Label: Lunaria Records
Since releasing his debut album in 2013, Mark Pontin has firmly established himself in the UK Blues/Rock scene as an artist to take notice of. A multiple blues award nominee and stalwart guitar player, Mark once again shows his skills on this record as a man of many talents. The band follow their critically acclaimed album ‘Textures’ with their third album, ‘Kaleidoscope’. The album’s concept will certainly be relatable to some – about a guy who wakes up one day to find the love of his life has gone, and literally taken everything with her. Complete with strings and brass section, the musicianship alone marks this album as a true masterpiece. This is a melting pot of well crafted songs, and the eclectic mix of styles and atmosphere should bring the Mark Pontin Group recognition in plenty of new places.
As the flood gates open for live music, the Mark Pontin Group release their highly anticipated third album. Recorded over several sessions between 2018 and 2019, Mark felt that this album was worthy of being more than a ‘lockdown’ project, and having decided to bide his time with the release, joined forces with the exciting and vibrant label, Lunaria Records.
This album is worth the wait.
Recorded at Sonic One Studios – a hidden gem, tucked away in the Welsh valleys of Llanelli – Mark started the sessions with his core band, laying down the drums and bass, while providing some guide guitar, before re-tracking his parts using his beloved ’61 and ’65 Stratocasters. ‘I took 20 vintage amps in so that I could blend and perfect the tones for each track,’ admits Mark. ‘Self indulgent perhaps, but the results speak for themselves, I think!’
Mark Pontin is held in high regard as one of the most natural vocalists on the scene, as well as an incredibly versatile guitarist. He demonstrates an enviable range and a depth of soul to his voice which is sometimes overlooked in the blues-rock context. ‘During the writing of Kaleidoscope I was listening to a lot of late 60s and early 70s funk music,’ Mark says. ‘Johnny Guitar Watson, Sly And The Family Stone, James Brown, Rufus etc – and I think some of that filtered in to this record.’
This album represents growth for the band, both within the music and the production. Mark has taken the chance to push the boundaries of his own abilities as a writer, whilst staying true to what he’s trying to say. ’I can’t pretend to be what I’m not though, so vocally I have to work to my strengths and limitations. I’m not ever going to sing like Stevie Wonder, but it’s good to strive and push yourself to your limits and beyond.’
02 Everything (Today)
03 Don’t Sleep
04 This Will Never Be A Hit
06 Roll With Me Easy
08 Hotel Diablo
09 Hell’s Kitchen
10 Freeway Fantasy
12 Everything (Tomorrow)
All sings written by Mark Pintin
MARK PONTIN — VOCALS, GUITAR
CALLUM MORGAN-JONES — BASS GUITAR TRACKS 2, 5-11 & 13
JAMES GARVEY — DRUMS, PERCUSSION
AYESHA PONTIN — BACKING VOCALS, WURLITZER TRACK 2
TIM HAMILL — BACKING VOCALS, BASS TRACKS 3,4,10 & 12
OWAIN HUGHES — HAMMOND, WURLITZER, MOOG & RHODES
Website Mark Pontin Group