Brand New Clip/New Interview

Very soon we’ll be able to unveil the 7th clip to be lifted from An Ear To The Earth. Here’s a pic of myself and master of the lens Paul Melnyk.

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Recently I had a chat with the Norwegian website FAMOUS LAST WORDS.

“Mark Moldre’s second album An Ear To The Earth evokes images of times past, especially the old-timey qualities of opening song Everything I Need Is Here with it’s old time blues and almost skiffle approach that brings to mind fellow Australian and musician CW Stoneking”

Read the interview in full HERE

Finally I had the honour of being the special guest at the Cactus Flowers sessions recently  – and to share the stage with fellow Central Coast artists Kris Morris, Sarah Humphreys, Adam Lang and Trent Crawford at The Glass Onion Society for an old time style jam session around a single condenser microphone. Here we are doing our best impersonation of the Soggy Bottom Boys. Keep your eye on Kris Morris’ website for updates – there’ll be a new guest each fortnight.

Watch this space for the new clip!

SoggyBottm

The Moldre News

Hey movers and shakers, there’s a couple of small rumblings in the Moldre camp…so here’s all the latest. I’ll be playing a couple of shows in Sydney in May and June. Isaac De Heer opened up for us when we were down in Melbourne – so now I’ll be returning the favour when he hits Sydney at The Green Room Lounge on Sunday 18th May. I’ll also be playing a special show presented by our favourite blog Post To Wire at Petersham Bowling Club on a lazy Saturday afternoon 7th June – I’ll be joined by label mate James Thompson and old buddy Darren Cross. Further details can be found on the posters below.

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An Ear  To The Earth was recently reviewed on the Italian Americana/Folk blog Roots Highway “Some episodes are pretty darn attractive ( the sweet country- rock of Nowhere At All , curvaceous Madeline , a soft O Dreamtime Blues ) for simply not to be relegated to the field of reproduction, rather giving the impression of a folk singer who knows how to translate his music dark places”– you can read the review in full (in Italian) HERE.  

After a year of waiting I’m lucky enough to now show you my new custom, handmade guitar (by the name of Rosetta) from an incredibly talented guitar builder – Lenny P Robert at Daddy Mojo. Lenny asked me to write a few words about Rosetta for his new (upcoming) website:

I fell in love with Rosetta the very first time I saw her on the Daddy Mojo Facebook page. I couldn’t find a guitar in Australia that looked anything like her. I salivated over photos for a good year or so before I decided to dive in headlong and ask Lenny to build a Rosetta for me. I’ve been playing guitar for 34 years now – and have owned quite a lot of different instruments over that period of time. Currently I have a 1957 Gibson ES225, a 1957 Hofner, my trusty Maton acoustic and a 110 year old parlour guitar. Nothing had prepared me for playing my first few notes on this guitar. I plugged it directly into my little 22W Swart AST PRO and played the first chord. Goosebump inducing. The little Charlie Christian pickup is unlike any pickup I’ve had on a guitar before – extremely touch sensitive – nice crisp top end – yet deep and resonant. Hit the strings softly and it’s sweet and clean, hit them hard and it BARKS. An incredible mix of clean tone and grit.It’s been carved and created by a master craftsman – with enormous attention to detail. The neck feels incredible – and you know you have something special in your hands when you pick up an instrument for the first time and start playing phrases and lines that you’ve never played before. I’m starting to believe that Lenny may be some kind of musical shaman. He has somehow embedded the spirit and essence of a much older instrument into Rosetta. It feels played in. In fact it feels, looks and sounds like a guitar of a bygone era. Who could ask for more?

You can see a whole series of pics of Rosetta in various stages of production HERE on my Facebook page

Pic by Michael Carpenter

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Finally, there’s a few live clips floating around on youtube from our last tour – here’s a selection.

WHERE WILL I BE? (Live At Lizottes Newcastle)

BONE ORCHARD (Live At Lizottes Newcastle)

EVERYTHING I NEED IS HERE (Live At The Green Room Lounge Enmore)

PS We’re currently offering a free copy of 2010’s Troubled Genius EP (Produced by timeBandit Powles [The Church] and Michael Carpenter) with every purchase of An Ear To The Earth or The Waiting Room over at our BANDCAMP STORE.

Bandcamp

Everything I Need

Everything I Need is the 6th clip to be lifted from An Ear To The Earth. Filmed by Paul Melnyk in a home that was being gutted for renovations – in fact a home in which Mark spent a large portion of his childhood. This is also the first clip that features Mark’s band – the very same line up who recorded an Ear To The Earth a year ago in a empty guesthouse -live and straight to 1″ reel to reel tape – almost a year ago. Jamie Hutchings on percussion, Scott Hutchings on drums, Lee Hutchings on clarinet, Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo. Mark posted a nostalgic ramble on his Facebook page a couple of days ago which provides a little background on the history of the house the clip is filmed in. You can read that piece below…

