Mark Edward Duvall's Armchair Empire plays folky, old-school-country/americana and haunting acoustic pop songs; these organic and straightforward tunes resonate with earthy images of grace and transparency. This is country for folks who don't like country, or who at least never listen to country radio. The grateful grandson of depression-era sharecroppers, miners and cowboys, Mark Duvall is the eldest son of a hardworking Ozzie and Harriet-like upbringing. Duvall discoverd his musical aptitude and learned to love old-time music in a little 'country' church in the shadow of Los Angeles skyscrapers. Duvall, who wrote all the songs for the Armchair Empire project on acoustic guitar, is reconnecting with the acoustic American music of his familial roots. Other organic instruments like resophonic guitars, mandolin, dobro, melodica, B3 organs and cello drop into the mix to visit like old friends on a Sunday evening. Mark has this to say about Armchair Empire... 'I love that this record was recorded with some of my closest friends; it's very home-grown. Armchair Empire is made up of a group of talented musicians who have known one another for years. Tim Edmundson handles drums and percussion; Ron Way played guitars with me (all the tough and pretty parts are Ron's); Steve Taylor plays all the keyboards, and Ric Matthies and Andy Baugh share bass duties. The fetching Casie Duvall (my lovely wife) joins in on backing vocals along with Ray Allen (not the NBA star, but he does drive the lane with tenacity). A few other friends played as well, including legendary dobro player LeRoy Mac (of Kentucky Colonels fame, and my pal Mark's dad) who agreed to play a couple tunes on the record as well! This project was an absolute labor of love. I think they'll all tell you that means they're waiting to see any financial benefit to playing on this record.' Duvall has built a reputation as a songwriter with a keen ear for both melodic hook and lyric imagery. Even a casual listener will can hear the influences of Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison, and great bands like Grant Lee Buffalo and Sun Volt. The careful listener will hear a clear and authentic voice that sings the truth.
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