Blood & Treasure

by Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

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  • Digital Album
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    "A great disk, "Blood & Treasure" is an early favorite for a year- ending “Best of" column. I highly encourage multiple purchases of the record..”
    - Georgetown Fats, Boston Blues Society
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    ""Blood & Treasure"...Electrifying...Exceptional musicianship, witty songwriting, and a unique sound rooted in blues."
    - Blues Revue Magazine
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD version of Paul Mark's 7th collection on Radiation Records, Blood & Treasure.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Blood & Treasure via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

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"A positive musical encyclopedia of roots music that sounds and feels contemporary yet somehow sounds from another era...quite an album."
- Toxic Pete, U.K.
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“Ear candy worth seeking out: "Lotta Things to Say" …You have to hear the punch lines for yourself!”
- Eartaste, U.K.
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The beat goes on..."Blood & Treasure" is the highly-anticipated follow-up to Mark’s celebrated 2006 release "Trick Fiction". Barroom tested and road-weary tuff, the band weaves stellar songwriting and a smashing live band sound with blithe disregard for the tepid conformity of today’s corporate music playlists. The new release builds on Paul Mark’s word-of-mouth legacy with a live, no-holds-barred roots rock sound. This is emotional, thinking-person’s music that overlays a contemporary singer/songwriter sensibility on to the Americana legacy of blues, soul and raucous rock’n roll.

Cut in Memphis, Tennessee at legendary Ardent Studios, "Blood & Treasure" was co-produced by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell (Big Star, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Afghan Whigs, B.B. King, The Bottle Rockets). This is Mark’s seventh CD on the NYC-based indie label Radiation Records.

credits

released January 1, 2008

Produced by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell
Recorded and mixed at Ardent Studios, Memphis TN
Mixed by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell
Assistant engineer: Lucas Peterson
Mastered by Scott Hull, NYC

James Strain - Bass
Harry Peel - Drums
Rick Steff - Hammond organ, piano
Susan Marshall, Jackie Johnson - Background vocals
P.Mark - Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica, percussion

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about

Paul Mark & The Van Dorens New York, New York

Triple-threat songwriter-musician-producer Paul Mark has been turning the heads of critics and barflies for decades. With a striking lyrical edge and an encyclopedic facility with American roots music, NYC-based Paul Mark has built a top-drawer original song catalog that tugs on the ears of the literary as well as the liquidated. Mark is also principal owner of Radiation Records. ... more

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Track Name: Everything Is Nothing
(Words/music by P.Mark)

The Redwood Forest, that’s just a patch of sticks
The Taj Mahal, that's nothing but a stack of bricks
And today's headlines, sure sounds like old news
Everything is nothing after you

The Mona Lisa, she's just a schoolboy's sketch
War and Peace, that's just a scribbled-down mess
And Pavarotti at the Met?
That's just a high school revue
Everything is nothing after you

I hit the Vegas strip, I wouldn't go twice
I ran with the Wall St. Bears
That's just punks rolling dice
Been to Monte Carlo, that's just bingo and booze
Everything is nothing after you

I had tea with the queen, she's nothing but a soccer mom
I met the President, he's just a white-collar con
I sat down with the Pope, I drank with smarter dudes
back in school
Everything is nothing after you

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Don't Get Me Started
(Words/music by P. Mark)

We never talk any more
You don't return my calls
Then on the street
Your smile is much too polite
I tremble in disbelief

Don't get me started
No, don't get me started
'Cuz it just won't stop

Then when I'm out with my friends
They ask again and again
Where could she be?
Don't she know we're all here?
I wish you'd never been part of me

Now each and every day begins the same way
Raise the shade, take a breath and I'm OK
But there's a fuse down below
Just waiting for a spark
It's just waiting and I can't stand it

I go out with new friends
Try starting all over again
Then I hear your name
They say she's got another man
The rage grabs hold of my soul

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Perp Walk
(Words/music by P.Mark)

At the precinct station
Or on the courthouse steps
Public viewing, checking out the arrest
Pull that T-shirt up over your head
Cameras and questions
Make you wish you were dead

They say I'm guilty but maybe I'm not
I'll take the odds with the friends that I got
Doing the crime or just talking that talk
Perp walk

We heard your story, we think you're a liar
Gonna break your spirit
Hold your feet to the fire
You might be a sinner or you might be a saint
Whether you done it or whether you ain't

Media frenzy railroadin’ your ass
We're ready to bargain
But you better move fast
Your chin's up high now
Got your pride showing
That won't much matter
In the place you're going

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Raise The Roof
(Words/music by P.Mark)

You might refuse a helping hand
You might wave off the hand that feeds you
Just to prove that you can

Mapping out your legend far as you can see
Crossing your I's and dotting all your T's
It may look fine on paper
But how's it ever gonna happen without
Someone like me?

