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Mark Sebastian’s January 16th performance at The Living Room in New York City has been reviewed in the March/April 2012 issue of Elmore Magazine:
The Living Room
New York, NY
In his first hometown performance since the ’90s, Mark Sebastian tapped into years’ worth of material to showcase his astute and ripened writing abilities, featuring a concoction of blues, folk, dark pop and even a hint of jazz.
Joined onstage by the most seasoned of pros, Tim Luntzel (bass) and Tony Mason (drums), the trio navigated through selections from Sebastian’s first full-length release, Bleecker Street, including “The Great Mistake,” a sweet ballad with a sour side, and “Stage One” and “It’s An Outlaw World,” a pair of darkened tunes referencing guns, crime and corruption, but with an irresistible catchiness. Interspersed with Jim Jackson’s “Wild About My Lovin’” and the poppier “T-Bird-55,” the night contained plenty of dark/light contrast, illuminating the many sides of Sebastian’s versatile musicianship as he handled both guitar duties and vocals in expert style.
The show culminated with a cover of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City,” a song whose origins lay in a school poem that Sebastian wrote and brought to his big brother, John; subsequently, it became the Spoonful’s sole Number One hit in 1966. Sebastian treated the audience to an auditory glimpse of what the song had sounded like pre-Spoonful,
before launching into a rocking and rolling version made even grittier and richer by the venue’s intimacy and the precise picking between Sebastian and Luntzel, rendering it a fitting “welcome home” for one of New York’s native sons.
Allison Johnelle Boron
If ever there was a “band that launched a thousand bands,” it would be the Venture. Founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1958, their guitar-based instrumental sound would prove hugely influential, inspiring countless followers to pick up a guitar, bass or set of drumsticks and try to emulate their heroes. As these musical neophytes would soon learn, it wasn’t as easy as it initially appeared. The Ventures were masters of tone and technique, deftly arranging their instruments in a seamless approach that was instantly recognizable. Because they were an instrumental group, their songs needed no translation, which resulted in a huge worldwide following. While many rock bands have claimed to be “big in Japan” over the years, the Ventures were the country’s first rock superstars and they maintain a devoted worldwide following to this day. With over 100 million records sold, they are the best selling instrumental group of all time.
Sundazed is proud to rightfully address the magnificent Ventures’ catalog—each title has been sourced from the original Dolton and Liberty Records’ reels and painstakingly mastered to sound and feel like they were originally intended. Along with precise artwork restoration on each title, these new Sundazed editions stand as the definitive re-releases of these monumentally important albums. Long may they rock!
In an historic alliance, the renowned reissue label Sundazed Music has partnered with Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. to release a series of new 7″ picture-sleeve vinyl singles featuring unique and hard-to-find vintage performances by Jimi Hendrix.
As a teen, Mark co-wrote ” Summer In The City”, the Lovin’ Spoonful’s number one hit, with his brother John. He has collaborated as a writer, or in the studio, with his mentors, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, as well as Gary Usher and Earth Wind & Fire. His live performances have found him sharing stages with Laura Nyro, Eric Burdon, the Doors’ Robbie Kreiger, the Beach Boys and a host of Folk music greats, during his early days, playing the clubs in his native Greenwich Village.
Info on Mark’s gig can be found at the Living Room website.