Mark Williams and Blue Horse FROM EARTH AND BROKEN SKY

Mark Williams and Blue Horse
From Earth and Broken Sky

Genre Bending Nu-Folk and Americana Plus Fabulous and Creative Storytelling.

Before we get started I have to issue the disclaimer that RMHQ Reviewer, Roy Peak is the bass player on this album; but that connection only got the album half way up the review ‘to do’ pile; an actual review only happens if I/we like what’s on offer or at least; we think it will be of interest to our readers.
FROM EARTH TO THE BROKEN SKY passes both tests with flying colours.
It appears that this is the third album from this troupe but the first to cross my path.
Bizarrely, opening track, Take A Ride reminded me of the band Traffic; and I can’t think why ….. but that influence pops up later too. The song itself is a lot of things; partly West Coast, Country Rock and part Folk Rock with lots of slightly odd undertones that combine to create an eminently listenable and enjoyable few minutes; and the perfect introduction to what is to follow.
This is followed by the quirkily titled Pirate In The Kitchen which opens with a winsome female voice (Geej Williams?) , followed by Mark Williams’ own raggedy velvet tones and a charming and laid back beat that enhances the flight of fancy and very imaginative song.
Especially with bands I’ve not heard of, I try to imagine what the songs would sound like ‘in concert’ and where that would take place.
Here; I expect Mark Williams & Blue Horse to turn up at a local tavern in and around Jacksonville Fl. on a Friday or Saturday night (and I’m not ruling out sunny Sunday afternoons either)or more likely a family friendly Festival where they would easily wins hearts and minds with Angel Rising and the endearing Folk song Dragos Wish, which feels like it’s even a bit theatrical the way it’s constructed and arranged.
The seamless way the band glide through the genres, without ever making songs sound out of place or jarring, probably comes from the disparate back story of each musician; Mark Williams and Roy Peak are both journeyman musicians; in the best possible manner; being able to adapt at the drop of a hat; filling in and fitting in whenever they are needed.
On the other hand Geej Williams is primarily a singer-songwriter and thespian; writing music for theatrical pieces across Europe and Asia; and then things really get interesting …. Noel Millan cut his musical teeth traveling the world playing in the US Navy Jazz Band; cellist Linda Minke has played in both the Chicago
Symphony and the Jacksonville Symphony; as well as playing on stage with no less than Dizzy Gillespie.
Victor Minke Huls is the lead cellist for the New World Symphony in Miami FL; and recently graduated as a Doctor of Musical Arts Student of Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University Bienen School of Music!
Then there is Mike Koren another Doctor whose specialty is cardiology, though he has co-written a
musical “Child of the Seventies.”
Add all of those pieces together like a musical jigsaw; you get thoughtful and intricate songs like Dust Bowl, The Buffalo and Mining Town, which all err on the side of politics with a small ‘p.’
Juxtaposing these songs Williams drops in a couple of musical timebombs, that with so much going on around them, it’s all too easy to miss out on Love Comes Hard, the delicate instrumental Echoes From the Night and another instrumental (albeit with a windswept choir in the background) the genre bending Geejai …. but stick in and they will eventually capture your attention.
Which leaves just two songs to discuss; Love Comes Hard and Falling Down On Our Dreams, which I’m struggling to decide which is my Favourite Song. At present it’s the intense Country-Folk Rocker (with a pedal-steel at its heart) Falling Down On Our Dreams which sounds very personal; but covers what a lot of us feel in one way or another these days, privately and publicly.
Yet I’m still tempted to go for Love Comes Hard; something that could easily have been a Gordon Lightfoot or Stephen Fearing song, with a cello at its heart incase you needed any extra sadness!
In many ways it will be all too easy to reduce this album to ‘easy listening’ for when you’re reading or doing the ironing; as the melodies are quite majestic; but you will get the most benefit if you actually take the time to kick back in the fabulous and creative storytelling that runs through these songs like a golden thread.

Released August 5th 2022


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.