Big news just in. I’ve been invited, with the full band in tow, to play in Binic, France at the 10th Anniversary of the Binic Folk Blues Festival from July 27-29 2018. I’ll be heading over with an Australian contingent including Infinity Broke and The Tall Grass. Jamie Hutchings, producer of my upcoming album, will be particularly busy playing in all three line ups. Much excitement. More dates to be announced.
PS Slowly but surely we’re chipping away at the mixing of the new album. More news on that front sooner or later….
Hey folks – just a quick update to let you know that I have two shows coming up over the next few weeks. First up I’ll be opening for Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses as they launch their new album “Tunnel At The End Of The Light” at Newcastle Lizotte’s on Saturday 18th July. Multi-instrumentalist Adam Lang will be joining me onstage with his trusty banjo and lap slide. Be quick to snap up a ticket – it’s almost sold out. GET TIX HERE.
It’s been a long while since I’ve returned to Sydney with my band in tow – too long – about 9 months in fact. So to rectify that I’ll be playing a one off show at The Vanguard On Wednesday August 5th. My old friend, producer Michael Carpenter has been hosting a regular night of Alt- Country aptly named The Wild Wild Inner West Review – Michael will be closing the night with his band The Cuban Heels and we’ll also be joined by Bree De Rome and Jason Walker. Tickets are already available HERE.
It’s certainly been a while since my last post – here’s a quick round up of all the news.
NATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL
The countdown is now on for our shows at The National Folk Festival in the heart of the A.C.T. I’ll be taking the complete band line up with me – we’ll be playing 4 shows across the dates of Thursday April 2nd – Monday April 6th. You can check out the program at the National Folk Festival’s HQ right HERE. We’re also very happy to be joined by special guest drummer (and all round instrumentalist) Michael Carpenter who will be filling in for our regular time keeper Scott Hutchings. We’re looking forward to playing alongside loads of Australian and International acts like Mustered Courage, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Kim Richey, My Friend The Chocolate Cake, Shane Howard and bucketloads more.
AN EAR TO THE EARTH REVIEWED STATESIDE
An Ear To The Earth meets Ear To The Ground (US Music Blog) – obviously that meeting was destiny. It warms the cockles of this old heart to see that even after all this time, An Ear To The Earth is still reaching people – as far as Pennsylvania. Thanks to the folks there for writing such an in depth review.
“Not since I first heard Pokey Lafarge have I been so impressed with an artist’s ability to capture a bygone era. A bit of the 1930s in sonic form, Mark Moldre‘s old soul transports listeners back to the Great Depression’s saddest of speakeasies. It’s quintessential American and straight from Australia. It’s freshly old. It’s minimalistic and full band. This album of contradictions is just what your sophisticated music palate has been dying to hear.”
Read the review in full HERE
And even though An Ear To The Earth came out in 2013 – I’ll happily accept coming in at No. 13 on this list alongside Ryan Adams, Kasey Chambers, The Autumn Defense, Sturgill Simpson and more.
Our latest video creation also received a round of positive reviews including these few listed below:
“Somewhere around the alt.country or acoustica pigeonholes would be the easy option to place Mark Moldre. But his Ear To The Earth album took some tangents from those bases. Madeleine (Laughing Outlaw) celebrates one of those default impossibly cool blondes from old Hitchcock movies – in this case, Kim Novak in Vertigo – with a hushed, almost near jazzy, approach that really deserves a wider audience” TheMusic.Com.Au
“Madeleine is a gorgeous shimmering song like the last lonely sway and shuffle on a deserted dance floor” Post To Wire
“Sydney singer-songwriter Mark Moldre has had a prolific year when it comes to producing new music videos. His latest, “Madeleine”, is the eighth to be taken from his album An Ear To The Earth and is one of the smoothest to date” Timber And Steel
Have you seen the clip yet? Check it out below
SPEED DATE WITH THE BRAG
As the National Folk Festival dates are creeping closer I had a chat with The Brag. You can check it out HERE.
I’m sad to say that I’ll be playing my last ever show at Lizottes, Kincumber on Wednesday 15th April. I’ve played so many shows on that stage that it feels like my own lounge room – owner Brian Lizotte has hand picked a final ‘Live And Local’ line up to say farewell as Lizottes closes it’s doors for good – which includes a who’s who of Central Coast acts that have graced the cubby house stage more times than they care to count. We’ll be playing a few songs each. You can book by calling (02) 4368 2017.
Remember if you’d like to keep up with all the latest news as it happens head on over and like our Facebook Page or follow the goings on at Instagram @markmoldre including news about a brand new product from France – a Mark Moldre Pen Knife (otherwise known as an Opinel) – don’t believe us? Check it out HERE
Six Strings on Post To Wire
Thanks to the wonderful folk/americana blog, Post To Wire, for having a chat with me this week for their regular Six Strings feature. (and for the 8/10 review) Want to hear me rambling about my parents 70’s dress sense, old Holdens (or was it a Valiant?), boom boxes, Marc Ribot, Neil Young, Dylan, touring with The Church and nostalgia filled tunes? Read the interview here.
