Mark Croft,
Sympathetic Groove
(Mere Poet, 2006)

His voice is great. From the first note of this Sympathetic Groove, it's easy to listen and spin along with Mark Croft. His guitar is strong, the sounds acoustic, and then the rest of the music vamps in and turns the performance up a notch into a modern-day folk beat.

The first cut, "Strangely Enough," reminded me of a hip Mamas & the Papas sound, while the next track, "Don't Speak," is a real funky song, but Croft's solid voice keeps the edginess at bay and maintains a good level of folk comfort. This is a good thing. The song ends with a startling abruptness, though.

With "Just the Same" Croft displays both his slow range and his voice, though a modern moan brings back a time of open-air acoustics and concerts where the voice supports the song more than the music would. This is the type of music where live performance beats radio hands down.

"She's a Landslide (and I'm at the top of the hill)" is the best cut. I just loved the beat, a quick, hard rhythm and a singing guitar. The next track is a bit closer to country and done well. Consistent thoroughout the CD is a blend of guitar and voice that carries each song. I'm not convinced that the accompaniment on some tracks was actually needed.

All songs were written by Croft. Smooth lyrics for a young performer. It's easy to see why he's won many awards, and I think his guitar playing is fabulous. "Salvation Train" is my next favourite and it showcases a guitar lowdown with lyrics that, once again, don't struggle to be heard and don't out perform the singer. You could call this cut "Guitar Heaven."

He's modern, one-of-a-kind, Mark Croft. Perhaps we could call his music heavy folk; find more about him at

by Virginia MacIsaac
11 November 2006

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