A couple of years ago an interesting album called Life Goes On landed on the big stack of albums on my desk and after giving the record a shot, I was instantly enthralled with the collection of singer/songwriter fare that not only showed off a strong songwriter but a strong singer. The artist is named Mark Wayne Glasmire and while the album didn’t hit the top of the charts – something that’s really hard for an independent artist like “MWG” to do – It was one of my favorite records of that year. Fast forward to 2012 and here I sit with a new seven song EP called Mark Wayne Glasmire.
Much like Life Goes On, Mark Wayne Glasmire is a sturdy collection of tunes which feature the artist singing songs ripped right from the lives of him and his friends. “Last of a Dying Breed” is full of tempo and mainstream-sounding melodies which find MWG singing a song about being brought up with morals and values and it really seems to be aimed at people who ‘count on someone else to do what I should do myself.’ It’s a strong song with a great hook and melody and it’s not too hard to envision a hit artist like Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean or Blake Shelton taking on this song (that’s if MWG cannot get a hit with it himself).
“I Like You” is a cute, beachy song that recalls Buffett while “Going Home,” the lead single from this project is the kind of lyrical gem that made me a fan of country music to begin with. Add in Mark’s strong tenor (that recalls Collin Raye at times) and you’ve got the makings of one of the stronger singles from 2011 (that we somehow missed including in our best of 2011 list. It should’ve been there). It’s a song about a soldier returning to his hometown after decades away but you know, it’s really relatable to anyone who has left their hometown for ‘greener pastures’ or other reasons. It’s the kind of song that recalls classic Don Schlitz story songs recorded by Kenny Rogers or other strong country vocalists.
“The Last Goodbye” and “The Moment” are a couple of smooth, Mac McAnally-like ballads and honestly, that’s the kind of literal and strong singer/songwriter Mark Wayne Glasmire is. If you’re a fan of strong albums with production that never gets in the way of the outstanding lyrics and vocals, you need to check out Mark Wayne Glasmire and also do yourself a favor and check out his past recordings like Life Goes On (particularly “You Opened My Eyes”) and Scrapbook.