"The blues is a religion. You can hear it and feel just like you feel in church. Your head will bow, your eyes will close, hair will stand up on your arm. I can play it. I can make you feel it. I can. I was born in the country and raised up in town. I'm natural born able to shake'em on down."
- Mark Porkchop Holder
Mark Porkshop Holder has just released his second album and it's a wicked simple sample of the big man's skills. Holder, former guitarist for the Black Diamond Heavies, has flown under the blues radar for too long and that's a damn shame because he's one of the finest guitarists out there. But hell a brother has to work for a living, right? Maybe the thing I dig most about Porkchop is he brings the sound of menace back to the blues. Case in point his super creepy evol cover of Robt. Johnson's Me & The Devil (thoughtfully chosen as track 13). Hell, i'd pay ten bucks just to hear Porkchop's guitar solo on this track! I've always dug Charlie Patton over Johnson but this may have me digging that Johnson box out again (he covers Johnson's Possession too). Speaking of Patton, Porchop drives the mans Stone Pony right back to Natchez where it belongs. Porkchop lays his slide down slow, loose and heavy on Johnny Cash's Delia and makes it even more mournful. But this album ain't all about covers. Holder's own works shine bright as well. Captain Captain is a work gang song that shows not only Holder's slide skills but his formidable harp chops as well. Dissappearing is an end of life heartbreaker. The guitar solo at the ends juxtaposes the traditional with a moving almost sitar-like sound. The short instrumental jam Wisconsin Johnson is a thrill ride homage to Deep Blues Festival bossman Chris Johnson. The set ends beautifully with his working of Mr.Blind Willie Johnson's Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed. Brother Holder I do not doubt that He will. Mark Porkchop Holder knows these songs and he embodies them. This is a simple well made recording of a man playing blues slide guitar, harp, and tambourine stomp box yet it has an emotional content and power that most full band blues recordings fail to realize. Each of the tracks here, be they slow, short or long, contain an undercurrent of urgency and drive and dark soulfullness that connects us, that we crave to make us more alive. Hell of a job by a hell of a man.
HEY! YOU! Porkchop can use your help. Currently in hospital for the next several weeks recovering from major surgery on his leg, though he has some insurance, he will need a major cash infusion to pay his share of the bill. If you can spare a measley ten bucks (hell you probably spend close to that on lunch!) Please Buy His CD! Better yet buy two and give one to a friend. You can Buy His CD from his secure MySpace page HERE! Thank You!
Mark Porkchop Holder @ Myspace
Mark Porkchop Holder - Fry Pharmacy - My Whole Life - MP3
Mark Porkchop Holder - Fry Pharmacy - Me and The Devil - MP3
Mark's first album My Black Name is available at CD Baby
My Black Name MP3
Coffin Lid MP3