Smartest Man In the Room

by Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

/
  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

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

    ----
    "A singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire…A house of blues for a thousand corpses…a witch’s brew…gritty, sparse, terse and honest, but with levity and hope to spare."
    - Jim Kanavy, American Blues News
    ----
    "Mark's a Dickensian conglomerate of honked-off preacher, university professor turned spooky drunkard…Infectious as a virus..Shake it ‘til you fall down."
    - Mark S. Tucker, FAME (Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange)
    ----
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

    You own this

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The CD version of Smartest Man in the Room includes two(2) additional tracks that do NOT appear on the vinyl album version. These tracks are "40 Ft. of Rope" and "Road Hawg". These tracks don't appear on the vinyl LP because you can't fit as much music on an album as on a CD.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Smartest Man In the Room via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $14 USD or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    The vinyl album version of Smartest Man in the Room excludes two(2) tracks that appear on the CD version. These tracks are "40 Ft. of Rope" and "Road Hawg". These tracks don't appear on the vinyl LP because you can't fit as much music on an album as on a CD.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Smartest Man In the Room via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      $15 USD or more 

    You own this  

     

1.
(Words/music by P.Mark) When I was young my momma made me vow To hitch a ride with the fast-talking crowd So I scratched a few backs and I licked a few boots Now they're calling me the smartest man in the room The traffic stops when I walk down the street I'm in the headlines whenever I sneeze I got more opinions than a clown's got balloons The world stops to hear the smartest man in the room I got cuff links, I got ties Monogrammed shirts and humble smile My past is cloudy but my future is clear I'm talking ‘bout love but I'm dealing in fear I got ears at every table in town I'm riding high while the world's sinking down The men step back but the women all swoon When in walks the smartest man in the room The DA watches me like a hawk What I call work he calls breaking the law But I've never do time 'cuz my lawyer's too shrewd Iron bars can’t hold the smartest man in the room And when I die the masses will morn Another like him will never be born They'll lay me to rest in a deluxe mausoleum tomb Inscribed, "Here lies the smartest man in the room" © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
2.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Only time will tell who is right or wrong Only time will tell the truth Only fools would say they are never wrong Only time will tell the truth Down the road We'll look back and see The truth was simple as A-B-C Only time will tell what's been torn apart Only time will tell the truth Only time can heal a wounded heart Only time will tell the truth © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
3.
(Words/music by P.Mark) All earthly prayers will be answered In the order they're received The devil's waiting room’s no different He's just got better magazines The lord will sanctify your queries Take a number, get in line There'll be power, there'll be glory When god finds the time Behold… His mighty hand changing channels Clicking right through your vale of tears Famine, floods and corruption The universe is so last year Spare us your woes, he's an idea man Not so great on follow through He'll see you when he sees you When god finds the time Save the date for your salvation The lord stands tall for those who stand alone I hear he's flying in next week for the Derby But then he's back to his silent throne Don't blame me, you put him up there Beyond all reason and rhyme A million mysteries makes you wonder When god find's the time Just drop your head shot at the front desk If something comes up we'll call We gotcha penciled in for Sunday But I wouldn't book the hall Between appointments he'll move mountains Change Perrier into wine Expect the worst - you'll be rewarded When god find's the time Expect the worst - you'll be rewarded When god find's the time © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
4.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Well I fell behind on payments Now the bank's closing in Gonna drop her on the market Head on down the road again One more coat of paint One more coat of paint Slap it down, wipe it up One should be enough One more coat of paint She's a handy-man special Needs some tender loving care You'll find her beams are solid, Jack When you strip her bare One more coat of paint... I should've kept up with the upkeep Too much rain and abuse Now her pipes are rattling in the walls All her screws are riding loose One more coat of paint... It won't be hard to leave her My memories are mixed There ain't a crack big enough A can of paint won't fix One more coat of paint... So Jack make me an offer No doubt she's priced for speed If walls could talk You'd find out how much work she really needs. One more coat of paint... © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
5.
(Music by P.Mark)
6.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Sold off my possessions Sold off everything I own Got a one-way ticket To a place nobody knows There's just one thing, you must do Honey u must come 2 Broke off all connections Broke of all the binds that tie One too many deceptions Gonna leave all that behind But there's just one thing, babe, you must do U must come 2 It's a town without reason, so mister I'm leaving Too much talk, not enough breathing Down the avenue somewhere There's a corner only two can share And no one… Left the keys on the table Left my so-called friends behind Tell the bank to sue me Where I'm headed, those fools'll never find There's just one thing you must do U must come 2 One day when it's over One day when it's all been washed away They'll be writing books about it How the smart ones walked away And there's just one thing, babe you must do U must come 2 © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
7.
03:36
(Music by P.Mark)
8.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Your knowing eyes Say we loved long ago We must've been an item But I really don't know See I can't remember nothing But I'm getting wiser everyday You whisper low “Let's relight the flame” I'd love to reminisce But I can't recall your name See I can't remember nothing But I'm getting wiser every day The streets we walked The tales you tell It sounds so lovely But it just don't ring a bell Through the years my heart was always true Just can't recall to what or who Memories are funny Blame the years, blame the wine Say, who's heart got broken? Was it yours or was it mine? I just can't remember nothing But I'm getting wiser everyday So tonight we'll slip away To an old time and place For you a reunion Bit for me it's a blind date I can't remember nothing But I'm getting wiser everyday © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
9.
(Words/music by Bob Dylan)
10.
03:33
(Music by P.Mark)
11.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Whistling Dixie past the bone yard 40 feet of rope in my hand 911 off the hook in your head How many bells can you stand? Sing a song of 6 cents Cover up your eyes 4 and 20 magpies Baking up a lie You know the world's been wrong before Engine's out the window Look out below That gasket looked like a winner But now it's leaking sorta slow 15 lilies on a dead man's chest 40 feet of rope in a tree 76 trombones through the eye of a needle Blowing Nearer My God to Thee A hanging judge reads a 12-step sentence To a jury of 8 and 4 It takes 88 keys to unchain my heart Since daddy lost the store But the world's been wrong before 4 score and 20 grifters Backslapping on the senate floor 40 feet of rope daisy-chains their hands To a safe behind the door 25 plaid-blue jumpers Double-Dutching by the Central Park Zoo Singing 2-4-6 we're all god's tricks Until he calls in the loan But the world's been wrong before © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
12.
(Words/music by P.Mark) Stepping out of the sewage All evil and scales A thing from old time religion Lurking low 'neath the window sill The creature walks among us And the creature is me Chaos and destruction Make-believing to be your friend All gods have fled the foxholes It's every soul for hisself The creature walks among us And the creature is me News flash across the county Grandma died when she heard Grab hold of anything that's precious Raise it high above your head The creature walks among us Dark water on the rise The creature is you and me You and me © Last Warning Music. All Rights Reserved.
13.
03:09
(Music by P.Mark)