How you gonna raise the roof
Without stone love down below
How you gonna raise the roof
If you ain't got stone love down below

You might be true to the vision in your eye
There ain't a cage that could hold you
That could keep this bird from its flight

But when the world gets wise
And starts to break you down
Slings and arrows drag you back to the ground
Your soul is hurting
And all that's left is pride
You're gonna need someone to stand with you
Someone by your side

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Lotta Things to Say
(Words/music by P.Mark)

When I was a school boy I was a talking fool
The teacher'd snap her ruler and keep me after school
She’d say you gotta lotta things to say
You speak your mind but your mind's always running away

I grew up with ideas, I always had a line
I'd lose a job a week telling the boss what's on my mind
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

I caught a train for Boston, tried to make a few friends
They put me off in Hartford with my hat in my hand
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

Then I met a woman, she read a poem every day
I told her that I loved her in a 100 different ways
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

I held up a bank so I could buy her a ring
While talking with the teller they slapped the cuffs on me
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind But my mind's always running away

The judge said, boy now speak your peace
You're headed to the pokey when you finish your speech
I said judge, I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

I’ll shout it to the mountains…I’ll shout it to the shores
At the end of the day it's just my word against yours
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

They dragged me from the courthouse
They threw me in the can
Then I told'em all in jail I was an innocent man
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

I hunted down that woman when they finally let me out
She kissed me saying “we got so much to talk about”
See we gotta lotta things to say
Let's speak our minds while our minds are running away

I told the priest at the altar enough is enough
I'm having second thoughts ‘cuz she talks too much
See she's gotta lotta, gotta lotta things to say
She speaks her mind but her mind's always running away

I learned my lesson, learned it there and then
I'll tell anyone who'll listen that I'll never talk again
See I gotta lotta things to say
I speak my mind but my mind's always running away

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Let Them Talk
(Words/music by Sonny Thompson)
Track Name: Feed The Machine
(Words/music by P.Mark)

Up around New York City
Where people are too smart by half
A star can rise in the wink of an eye
But it can fall twice as fast

Feed the machine
Never mind what your mama told you about
hard work and dreams
You wanna shot at the big time?
You gotta join the team
You gotta get on board
And check your brain at the door
You gotta feed the machine

That promo man said I dig your band
And I can get you radio spins
I asked how many stations, in how many towns?
He said it depends on how much you can spend

That print lady swooned, she said I love your groove
Your eyes and your soul are so blue
But if you don't wear the shoes
And the shirts that we choose
There ain't a thing we can write about you

My tin-eared neighbor knocked on my door
And said my guitar playing was a crime
I asked him where does a fool
Learn to talk like he's cool?
He said I read it in The New York Times

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: I'm Still High
(Words/music by P.Mark)

Woke up this morning
And brushed my teeth with Ben Gay
Splashed down my half-shaved face with Listerine
Lost ten minutes in driveway cussing out Henry Ford
Trying to start the car with my front door key

Took out that patch of Mrs. Whatsername's roses
Dodging a devil squirrel that took me by surprise
The police kept askin',
How come your ran them red lights?
Pardon me, sir, I'm still high

Last night I laid down my head
Demons dancing round the bed
Thought by morning they would surely be gone
But in the dawn's early light, much to my surprise
The party was still raging on

Down at work I sidled up to the front desk
Told that Girl Friday that I wanted her for so long
Then I made my way down to corner office
Told the boss his comb-over was sitting all wrong

Missed my appointments one and all til low and behold
I found my watch was telling upside-down time
The voice on the phone kept yelling,
Why ain't you where you're supposed to be?
I said excuse me, I'm still high

I met the duchess for dinner and diversion
Tucked the table cloth into my pants
I said I thought that's what we're doing
When she asked me if I wanted to dance

When I stood up to relieve my condition
Straight to the pavement the entrees did fly
She started crying,
Why can't we be happy like we used to?
I said I don't know about you, but I'm still high...

Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?
‘Cuz I’m here
And I’m still high

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Wrong Pair of Shoes
(Words/music by P.Mark)

I'd waltz through a den of lions
Just to prove that my love for you is true
For you I would cross the midday desert
Swim across the salty sea blue

I'd face down the world's wildest army
And brand them a yellow pack of fools
I most certainly would, but today is no good
See I'm wearing the wrong pair of shoes

I'd slog through the swamps of Louisiana
High step through the muddy delta too
Stand tall in Macy's front window
And profess my unending love for you

I'd parade up the steps of St. Joseph's
And tell the padre he's got something to do
I'll pledge my solemn vow, but tomorrow not now
'Cuz I'm wearing the wrong pair of shoes

No mountain's beyond my ambition
Just knowing that you are at the top
No marathon's beyond my condition
My thirst for you just won't stop

I'd give you everything and tomorrow
But I fear a fashion faux pas
We'll walk like lovers do
But today it's no can do
I'm wearing the wrong pair of shoes

Forever you’ll be mine, can we do it another time?
I’m wearing the wrong pair of shoes

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Extraordinary Measures
(Words/music by P.Mark)

I'll paint you a picture
Of a land far away
Never been there myself
But who's checking these days?
Got no knack for color or line but when
It's finished they'll all say
He's done it again

Extraordinary times mean extraordinary measures
Morning coffee is stirred with blood and treasure
We'll claim to see diamonds in a handful of dirt
And keep the light from all our dreams

I'll sing you a song
About a tribal rainmaker
Don't know anyone like that
But I do read the papers
When the chorus comes round
We'll all sing out as one
And though clouds are a mystery
You'll see how it's done

I'll write you a story
About a fine little war
Though I never marched in battle
Or fired a gun before
And when victory's behind us
And the doubters proved wrong
We'll explain to our children
How we were right all along

I'll build you a castle
Of words and ideas
That only the righteous and the lonely can hear
We'll leave our doors wide open
For those without ears
For without the faithless we sure wouldn't be here

© Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
Track Name: Ruff House
(Music by P.Mark)