Mark’s story is an all too common one for musicians. As a youngster he made a run at making it in the music world, spending the obligatory time in basement bars, cramped vans and cheap hotel rooms. Eventually, like so many artists do, he returned home and picked up a day job that would pay the bills and afford him the time to play shows around town at night. After 20 years of this life, it seems Mark got restless and, unlike most musicians who return home, he quit his job and moved to Nashville where he now makes a living playing his guitar. So you see, Quit Your Day Job • Play Guitar is as much mission statement as it is album title.
One of the first things you notice when you look at the track listing is that there are very few original songs on the cd. It was definitely an initial turn off for me, but that was before I understood what I was listening to. Hindsight is 20/20 and it feels obvious to type it now, but Mark Robinson is a guitar player and Quit Your Day Job • Play Guitar is a guitar album. Now I’ll be honest, normally, I’m not a fan of “guitar albums” at all, but this one may be the album that casts doubt upon that rule. I think that what makes this album appeal to me so much is twofold. First off, I fucking love the sound of a blues guitarist playing. In my opinion, the guitar was made to play the blues and anything else is basically a guitar not living up to its potential. And second, Mark lets the guitar be the star without making it hog the spotlight. I feel as though, as a writer who can’t play an instrument, I might be speaking beyond what is afforded to me, but I feel as though Mark plays with enough reservation that the album never becomes tedious, as guitar albums can get at times. Oh! One more thing, It’s a really good listen, so check it out.