter Mark Duval have found a permanent home on Grassroots, WMUK's locally-produced acoustic music show. -Lorraine Caron, host of Grassroots, WMUK 102.1 Rhythm of the Rustbelt is like a cross-country road trip - the soundtrack to a summer sunrise over a dusty, forlorn Route 66. 'Real Men Dig Their Own Graves' is a beat-driven, boot-stomper atoned with Duval's best rendition of Tom Waits' graveled vocals... The album is earthy, candid and nostalgic - everything an Americana album should be. Reviewer: - Dustin Walsh, Music Writer, On the Town Magazine; Creem Magazine Review of Two-Track Mind Mark Duval's Two-Track Mind finds him with a five-piece band including Traci Seuss, whom he often performs as an acoustic duo. Balancing between folk and roots rock, Duval uses his shuffling rhythms and and strong melodies to present a collection of personal and inviting tales for simple musical enjoyment. With beautiful vocal harmony work, easeful guitar picking and a gentle approach to filling up the arrangements, Duval sets the stage for sipping hand-crafted beer in a local brewery, contemplating simple times, pain and pride. -Ryan Cunninham, Recoil Magazine, March 2008 QUOTE: Hey Mark, Just having good musicians come in the studio and perform, always seems to boost the times they get played, especially if they're as good as you two. My thanks to you and Traci for the nice comments I got from folks that heard you play last Friday on the show. I didn't do a thing but I still got an 'atta boy' for having you guys on. -Sandy Blumenfeld, host of Crossroads, WNMC Traverse City.