Mark Lucas & The Dead Setters – Sideshow Alley


The fourth album from singer-songwriter Mark Lucas since fronting seminal alt country outfit, The Parwills in the mod ’90’s, is a spirited mix of new material recorded with regular band, Dead Setters and a number of musical friends, including James Gillard (The Flood), Michel Rose (Feral Swing Cats), Mark Oats (The Bushwackers).

CD REVIEW-by Chris Spencer

Other reviewers of this album have described Mark Lucas’ music as Western Swing.
While there are elements of this genre, particularly in the use of the instrumentation, mandolin and fiddle, I would argue the album is more similar to that of a singer songwriter, with most of the songs being ballads, occasionally embellished with mandolin.
Certainly there are tracks that swing, such as the leading track, “In the Pines”, “Seven Days” and “Tearin’ This Old House Down”.
After several listens to the album, I think it has more in common with contemporary country than swing.
On “Amor es Perdido”, Lucas sings most of the lyrics in Spanish and the song has a Latin rhythm that helps add variety to the album.
“Rosie” is a gentle ballad; “Bootheels of Desire” is an upbeat country romp; “Jukebox Jury” has references to country singers, while I found the toe-tapping “Wind River” and “The Ring” to be the strongest tracks.
Guests include Michel Rose on pedal steel and dobro; James Gillard on bass and Mark Marriot on drums – musicians usually associated with country music.
The Setters include Glenn Skarratt on guitar and mandolin and John Lee on fiddle.
With the exception of  “In the Pines”, Lucas has written all the remaining 14 tracks.
He is able to write in different styles, his arrangements are spot on and the musicianship solid.
On songs such as “Seven Days” and “Sisters of Mercy” the band uses elements of bluegrass – harmony vocals and mandolin – although not as hasty as on most bluegrass tunes.
If you’re interested in a cruisy, not too challenging listen, you might well seek out this CD.

7 in stock

SKU: TN664-70 Category:

Additional information

Weight .100 kg
Dimensions 14 × 12.5 × 1 cm