"While the concentration is usually on original music, Zane does mix in a healthy dose of cover tunes, often with unique arrangements that still allow him to put his personal stamp on the material."
“Mark Zane and Friends. Walk It Off (independent). Zane is at it again, bringing his salt-of-the-earth Americana and blues to Central New York listeners in this sophomore album, recorded at the Square Studio in Marcellus. Zane’s style is honest, unembellished and classic, to which tracks like “I Got a Woman,” and “Banjo in Your House” can attest. The technical structure of Zane’s work is standard blues. In as much time as it takes for each song to go in one ear, root around your insides and saunter out the other ear, endearing songs like “Me and the Devil” come across like familiar faces in a crowd, filled with decadent harmonica against finger-picked guitar. Zane’s vocals--unrefined, straightforward and never out of tune-- resemble plane-sawn pine boards: rough grain, a few knots for character, full of stories and, more than anything else, exactly as unpolished as they ought to be. ”
“When he's not writing or singing songs, Mark Zane teaches sociology. Nice match. With the dozen original songs on "American Hunger," Zane shines a light on his view of society. The collection starts with "Have Hope," showcasing the yearning in Zane's soul as well as his voice. He sings, "Have hope that we can save mankind." Gotta vote with him on that one. Zane handles the acoustic and electric guitars, bass, percussion and vocals, with help from Bill Chernoff on classical guitar, keyboards and percussion, Joanne Perry and Bianca Cummings on backing vocals and Ben Chernoff on harmonica. Born and raised in Utica, Zane now lives in Syracuse and teaches at Onondaga Community College. With peppy songs like "Knuckleheaded Fool," and passionate stories like "Bethlehem" and sad tales like "See Spot Run," he knows how to write lyrics that'll lure you in. With pretty riffs like the acoustic guitar in "Make a Wish" and rich harmonica in "Man Under a Bridge," his hooks are sharp, too.”
“'Walk It Off' is Mark Zane's second CD release. Songs about racial indifference, economic struggle, & even adultery are given fine musical treatment, putting a new light on subjects we may not want to think about. But Mark makes us ponder these issues with powerful whimsy. "Me and the Devil" and "Utica" both address economic issues in pursuit of financial easement. While "Hambone" is a humorous tale about a wandering husband and his wife's 'cure' for his philandering. Mark has a great sense for developing a story and maintaining interest by the use of humor and/or spinning a surprising twist in the end. It is in his fabulous personal songs where Mark gets a real chance to provide the listener a tickled funny bone. "I Got A Woman," I Don't Care Anymore" and the title track all give a wry glimpse into Mark Zane's twisted psyche. Backed by great hand-picked musicians, Mark Zane's "Walk It Off" is a delightful CD to put in the car player and grin on down the road.”
“Zane brings sociology to songs By David Wilcox / The Citizen Thursday, November 6, 2008 6:14 PM EST As a sociology professor and musician, Mark Zane’s songs observe the world around him more sharply than most. His first full album of original material, “American Hunger,” gathers 12 songs digging into diverse subjects, such as domestic violence in “See Spot Run” and homelessness in “Man Under the Bridge.” But the tone of “American Hunger” isn’t all downbeat; it leads off with the optimistic “Have Hope.” The album also features backing vocalists Joanne Perry and Bianca Cummings, harmonica player Ben Chernoff and classical guitarist Bill Chernoff, who also co-produced the album with Zane last summer. Zane also plays percussion, bass and electric guitar on several tracks. David Wilcox 253-5311 ext. 245 firstname.lastname@example.org The Citizen Copyright Â©2008 A division of Lee Publications, Inc. 25 Dill Street Auburn, NY 13021 ”