CD Reviews for 06/18/08 – Carolyn Mark, Patrick Bloom

Compact Capsules for 6/18/08
by Dan Ferguson

Carolyn Mark
Nothing Is Free
Mint Roc Records MRD-107

The boozy, light-hearted cocktail haze hanging over much of Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Carolyn Mark’s previous three solo albums takes a backseat on Nothing Is Free. A witty lyricist with a penchant for the pop side of alt country, Mark’s bare-all songs touch on breakup, infidelity and various matters of misbegotten love take on a folksy demeanor this time out. In the end, they wear as well as the fun ones and stick in the craw even more. (Visit

Patrick Bloom
Mud Dauber Records MD0002

Renowned singer/songwriter Greg Brown describes Moses from fellow Iowan Patrick Bloom as “..the music that scarecrows dance to when everyone else is asleep.” How to truly interpret that only Brown knows, but I’ve got to think said scrarecrows are digging this album. A rootsy affair, at its foundation is a collection of alluring melodies saddled with Bloom’s literate, lyrical touch. With the tuneful Moses, the Iowa-by-way-of-Long Island Bloom demonstrates a keen eye for detail and a narrative style that neatly mixes emotion with smarts. (Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)