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Mark Wayne Glasmire - Life Goes On
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
2/9/10

There is no denying country music has more than its fair share of lovin’, hurtin’ and leavin’ songs. You know the type. The rain drizzles at the lonely and shadowed end of town, as the single Bud sign flickers noisily against the falling specks. The sound of a lone dog in the back of the pick-up howls for a last time as the silhouetted cowboy heads, alone and lonely, to who knows where.

Stop.

We’ve all heard it before.

Too many times.

But if you’re tired, bored and worn with predictable, somber and clichéd country, there is hope. Without the confines of major labels and the pressures to sell a million, AND without the need to wear a styled Stetson, many newer acts have found expression works best when the goal you chart is your own.

Meet Mark Wayne Glasmire. His publicity machine isn’t in overdrive when they tell us he writes and sings with a depth of understanding that only a dashing, well-traveled troubadour can. I’m pleased to say it’s true. For this Arlington, Texas resident, his well-worn path of shows and fairs, continuing with favorable nods at major regional songwritng competitions, has honed a talent that’s perceptive, melodic, humble and stylish.

Glasmire has a keen eye for emotional detail, mood and location. His heart comes worn, and proudly so, on his sleeve. When he sings of love revealed and honest like “True Love Knows”, the opening track on his latest album Life Goes On, the lyrics and voice meld into an outreach that’s a little Dan Fogelberg and a lot Hal Ketchum. The voice is pure. The sentiment real. The message universal.

Across these 12 tracks, of which Glasmire wrote 10, there is a fine and polished work at play. Glasmire is sensitive and reflective; a listen to “Missing You”, an appreciative tune for his father who passed in 2007 shares the pain of lost opportunities to tell a parent that not only are they valued but they are honestly loved. That’s one of the pluses to this album – Glasmire taps, convincingly, into the human spirit, sharing in common and related understandings.

More reality comes in a ponderous and confronting title track. “Life Goes On” paints darkly the tale of a friend who decides to exit life early; the tragedy comes wrapped in the chorus, where we learn what we already know – despite the pain, despite the loss, life goes on. It shows Glasmire as a perceptive writer, someone capable of sensitive refection.

Given the global crises, the shaky dollar, the fear of job losses and the uncertainty of has the worst past, Glasmire nails the sentiment of hangin’ tough in the prophetic “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright”. The tune, his latest to radio, tells of the steel mill closing down, the impact of not paying the mortgage – and the sad consequences of bedding down in the streets, all without hope for a changed future. Glasmire motivates with a belief if the family bonds and keeps the faith, all will turn out fine. It’s a heartening message, serving as a strong metaphor to our needed optimism.

Other standouts on the album include “You Opened My Eyes” and the picture perfect tune telling of love strong and dependable, “Our Love Remains”.

While Glasmire more than holds his own here, a nod and a round of applause goes to his studio band. The playing supports the timbre of a good voice and the power of strong songs, making this a solid album for your collection.

It’s an album you’ll want to hear again.

Many times.

Related Links:  
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