|Mark Insley is one of
the mainstays of
the local country/roots music scene. His style
spans the full gamut from bluegrass to rock.
His version of "Six Days On the Road"
sounds like Ray Price backed by
the Sex Pistols.
This is an old page that I did in 1997. Mark also had a page on
the rusticrecords.com site, which no longer exists, but
archive copies can be found at Internet Archive.
A Look Back: April 24, 1997 at the Troubadour
The set list:
- Don't Act So Surprised
- Fast Train to Nowhere
- Day of the Dead
- Paper Thin Disguise
- What A Shame
- Lay Your Burden Down
- Six Feet Under
- The Devil's Knocking
- encore: Six Days On the Road
Mark Insley is a straight-ahead country performer in the tradition of Buck and Dwight. No lasers and smoke machines here, just damn good music, just like back in the days when you couldn't use a fancy video to sell a crappy song.
As befits his eclectic nature, Mark's band for this show included ex-X guitarmeister Tony Gilkyson and members of the blues band Mojo Monkeys (Billy Watts on Telecaster and steel guitar, David Raven on drums).
Gilkyson's playing was surprisingly tasteful. We had heard reports that he was blowing away the rest of the band in rehearsals. Maybe they got him to turn it down a notch.
Highlights of the set included Mark's moving ballad "Paper-Thin Disguise" (deserves to be a standard) and a tejano-like "Day of the Dead." Co-writer Eddie Cunningham shared vocals on "Lay Your Burden Down."
Cunningham and Insley
Things slipped into higher gear with a powerful "Six Feet Under" which featured sizzling fuzz-slide solos and fills by Watts. This guy could have subbed for Mick Taylor in the Stones.
An equally-energetic "The Devil's Knocking" impressed the crowd enough to beg for an encore, to which the band responded with the aforementioned "Six Days On the Road."
Also appearing on this bill: Muffin (billed as "Jimmy Muffin"), Erin McCaffrey, Krista & Tommy Holdenhill and Aynee Osborn.
GIF of flyer for this show
Click on this image to see full-size CD cover art for Mark's Country-Town release, Good Country Junk.
12/98 News Article
The Star (Ventura, CA) published a nice ARTICLE ABOUT MARK INSLEY in their 12/18/98 edition, written by Elena Jarvis. Thanks to the Star Free Press for permission to post the article here.
|Click on this image to see Mark's official P.R. photo, courtesy of Country-Town Records.
(580x692 pixels, 100kb)
Another photo appears on a page devoted to the
Neil Young tribute show 7-26-97
Official Bio (1997)
Don't let Mark Insley's boyish looks or "aw shucks" charm fool you, underneath that matinee mug and small-town humility lies a guy who's been down a road or two.
Born on the windblown plains of northeast Kansas and raised in the Texas panhandle, Mark grew up in the rough and tumble world of oil field roustabouts and long-haul truckers. After dropping out of Kansas State University and spending five years working the oil fields of West Texas, Mark headed west, living for a few years in a teepee in northern New Mexico and a cabin in Arizona, while playing music as a hobby. When he finally hit the West Coast, he began sitting in with friends, old and new.
Mark got a break opening a few shows for Joe Ely, while falling into the close-knit Southern California songwriter circuit at places like the Palomino Barndance , Western Beat and other legendary locales. It was during this time that he met international stars Albert Lee, Rosie Flores and Greg Leisz. At one of these songwriter jams Mark performed in front of budding label maker Brent Haesler, who immediately signed him up to his just begun Country-Town Music label.
Through more than a year of stars and stops, GOOD COUNTRY JUNK, Mark's debut album is well worth the wait. Produced by Dwight Yoakam band's Taras Prodaniuk, GOOD COUNTRY JUNK features many of the roots-rock and hardcore hillbilly players that have defined the "new country" movement in L.A. for the past ten years, including Dwight producer/guitarist Pete Anderson, keyboard king Skip Edwards, fiddler and supporting vocalist Scott Joss, and of course Prodaniuk on bass. Also featured are multi-instrumentalist monster Leisz (Funky Kings, Dave Alvin, k.d. lang), guitar god Lee (Emmylee Harris, Eric Clapton, Everly Brothers) and longtime Emmylou fan Jann Brown, who duets Butch Hancock's beauty "Just A Wave."
From its Tex-Mex meets Bakersfiled opener "The Devil's Knocking" and the border radio boppin' "Day of the Dead" to he Steve Earle-ish album closer "Leavenworth," GOOD COUNTRY JUNK will give you an idea why Pete Anderson thinks Mark is "reminiscent of an early Gram Parsons and a songwriter for the coming generation." Hopefully, with a few rough roads behind him, GOOD COUNTRY JUNK will find Mark Insley on another road, a little less rocky, which should make him one of the brightest finds in American music in 1997.
Another Mark Insley
Fans of singer/songwriter Mark Insley may be amused to learn that there is more than one Mark Insley. An Internet search turns up a page for Mark W. Insley: Technical Staff Member at a company called FirmWorks.
Established: April 26, 1997 Last updated: February 22, 2023
© 1997-2023 Earl P. Reinhalter. All Rights Reserved.