A couple of weeks back
We filmed clip no. 6 in a house
where I spent 1/2 of my childhood
A house where as a nipper
we ran around around the feet
of Jamie and Scott Hutchings’ Dad, Lee,
as he practiced his
clarinet
leaning intensely
over his charts
spread across the dining room table
Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman licks
Myxolydian Scales
Trills, triplets and fingers flying
I still say my love of jazz
comes from listening to him
and his record collection
hearing him play
tenor/soprano sax
flute
piccolo
oboe
Now
their old house in the Eastern Suburbs
is being gutted for renovations
it’s currently an empty shell full of memories
Of music we made as kids
9 years old
Charging our parents to watch us
Miming to Beatle records in suits
Then
Early noisy attempts at starting bands
writing
practicing
The Fallen Scarecrows (is what we called ourselves)
listening to
The Church, The Celibate Rifles, The Plunderers, Spy Vs Spy, Split Enz, Midnight Oil, Happy Hate Me Nots, Ups and Downs, The Stems mixed with Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Parker
A barrage of happy noise

It was perfect timing for me
to return to their home
with the greatest of old friends
Scott, Jamie, Lee and
(their) Brother-in-law Reuben (brother I never had)
old (newer) friend Adam Lang
and film a clip
for one of the songs on
An Ear To The Earth that Lee played on
– Everything I Need –
amongst the demolition, bricks and debris
before it all disappeared
beneath a new facade
all those years in the rubble…

I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her

We’re happy to share Mark’s latest clip – I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her. He has a goal of creating a clip for every song on An Ear To The Earth and this one makes number 5 – which means we’re at the halfway mark. This song was co-written with his old chum Jamie Hutchings and the clip was produced by Darren Cross (Jep and Dep, Gerling, The Darren Cross Band) at Bernstein Studios.

We’d also like to let you know that Mark is gearing up for a full band show in the new year – so Sydney folk can mark Thursday January 23rd in their diaries as he’ll be playing a free show at The Green Room in Enmore with Jep and Dep and Cam MacKellar. In the mean time here’s the new clip.

An Ear To The South Coast/Four Winds

SOUTHCOASTTOUR

Well, after Mark’s Ballarat/Canberra/Melbourne jaunt he’ll be picking up his guitar again – this time to hit the NSW Southern Coast – with fellow Central Coast songstress (and close friend) Sarah Humphreys. They’ll be playing four back to back shows   – solo and acoustic – in Nowra, Shellharbour, Milton and Jamberoo. All the shows are free entry.  Just before they head off Mark will play a solo set on Wednesday Oct 2nd at A Walk In The Park – an event to raise awareness for mental health issues.

We’ve lifted another track from An Ear To The Earth and put it in the talented hands of artist Brett Curzon – this time Four Winds gets the film clip treatment. Vintage western archived footage married with apocalyptic lyrical imagery in waltz time. More clips to come. The long term goal remains to create a clip for every track on the album.

An Ear To The Earth continues to gain strong reviews. This time round we’ve received a couple from the other side of the globe. MOS EISLEY MUSIC in Germany calls the new album  “one of the best folk releases this year”. And AMERICANA UK  gives it a 7/10 whilst making comparisons to Tom Waits, Nick Cave and CW Stoneking and saying “….he delivers a wonderful noirish tango in ‘Madeleine’ which reeks of dank dark alleyways while ‘I Don’t Know What Becomes of Her’ hides a coiled up menace beneath a deceptively attractive Texican rhythm with the slow burning guitars hinting at the darkness Moldre is singing about.”

While we’ve got you reading – Mark had a chat with Jeff Jenkins for The Music (Melbourne) – you can read that chat here.  Jeff had this to say  “An Ear To The Earth is one of 2013’s tastiest trips, taking the listener on a rollicking, rootsy journey. One minute, it rumbles; the next, it’s gentle and poignant”

Finally, here’s a pic taken by Dave Hyland of Mark and the band at The Workers Club in Melbourne. Tour highlight:

Mark’s high school music teacher, Ms Hur, (who he hadn’t seen since high school) turning up at the Canberra show and letting everyone know that Mark is still a very naughty boy.

Til next time….

The Workers Club

An Ear To The South

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During the month of September Mark Moldre will head south with his band in tow to give Canberra, Ballarat and Melbourne a taste of his new album An Ear To The Earth (Laughing Outlaw Records) after a successful tour that included shows in Byron, Gold Coast, Surfers, Newcastle, Sydney and the Central Coast. An Ear To The Earth has so far gained 4 star reviews, Best CD of the week in the Sydney Morning Herald whilst receiving airplay on JJJ, ABC, RRR and community radio across Australia. Jamie Hutchings – producer of An Ear To The Earth and one-time Bluebottle Kiss front man – will be special guest opener for all the shows (excluding Pure Pop Records) and will also join Mark’s set on electric guitar. Visit Upcoming Shows for more details. Our favourite blog of all things folk and Americana Post To Wire will be presenting the shows. Post to Wire also recently placed An Ear To The Earth in amongst their Mid Year Top Picks for 2013

To mark the occasion, this tour will also see the release of the 3rd film clip to be lifted from the brand new Long Player – album track no. 2 “Nowhere At All”. Folk blog Timber And Steel give the new song the thumbs up here. The new clip was produced by Brett Curzon using archived footage.

