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615 Spotlight: Mark Box

Talks 'Fields of Home' EP

By , Nashville | March 12, 2014 8:00 PM EDT

615 Spotlight: Mark Box Talks 'Fields of Home' EP

Mark Box

Photo by: Michelle Box

Country newcomer Mark Box knows there is at least one person who is not a huge fan of at least one of the songs on his new release: his mother. "My mom doesn't like the song 'The Man My Mama Tried To Raise' too much," he says with a laugh. "She said 'For one, they're going to think I raised some kind of heathen who went out drinking and carousing every night, and in the second verse, you killed me off."  Well, perhaps there is something that his mother might like a little better off his new release, "Fields Of Home." The six-song EP is a fine showcase for the Mississippi native who definitely falls on the more traditional side of the country spectrum. He says he comes by it honestly, though country music was not his first love.

 

"The first concert that I ever remember going to was the Blackwood Brothers," he recalled. "James Blackwood was the founder, and he was from the county I was from – Choctaw County, Mississippi, and he actually went to school with my grandma. They had the show at my elementary school gymnasium in Ackerman. After that, southern gospel was where it started. Even to this day, I'm still a huge fan. I grew up going to the all-night singings that they would have every Thanksgiving in Jackson. There would be the Hinsons, the Goodmans, the Kingsmen, and Gold City, among others. I just loved it."

As he got older, other musical influences began to filter into his musical bloodstream, thanks to his father. "My dad grew up playing fiddle and guitar. He played at the local VFW for a long time, so what dad listened to, I would listen to. There was country, southern gospel, and some bluegrass. There used to be a bluegrass festival called the Sleepy Hollow Bluegrass Festival just up the road in Houston, MS. People would bring their campers up there, and Dad would take his fiddle."

He also owes a debt of gratitude to his grandfather. "He gave me a record of George Jones, and one of Jerry Lee Lewis, and between the two of them, I guess that's where I developed a love for it. We spent a lot of time listening to that, and I remember that Daddy and me would listen to a lot of country on the radio. I remember hearing Mel McDaniel doing 'Louisiana Saturday Night' on the radio, and I just thought it was great. Country music just made sense to me. I listened to Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and Pearl Jam in college, but country music – especially the 80s and 90s stuff, just described where I'm at, and where I'm still at."

For the making of his EP, Box admits to having a definite vision in mind. "I had in my mind what I wanted to do for years. I actually had a demo of a couple of songs that I had written. I wanted to get that full studio experience where you brought in all the musicians. I wanted to record it the old-school way," he admits, but the economics of doing that steered him in another direction. "I have a friend named Adam Lester, who is a great guitar player. He tours with Peter Frampton. He invited me over to his home studio, and we laid things down track by track. He did all the guitar work – except for steel, and we brought in Troy Klontz, who played for Brooks & Dunn. We took it over to Dan Needham, who put the drums on it." He says that while he's a tough audience, he was pleased with how it all came out. "I'm my worst critic, and there's always things you might change, but I was very happy with it." He also involved his wife Michelle in the project, as well. "All the photos inside were taken by my wife down in Mississippi. We tried to bring it full circle with it being called Fields Of Home."

The focus track from the EP is "Would It Do Any Good," a song that Box says fits his musical vision. "I feel like it's a blend of 90s versus today – somewhere in the middle. It has enough to keep the Alan Jackson / Joe Diffie crowd happy, but can also please the Luke Bryan crowd. If I can somehow blend that together, that's the sound I would love to create. I want people to know when they hear a song of mine – before I sing the first note, they know it's me. That's where I'm trying to go!"

Music News Nashville

Mark Box - Fields Of Home 

by Chuck Dauphin


Mississippi native Mark Box counts among his influences Merle Haggard, George Strait, and Alan Jackson. You can hear those traditional influences all over his new EP, which should give Country Music fans an introduction to his vocal style. The only drawback to that fact is that after they are introduced to him, they are going to want a lot more than just six songs! Box is good. Make that really good!

