released 2001 Signature Sounds
Mark Erelli's debut album created a buzz. Now it's time to prepare for the roar: Compass & Companion is as good as sophomore efforts get. Erelli opens with "Ghost," a song of desperate love and longing set to rolling strums, rising emotion and swelling instrumentation that balances hard sounds (electric guitar, percussion) with softer tones (acoustic guitar, vibes). He follows with the title track, a country duet with Kelly Willis, then keeps his boots on for a bit of cowboy swing on "Why Should I Cry Over You?" Then it's back to the folk/pop/rock blender for "Miracle Man," a catchy tune featuring two electric guitars, some lap steel, keyboards and steady percussion. But Erelli is no slave to the studio mixing board; nine of the 11 tracks are completely live and there are three first takes. As he proves on "Before I Knew Your Name," he can hold a listerner's attention with a quiet song, a sharp pen and a smooth voice. Regarding the latter, Erelli has softened some of the edges for this album. Think Ellis Paul with a bit of grit. And think you will. This is an album that is likely to spend a lot of time in your CD player."
Produced by Lorne Entress
Engineered, recorded & mixed by Mark Thayer at Signature Sounds, Palmer MA
Additional recording by Lorne Entress at Busterland Studio, Max Crace at World Axis Studio and Duke Levine at The Garret
Mastered by David Glasser, Airshow Mastering Inc.
Mark Erelli - vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica
Kevin Barry - electric guitar, $15 slide guitar, the last word
Dave Dick - banjo
Lorne Entress - drums, percussion, Jaw harp, gopichand, keyboards, vocals
Bruce Katz - Hammond organ
Jim Lamond - electric & upright bass
Duke Levine - 6 & 12-string electric guitars, mandola, lap steel
Kelly Willis - vocals (2)