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Mark W. Winchester

ALL THESE YOUNG PUNKS • Mark W. Winchester

Good rockin tonight. This hangdog dynamo is absolutely scorching on every song. The playing is so tight, but the feel is so loose, and therein lies the genius, my friends. The songs are superb--really funny, occasionally touching, but always groovin. This is a must have rock and roll record.

Mark is a famous and rightfully acclaimed doghouse "slap" bass player. His seminal work with The Planet Rockers when he first came to Nashville in the 80s sparked a rockabilly renaissance here that spawned a number of excellent groups, including BR549 and Los Straitjackets. That led to a good job for a few years with Emmy Lou's Nash Ramblers (and the drummer for that band, Larry Atamaniuk, appears on this smokin disc, in between his regular gigs with Alison Krauss and Union Station). Then the Stray Cats' Brian Setzer saw Mark playing in a house band and plucked him for the Brian Setzer Orchestra and the global smash hit, "Jump, Jive and Wail."

I was at The Family Wash in town recently and saw Mark rock the house. Bassist Dave Francis was elsewhere, so the doghouser was on the upright a lot of the night, and we laughed our asses off watching him slap that bad boy into next week, the man's in command.

All that notwithstanding, Winchester is on guitar on this record, and he is the funki-est. His unique rhythms come crackin off that Harmony Rocket and stick right to the wall. He's over the top on "Macho Mosquito" and "Smoke & Shake," but the whole record's some of the best rhythm guitar we've heard in eons.

His singing is perfect for the humor in the offbeat lyrics, and sometimes reminds me of the young Dan Hicks. His stage presence is something to behold, so don't miss him if he comes to your town. He's an original, and we highly recommend you add him to your playlist and to your collection. Immediately, right here. • Frank Goodman

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