You can tell you’re in for a ride down a traditional road with the twangy guitars of “Fields Of Home.” It showcases his style to the max, and also is a fine vehicle for Troy Klontz to utilize his talents on the steel guitar, which he does brilliantly. The radio-friendly “Would It Do Any Good” is also proof of the talent that Box has going for him, as well.

The disc only manages to get better as it goes along. “Trailer Park Trash” is a lightweight ditty – guaranteed to get some feet out on the dance floor, but what is equally impressive about the cut is the fact that the players seem to be in a zone – as it’s heavy on the Bocephus / CDB  “Southern Boogie” sound that was such a highlight of their records.

The ballads on this disc are definitely the cream of this crop. “Finding Me,” with its’ waltz-like melody,brings to mind the sounds of one Waylon Jennings, and “The Man My Momma Tried To Raise” is pure hillbilly poetry about learning from one’s past – and trying to make it better.

As a vocalist and a writer – Box has released an album that seems guaranteed to get him plenty of attention around Music City, USA. There’s no reason it shouldn’t. Box has the potential to be in that select group of artists that he has referenced as influences. He’s definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with!

 

 

Nashville Music Pros

 

MARK BOX WINS PUCKETT'S GROCERY RISING STAR 10

Franklin, TN--March 15, 2010

Nashville based songwriter, Mark Box was the grand prize winner in Puckett's Rising Star 10 singer-songwriter contest (sponsored by Heineken). The final was held at Puckett's Grocery in Franklin, TN March 15, 2011. Mark was a finalist, along with Ryan Larkins, Galen Crew, and Brad Vroon. Over 150 songwriters participated in 7 preliminary events. 14 Semi-finalists we're pared down to the final 4. As the winner, Mark was awarded $500 cash from Puckett's Grocery, and will be part of a songwriter round with several established songwriters on April 7, 2011 at Puckett's Grocery in Franklin, TN.

For more information on Puckett's Rising Star, visit  http://www.puckettsgrocery.com/risingstar

 

Keith Mohr (Rising Star creator), Andy Marshall (Puckett's Grocery owner), Mark Box (Rising Star 10 winner), Wally Nason (Rising Star emcee)

Now Playing Nashville

Rising Star Winner Showcase live at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant in Franklin

Presented by Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant - Franklin

April 7, 2011

 

Rising Star Winner Showcase live at Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant in Franklin 

 Nashville based songwriter, Mark Box was the grand prize winner in Puckett's Rising Star 10 singer-songwriter contest (sponsored by Heineken). The final was held at Puckett's Grocery in Franklin, TN March 15, 2011. Mark was a finalist, along with Ryan Larkins, Galen Crew, and Brad Vroon. Over 150 songwriters participated in 7 preliminary events. 14 Semi-finalists we're pared down to the final 4. As the winner, Mark was awarded $500 cash from Puckett's Grocery, and will be part of this songwriter round with several established songwriters.

Singer Songwriter, Chris Janson, originally a Missouri native, has been in Nashville for four years. In 2006 he signed a publishing deal with Chrysalis Music Group, and began writing songs. Chris has toured the world, with such acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Jr, Sugarland, and Shooter Jennings to name a few.... In late 2009 he signed a record deal with Sony Music's BNA Records. His first single/music video, "Til A Woman Comes Along" is currently streaming on CMT and GAC. Keep updated with Chris through his website, chrisjanson.com

An established songwriter with single cuts that include Lonestar's "You're Like Coming Home," Randy Houser's "Boots On" and album tracks by Willie Nelson and Randy Travis, this Brandon Kinney however does find bits of himself in the others who share his name. Like the Brandon from Iowa, he has an interest in horses. Like the one from Fort Wayne, he plays guitar. And like the one from New York, he's wrestled a time or two.

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