Title - 'Mandala'
Artist - Mark Barnwell
If you have never heard the name Mark Barnwell, then please allow me to enlighten you. Mark's affinity with the guitar began at the tender age of 6. His early classical training resulted in a number of junior solo and group performances.
By the age of 15, Mark was playing live with his first rock band and throughout the 80s and 90s, his experiences as lead guitarist expanded considerably with regular live performances in different styles (blues, country, funk, rock and disco).
This era contained many great experiences, including playing at some great venues such as the Cornwall Collesium, and supporting many well known acts including Sam Brown, Showaddywaddy, Bucks Fizz and Marmalade.
Released August 8th, 2016, Barnwell's brand new album, entitled Mandala (out via Axe Calibre Records) is exotic, passionate, emotive and fiery.
1. 'Tierra Del Fuego' (3:46)
2. 'Surco Latino' (3:47)
3. 'Incendio' (4:48)
4. 'Moonstone' (4:49)
5. 'Sundance' (1:56)
6. 'Moroccan Skies' (5:30)
7. 'Potchka' (2:36)
8. 'Endless Rain' (4:42)
9. 'Sahara' (7:37)
10. 'Mandala' (5:14)
Listening to this album, and you can instantly tell that Barnwell's repertoire has its roots in romantic, Spanish guitar and traditional Flamenco music, often spiced with Arabic and Latin sounds.
Indeed, Barnwell brings his own dynamic compositions to the mix via Spanish guitar-based World Fusion, by interspersing glorious Percussion, Bass, Violin, Flute, Piano and even Duduk throughout.
Here on Mandala, Barnwell is joined by a host of top world-class musicians, including some of the great Nuevo Flamenco guitarists of the day. This includes the entire Incendio band with Jim Stubblefield, Liza Carbe and Jean-Pierre Durand.
But lest we forget to mention that British guitarist Al Marconi is also playing Spanish guitar and yet another top guitarist named Yannaki, is on both Turkish saz and Spanish guitar.
“The whole is greater than the sum is its parts is certainly a phrase which applies to Mandala," Barnwell himself explains. "I guess you could call it a transatlantic collaboration with people I feel are on the same musical wavelength."
"We all have different styles ... take the track 'Incendio,' for example, dedicated to Incendio the band, of course. Jim, JP and I all have our own distinct and unique styles yet, at the time of recording when I hadn’t even met any of them in person, it sounds as if we’re three band mates on stage together.”
Featuring ten memorable, and all-original instrumental compositions, Mandala is a coy showboating work of musical art for the genre, that's for sure. The Spanish and Flamenco guitar work is second to none, each track similar in ways, but moreover still able to bring their own distinctive personalities to the fore.
Indeed, a definitive, and purposeful melodic approach has been brought to each of the compositions, inclusive of delightful, playful piano work by Chris Magrath and exquisite percussion by Bryan Brock and Ramon Yslas.
FYI: Manadala went on to win an award for "Best Album of 2016" in the Acoustic Guitar category, and in September and October 2016, Mark performed in California with LA World Fusion band, Incendio.
CD Purchase Link
Mark Barnwell @ Facebook!