about

-------
"Hard-nosed blues power from one of the genre's most acute observers, [Smartest Man in the Room] is dripping with urban attitude...Uncompromising. In every sense of the word."
- Mark Uricheck, Living Blues Magazine
-------
"Literally bristles with raw energy... Mark’s gravelly vocals and reverberating guitar power every track... Impressive stuff indeed!"
- Mick Rainsford, Blues in Britain
-------
"Educated, insightful, engaged and enraged, Mark turns up the heat… [Smatest Man in the Room is] a bluesy, relentless, organ-drenched blitzkrieg.”
- Deep Roots, #21 on the 2012 Elite Half Hundred
-------
Flipping off the board room from the roots rock mountain top, Paul Mark’s ninth CD, Smartest Man in the Room, is like no other blues rock release you’ve heard. Cut in New Orleans and Memphis with his raucous collaborators, the Van Dorens, this is the one that makes good on all the iconoclastic promise of Mark’s previous CDs. The vocals roar, the guitars claw at the earth, the band swaggers through the swamp, and the warehouse ambience grabs both aficionados and new-comers by the neck for a soul-throttling ride. Try to recall when a new blues release – great song after great song – left you asking “Who is that?”

Smartest Man includes a triumvirate of virtuoso guitar instrumentals that again reveal Mark's deep understanding of Americana roots guitar and how far the genre can be pushed to the edge. Barrio Stroll, Wrist Rocket and Choke Hold are the kind of powerhouse instros revered by players who recall the days when it was possible to discover that the B side was infinitely better than the trash pop A side of a 45 single.

Nose-thumb the celebrity-driven audio and talent-show TV drivel. Stomp on the 1% rogues gallery. Strap in and listen to this witty/gritty stink bomb of a record. And decide yourself. Play it loud. Helmets recommended.

Note: The CD version of Smartest Man in the Room includes two(2) additional tracks that do NOT appear on the vinyl album version. These tracks are "40 Ft. of Rope" and "Road Hawg". These tracks don't appear on the vinyl LP because you can't fit as much music on an album as on a CD.

credits

released January 1, 2020

Produced and mixed by Paul Mark and Jeff Powell
Recorded at The Music Shed, New Orleans LA and Ardent Studios, Memphis TN
Additional recording at humongous too studio, Memphis TN
and Radiation Records, NYC
Assistant engineer: Lucas Peterson
Mastered by Scott Hull, Masterdisk, NYC

James Strain - Bass
Dan Schnapp - Piano, Hammond organ
Paul Vezelis - Drums
Al Gamble- Hammond organ
Harry Peel - Drums
P.Mark - Vocals, piano, guitar, percussion

license

all rights reserved

tags

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 principal owner of Radiation Records. ... more

contact / help

Contact Paul Mark & The Van Dorens

Streaming and
Download help

Report this album or account