Mark Eitzel | The Ugly American

Mark Eitzel | The Ugly American


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Mark Eitzel’s ‘The Ugly American‘ Now Available On Vinyl For The First Time.

A lull after the electronically ambient album ‘The Invisible Man ‘ (2001) MARK EITZEL’S recording output was followed by two releases: a covers album ‘Music For Courage And Confidence’ (2002) and an album of solo and AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB songs re-interpretations ‘The Ugly American’ (2003) performed by a band with traditional Greek musicians.

‘The Ugly American’ was originally mooted as an EP after an invitation to Athens, Greece to reinterpret certain songs under the guidance of respected local musician MANOLIS FAMELLOS. The trip to Athens (Greece) materialized in November 2001 and a full-blown 10 track album was agreed. The subsequent album was recorded and released in 2003 on cd only. Seventeen years later, with a rejigged artwork and an Abbey Road cut, ‘The Ugly American ‘is unveiled for the first time on vinyl.

The ten tracks cover a varied period of MARK EITZEL’S solo output, the cult band AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB albums, and a sole composition from MANOLIS FAMELLOS (‘Love’s Humming’). All songs were recorded with the addition of traditional Greek instruments (bouzouki, tzouras, Cretan lyra & zournas) under the guidance of MANOLIS FAMELLOS and his band. At a time when AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB albums were hard to obtain re-interpretations of ‘Western Sky’, ‘Last Harbour’ and ‘Jenny’ were treated with effervescence and stunning new arrangements. ‘Anything‘ (originally on ‘The Invisible Man‘) as a stark and bleak electronica track, is now heightened to a majestic instrumentation opus. The album retains the heartfelt tales of sadness that you would expect from selfdeprecating MARK EITZEL in a Folk and pastoral context.

Before the album was even recorded, the trip to Greece was deemed in certain quarters as controversial, an ‘unnecessary excursion’ with cries of ‘sacrilege’ buoyed on by a skewered conception of Greek music, thus expecting a ‘freak novelty’. Today this beautiful recording is revered for its haunting arrangements and MARK EITZEL’S deep warm and rich vocal delivery. A revisionist detour that casts MARK EITZEL’S impressive song-writing skills in a renewed and sparkling adaptations.

“…grace and beauty that few can match”

“This is not the most obvious coupling…but it’s a beautiful affair nonetheless”

1. Western Sky
2. Here They Roll Down
3. Jenny
4. Nightwatchman
5. Take Courage
6. Anything
7. What Good Is Love
8. Will You Find Me
9. Last Harbor
10. Love’s Humming