RADIANCE will be available from 1st SEPTEMBER on Bandcamp
After years of building up a reputation as a talented guitarist and songwriter, now at last is the opportunity to hear for yourself a taster from the long awaited debut album RADIANCE by this much admired musician, the release date of which will be announced in August.
Explore the site and check out his music below.
Mark Rowen - Guitars, Guitar Synth, Mandolin, Keyboard programming, Backing vocals
Lisa Box - Lead and Backing vocals
Barry Cassells - Drums
Leigh Perkins - Keyboards
Paul Teasdale - Bass, Backing Vocals
All music © Mark Rowen
A bit of a journey
'Music reaches beyond words and between cultures. Music enables us to communicate and express ourselves when words fail'.
I have always felt this way ever since I was first given a little acoustic guitar at the age of 8, which I promptly painted light blue and hid behind the sofa. The first tune I was able to pick out (when I did eventually retrieve it from behind the furniture), was the mandolin line to Lady Eleanor by Lindisfarne. That was 'it', I was hooked.
The guitar was always there, sat with me through my adolescence until I was distracted for a short time by (of all things) the game of golf! I had a new obsession and I became pretty good in a very short period of time, a single figure handicap by the time I was 13. But then a few things happened all at once - I went off the game overnight and I heard 21st Century Schizoid Man for the first time.
I traded my clubs in for a black Les Paul copy. I wanted to be Fripp.... I couldn't play anything like him... but I still wanted to be him!
Lots of influences were absorbed over the next 20 odd years, ELP, Marc Bolan, Wishbone Ash, Genesis, Paul Kossoff, a real smorgasbord of guitarists/music.
Probably the biggest step-change was then hearing and seeing Pat Metheny for the first time. It wasn't really jazz, although it was pigeon-holed as such, it was layered and textural, sweeping, dynamic, orchestral, emotive. It had everything including musicianship of the likes I had not heard before. I thought I could play the guitar reasonably well, but I couldn't... not really. Metheny thus became my new 'hero' and his music had a big influnece on me. An off-shoot of this was also the intriguing character and music of Django Reinhardt - I even played in a little 'hot club' trio for a while.
I signed up to attend a Jazz Summer school without having a clue who the teachers were, until John Etheridge walked in!
It frightened me to death.
I learnt Django solos note for note in my little trio - we played in the local restaurant, 2 half hour sets and despite being sat down, by the end of every evening I was absolutely exhausted. The sheer effort and concentration involved in impudently attempting to play this masterful music to an acceptable level was beyond me. Who was I trying to kid? . . 'please take Django off the turntable, I'll admire from afar. Put Bad Company on would you...'
I'll gloss over the period of playing in various covers bands, it was good experience but that was about it,
creatively it was a none-starter.
A leap through time to the 2000's and an opportunity to play original music with a band called Breathing Space and with it the chance to record a CD with some of the music I had composed. First time in a proper studio.. another scary moment!
This was a great experience, the album was well received and the plaudits were encouraging. When Breathing Space ceased to be I felt inspired to try my hand at recording a solo album, and after 5 years of hard work tucked in between working full-time and raising a young family I can now finally say, here is my solo album RADIANCE. It was recorded with love and with the help of some truly wonderful musicians - thank you Lisa, Barry, Leigh and Paul :) xx
All that remains for me to say, is that I hope all the hard work has paid off and that there's something in it that talks to you, that moves you, and that gives you that tingle that only music can.