Mark’s contribution on the Laughing Outlaw Springsteen compilation also gets a favourable mention in STACK magazine and Sydney Morning Herald reviews. You can listen to Mark’s version of Jesus Was An Only Son from Springsteen’s 2005 release Devils And Dust below. It was produced by Jamie Hutchings and recorded directly to cassette tape on a TASCAM PORTA 05.

SpringsteenReviewSpringsteenHerald

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News From The Road

Stage Shot

As the first leg of our tour to launch An Ear To The Earth now nears it’s end and we begin preparing for our visit to the southern states of the East Coast I figured it was time for a short update. We’ve travelled a few thousand kilometres – playing shows from Sydney to Brisbane sharing the stage with Steve Kilbey and Martin Kennedy, Zach Miller, Talltails, Jep and Dep and labelmates Bambino Koresh. Tomorrow night (July 7) will see us play our last show for at least a couple of months at Lizottes on the Central Coast with Sydney troubadour Cam MacKellar. Whilst we take a touring break guitarist/producer Jamie Hutchings will continue mixing his brand new solo album (I’ve heard about half of it and you’re in for a guitar-noise/kraut rock/avant-garde treat) and double bassist Reuben Wills heads off overseas with his wife, pianist Sophie Hutchings, for her first tour of Japan.

During the tour we stopped in for a few radio chats at BayFM, 4ZZZ and FBi some of these interviews can now be streamed online – including a couple of songs live in the studio at FBi.

Chat at 4ZZZ : Folk Buddies

Chat and Live Performance at FBi : In The Pines

Along with interviews in Brisbane’s Time Off and Sydney’s Drum Media:

TIME OFF “His 2010 solo debut The Waiting Room earned serious plaudits, and after a lengthy gestation period his new follow-up, An Ear To The Earth, has already proved a more-than-worthy successor. Possessing a vastly different tone to it’s predecessor, the album’s folk-tinged indie stylings are characterised by watertight songwriting, deft imagery and imaginative arrangements, and it has a far coarser feel overall than his previous fare” Steve Bell

DRUM MEDIA “Stepping way out of his comfort zone, singer-songwriter Mark Moldre delivers an album Nick Cave would be proud of” Michael Smith

Yesterday, An Ear To The Earth featured in The Sydney Morning Herald as CD Of The Week with a positive review from Bernard Zuel:

“This is music to drink to. Not to get drunk to, but to have on while you’re gabbing with your mates, while you’re sitting watching your kids play in the shallows and maybe even while knitting in the lodge. There’s a loose, almost ramshackle element to it, as if you’ve popped around the back to find a pick-up band rattling through some old country/folk/blues numbers for fun. Imagine a less garrulous and noisy Tom Waits (for example the New orleans brass and clarinet in Everything I Need Is Here) a late-night Ryan Adams (the droopy eyed Dreamtime Blues) and a kind of Sydney Willie Nelson (I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her) and you’ll have a sense of the relaxed but never actually soft atmosphere here.” 

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And finally I also had the pleasure of meeting Byron Bay artist Yazz Ward of Sherfay Art and we talked about the upcoming tour – and she drew the portrait below. You can read the interview here.

More gig dates will be announced real soon.

SherfayPortrait

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The Gypsy Caravan Hits The Road and Other Newsworthy Tidbits

 I’ve been busy rehearsing with my band before we embark on testing the water and playing the new material from An Ear To The Earth at a venue that is (hopefully) somewhere near you. We’ll be taking the whole gypsy caravan on the road – Jamie Hutchings on guitar/percussion and his brother Scott on drums, Reuben Wills on double bass and Adam Lang on banjo and lapslide guitar. We’ll be heading north for starters playing dates in Byron, Surfers, Brisbane – then heading back down to  play Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast. You can check all the dates here. And never fear Southern Australia – Melbourne, Canberra, Ballarat and South Coast dates are coming real soon.

Lot’s of tracks from the new album have been receiving radio play over the past few weeks. Special thanks to The Outpost Show on 2serFM, Roots N All on JJJ, The Inside Sleeve on the ABC, In The Pines on FBi, Folk Buddies on 4ZZZ, Between The Tracks on PBSFM for making An Ear To The Earth Essential Album of The Week.

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And below you can check out a live performance of Where Will I Be? on ABC 702 Weekend Spotlight with host Simon Marnie.

And finally you can read through my attempt at taking the Citizenship Test with website Mess and Noise – who called An Ear To The Earth “quixotic and genre defying” – here. Along with positive posts from:

DOUBTFUL SOUNDS

NO DEPRESSION

REVERB MAGAZINE

See you at a show. Make sure you come up and say hi.

Best

Mark x

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Where Will I Be?

Here’s the brand new clip – and the second single to be released from An Ear To The Earth. This clip was directed by an old chum – Scott Hutchings, who has previously created some brilliant clips under the YouTube moniker 6pixies7.

Where Will I Be? describes the joys of our eventual demise and imagined escape…of course there’s also dancing, grave digging cowboys, runaway coffins and the backdrop of the Australian landscape. A song about death, dirt, sin, redemption and bad weather.

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