Mark Christopher Band
Comprised of three talented men born and raised in Los Angeles with various skillsets, The Mark Christopher Band is led the man who gave his name to the trio. Mark Christopher was born with music in his blood. Influenced by his jazz pianist father, he picked up the guitar at 15-years-old and has yet to put it down. Playing throughout LA he met up with Steve Roybal. A true musician, Steve is a former member of the Los Angeles Jr. Philharmonic, and has performed with The Midnighters, The Coasters,The Drifters, Don Sugarcane Harris, Ike Cole and Redbone and many others.
Imagine – is quite the collection of tracks by this excellent trio with not a lot of well-known background. But that should change if the right wind of this five track EP and the few other available cuts out there. Because it’s a world class set worth hearing. “Bull Frog Boogie” will have you grooving right out of your seat and up to dance until it’s over. You’ll stop to take notice of the premiere talents of them all in the process. Particularly the guitar talent of Mark Christopher himself. And even though having been done before for the most part, they show people how it’s done here. If they do the same anywhere and more it is on the next track “Cat Fight” which is so packed full of greatness it’s a shame this isn’t world news. They get down like no others with a ferocity most couldn’t muster. You’re going to want to play it over and over. And while there is nothing to complain about musically, they also get top marks for how well they’re mixed. It has a seamless sound that brings out every instrument, and it’s not just guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. You get harmonica, strings and other things. It’s hard to come down after hearing this one track, but it’s barely getting started.
The title cut “Imagine” takes over and there’s a jazzier, almost folk style approach at first. After all the instruments on display so far, a flute comes into the picture at just the right time, and all thought of this just being a blue power trio are out the door. The essence of art is exemplified in every way, with a contained, subdued guitar soaring over an exquisitely arranged piece of outstanding music. It’s a beautiful song with an almost music lesson quality without boring the listener. You can tell, although it isn’t heavily layered, it may have taken some time with this composition to perfect it and get the near classic rock vibe. “Soulless Sinner” is of exactly-the same nature in playing and overall feel, but much stronger in the jazz department. Less traditional rock and more southern based. But it is yet another fine moment where they all shine under the spotlight and prove their ability and chemistry to work. And work hard they do, with no less energy expended on the finale track, “Deep Dog.” It seems this band can do no wrong in what they’re bringing, as this puts on even more contemporary blues-rock acrobatics that it takes working up to if you even want to try and play the blues like them. I’m on board for more, anytime.