Mark Appleford, “Voodoo” (Independent)


“I Still Miss Georgia” kicks off Mark Appleford’s fifth release of all original material in fine fashion. The song sets the stage for what is to come: solid songwriting with music driven by piano and harmonica playing that can lay back and then move the songs at just the right time without getting in the way.

The uptempo “Everywhere Else To Go” gives Appleford a chance to deliver a solid rock ’n’ roll song while the protagonist explores the themes of loneliness, exploration, and discovery. It also delivers one of the best lines on the record: “The tattoos on her back told me the story but not the facts. She said it’s better to be alone than pretending not to be.”

When “The Trickiest Thing” starts, it conjures up images of Jerry Garcia’s “Cats Under The Stars” before sliding into a laid-back island groove that sounds like “People Get Ready.” It is a nice combination and the mellow vibe fits Appleford’s lyrics nicely. The song also gives Seth Kaplan ample room to shine on keyboards.

Voodoo closes out with “Love on the Way” which pairs Kaplan’s cello with Appleford’s harmonica to good effect. The stark production is a fitting end to the record, but like the record itself, the song is over too soon.

All in all, Voodoo is a successful recording and should serve as a nice introduction to anyone unfamiliar with Mark Appleford.