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Mark Karan - Walk Through The Fire
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

I became interested in reviewing Mark Karan for one reason only, because He played in Ratdog, Bob Weir's Band, and he had played with the Other Ones a few years ago, a group consisting of The Grateful Dead without deceased Jerry Garcia. Karan and Steve Kimock were the guitarists. This is a very eclectic recording, but one thing is consistent , Karan provides lots of good guitar chops and jams many a song out at the end. Karan is a super talented guitarist, with many tones being shared in the mix. His guitar sound reminds me a bit of the legendary Dickey Betts and others. 

"Walk  Through The Fire" is a song written while going through cancer treatments, which is a slow paced, but victorious song.  Karan plays some beautiful slide on this song, and has some help with some all star musicians throughout the album, like the Persuasions, Billy Payne of Little Feat, The Rowan Brothers, and a release of rock legend Delaney Bramlett, that was came out after his death titled "Love In Vain." 

"Leave A Light On" by Mark Karan, is my favorite, it has a real nice slow, groove to it and I love the guitar jam at the end of the song.  The whole album has a neat Americana, bluesy type sound to it.  He does a great job at jamming out on the Dead's "Easy Wind" which is the only Grateful Dead song here.  His vocals have some pigpen grit here, John Molo, sounds great on drums. 

Walk Through The Fire was recorded over a four year period in six studios by eight engineers with twenty five musicians. Karan produced the record himself. It was mixed by Davy Vain, and mastered by the great Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering (student of the great Doug Sax).

"Memphis Radio" is another bouncy song I like a lot, real melodic, great hooks, nice guitar.

Mark's present band, Jemimah Puddleduck, shows up all over the place. This group showcases Karan on lead and all guitar, John Molo on drums, JT Thomas (Bruce Hornsby) on keyboards, and Bob Gross (Albert King, Delaney Bramlett) on bass. 

This is a solid  recording, go on and pick up a copy.

 


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