An Ear To The Earth
★ ★ ★ ★
Opening with a rumbling tuba, Mark Moldre’s second album has you thinking he could be an Aussie version of Tom Waits. But he’s a sweeter singer. Produced by Bluebottle Kiss’s Jamie Hutchings, Moldre delivers vivid vignettes of the lost and lonesome. “You can know where you are and still be lost” he decrees in the downbeat standout, I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her. He also sings “There are cliches all over the world, because they’re true.” But An Ear To The Earth is filled with delightful detours, switching from blues to roots to jazz. Very tasty indeed. Jeff Jenkins
An Ear To The Earth
8 April, 2013
An Ear To The Earth is the follow-up to Mark Moldre’s debut solo album The Waiting Room, an accomplished set of folk-tinged indie rock songs that no doubt gave him the confidence and curiosity to dig deeper into his own songwriting and explore some of the more diverse corners of his musical influences that feature on this excellent album.
The impact of Moldre’s broader palette hits immediately on the opener Everything I Need, a stomping, clattering Tom Waits-ish jazz lurch with a glorious clarinet courtesy of Lee Hutchings. Beneath the old time exterior the song is an ode to a loved one, a declaration of contentment and one of the two most direct lyrical turns on the album. The other is Killer Anxiety, with its bright and uplifting calypso swing belying the song’s dark and honest subject matter concerning panic attacks.
Jamie Hutchings produced the album, and the two share a love of the dismantled and fragmented percussion that populates many of the songs. It gives them a wonderful organic, spacious and brittle feel, and they were very judicious in where they placed the ramshackle elements across the record. The other aspect of the record that stands out is Moldre’s voice; a maturing, world-weary instrument full of grain and character. He is now singing within the songs rather than pushing them along as he may have in the past, and it contributes to some beautiful and emotionally rich moments like the warm and dreamy Madeleine, the jazz croon ofLast Card and the delicate chaos of the closer O, Dreamtime Blues. An Ear To The Earth is exactly what you want from an artist – a record that shows they’re stretching themselves, expanding their art and reverentially experimenting with the great art of songwriting.
★ ★ ★ ★
There is a clear and concerted shift from the mostly alt-folk of Mark Moldre’s first solo release, The Waiting Room, to the eclectic mix of sounds found on his second solo effort, An Ear To The Earth. Moldre, a gifted lyricist and melody-maker, manages to piece together different styles, both coherently and beautifully: from the swoony polka sounds and brass instrumentation onEverything I Need Is Here, to the romantic, flamenco-esque guitar work and smoky vocals on Madeleine, and then to a track like Killer Anxiety, whose upbeat pace is at odds with its serious subject matter. Each listen procures more and more appreciation for the varied and purposeful release that is An Ear To The Earth. Katie Davern
The big news is that the release date of my brand new album An Ear To The Earth has crept up on us. It’s already been receiving spins on JJJ, ABC, 2SerFM, RRR and FBi. You can now grab a copy of the brand new 10 track long player at the Laughing Outlaw website…and if you’re so inclined you can snap up a signed copy. It’s worth grabbing a physical copy just to see the excellent art that graphic artist Brett Curzon designed for the booklet. He’s a genius without a doubt. The album was produced by my old friend and musical wizard Jamie Hutchings and recorded live straight to 1″ reel to reel tape over a six day period. It was mixed by Chris Colquhoun (an absolute master of the controls). We’re all super proud of the results. You can pick up the album here:
But, if you’re one of those people who’ve given up buying CD’s you can download a copy on iTunes. Great news is the iTunes version is a bonus edition. It features 2 bonus tracks which were recorded during the Ear To The Earth sessions. One of them is a track that I found difficult to relegate to the sidelines of the album, but I’m really happy to be able to offer it to you now. Jamie and I co-wrote the song together – and recorded it together live, very sparingly – featuring only my vocal and acoustic guitar whilst Jamie played slide guitar in another room of the studio/guesthouse. It’s called Letters and I think for anyone who has purchased a copy of the album already – this is a track worth owning. The second bonus track is a revisit of an old Hitchcock’s Regret song called Small Town – from our first album Regretfulness – which originally came out way back in 2001. You can get the Bonus Edition of An Ear To The Earth here:
A couple of months back I recorded a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song called Jesus Was An Only Son from the album Devils And Dust – once again with Jamie Hutchings in the producers chair. As you can see in the pic below we were recording like it was 1984 – straight to a Tascam four track cassette recorder. The song was for a double album full of reinterpretations of Springsteen classics and it’s out now on Laughing Outlaw Records. The limited edition double CD also features extensive liner notes written by our illustrious label leader, Stuart Coupe, who has interviewed Springsteen on numerous occasions. You can purchase a copy of the 22 track release at Laughing Outlaw or on iTunes.
The first review for Killer Anxiety is in. You can read it here on the Doubtful Sounds website.
The new single has also been featured on the latest whothehell.net mixtape alongside loads of great new Australian tracks – you can listen in here.
An Ear To The Earth will be out on Laughing Outlaw Records on April 5.