Produced and mixed by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell
Recorded in New Orleans and Memphis
“Hard-nosed blues power from one of the genre's most acute observers, this record drips with urban attitude.”
- Mark Uricheck, Living Blues
“Mark's a Dickensian conglomerate of honked-off preacher, university professor turned spooky drunkard…Infectious as a virus.”
- Mark S. Tucker, FAME
“A singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire...gritty, sparse...but with levity and hope to spare."
- Jim Kanavy, American Blues News
“There is no holding back...packed and powerful!...Let the creature loose!"
- Kyle M. Palarino, BluesWax
Flipping off the board room from the roots rock mountain top, Paul Mark’s ninth CD, Smartest Man in the Room, is like no other blues rock release you’ve heard. Cut in New Orleans and Memphis with his raucous collaborators, the Van Dorens, this is the one that makes good on all the iconoclastic promise of Mark’s previous CDs. The vocals roar, the guitars claw at the earth, the band swaggers through the swamp, and the warehouse ambience grabs both aficionados and new-comers by the neck for a soul-throttling ride. Try to recall when a new blues release – great song after great song – left you asking “Who is that?”
Nose-thumb the celebrity-driven audio and talent-show TV drivel. Stomp on the 1% rogues gallery. Strap in and listen to this witty/gritty stink bomb of a record. And decide yourself. Play it loud. Helmets recommended.