Shimmer

by Mark Mckay

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about

Literate and understated, subtle and charged, roots-rocker McKay makes music fitting alongside Steve Earle and Springsteen; an alt-country force. -- Nate Schweber, Village Voice

Lyrically, McKay trusts his instincts and ventures into the abstract; the smaller moments are microcosms. -- Nick Zaino III, Paste Magazine

The power-pop melancholy of Matthew Sweet, the throttle of Uncle Tupelo, the tattered insight of Townes Van Zandt. -- Randy Harward, Harp Magazine

Mark McKay has earned a reputation for writing rugged and beautiful songs in the tradition of rootsy rock’n roll; his work is often compared to that of Alejandro Escovedo, Cracker’s David Lowry, and a Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen.

On Shimmer (produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel), the songs are philosophical, romantic, and at times political.

Shimmer was released September 14, 2004.

Shimmer is an album that sounds big and true; electric guitars churn and moan over a driving rhythm section while individual songs are colored by organ, piano, cello, trumpet, and other instruments from Ambel’s Cowboy Technical Services recording studio in Brooklyn.

Live from the Memory Hotel (Dren 2003) captures the intimacy and energy of Mark’s acoustic and electric performances from several shows in 2002 with special guests Kris Delmhorst and the band June Star. Renowned Brooklyn artist Steve Keene contributed original art for this album which was mastered by Scott Hull at the Hit Factory in NYC.

Mark recorded his critically acclaimed debut album, Nothing Personal (Dren 2001) in Boston with producer Ducky Carlisle.

Mark’s version of "Fatal Wound" appears on For Anyone That’s Listening, A Tribute to Uncle Tupelo (Flat Earth 2003). His interpretation of "I Know You Rider" appears on Ain’t No Grave (Dren 2003), a compilation of traditional music. His rendition of "Who'll Stop the Rain" is the lead track on Chooglin': A Tribute to the Songs of John Fogerty (Dren 2002) and his solo version of "St. Matthew" appears on Papa Nez: A Tribute to the Work of Michael Nesmith (Dren 2001),

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released September 14, 2004

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Track Name: Rain
There's a hard rain drivin' at sundown
the taxicabs and the street people and you walk down
down through the maze of the crazy avenues
downtown and she's already used you

Most nights she's a friend of mine
we ride around and waste our time
and i steal her face from the dark side of town

And we dance

It's three o clock and you gotta wonder how
so many people could possibly be dreaming this too shall pass
but you don't dream and you don't think
and lately you don't sleep
but your eyes are dry and your house is warm and still you wonder

And you dance

When the lights go down on this town I'm free

You say I'm your overpass
I'm like the traffic gliding through your night
but when the cars are gone will you hear the rain
drizzlin' down on your heart of glass

Will you dance?
Track Name: Sweet Temptation
In the year I was born they put a man on the moon
and they showed it on TV
now I'm thirty something but that ain't nothin'
in this penitentiary
did you every think a couple of years could make your dreams disappear
in a time when every hero just wants to get paid

It's a sweet temptation
It's a sweet temptation in your eyes
but someday is the day, the day after never
It's a sweet temptation

I walked into the midnight of that god-forsaken town
I did my crime
I imaging the same moon is hangin' up there at night while I did my time
Track Name: Nashville
She took her ring off slowly and she put it on a shelf
I will not be a breaker anymore
and the house is kind of messy
but it doesn't matter none
her hands hold tightly to the summer dress she always wore

it's a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way I came
a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way I came

I always wished the way everybody does
that I could see more clearly at the end of the day
and it's a bust the way it happens this way
it's over now and i can see the winner coming on

it's a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way i came
a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way I came

and carolina calls and the phone is on the floor
when carolina calls and the phone is on the floor
when carolina calls and the phone is on the floor
I can see that you don't need this anymore

well she took her dress off slowly and she put it on a shelf
I will not be a breaker anymore
and her hair was kind of messy
but that didn't matter none
her hands hold tightly to the ring she swore she never wore

it's a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way I came
a million miles to nashville
driving back to you the way I came.
Track Name: Stay Around
Keep your head up baby the end is coming round
keep your memories in the front babe don't let go of what you found
and think of all the people who changed on their way down
you had a bad connection
stay around

Only yesterday you told me - a box of pictures in your hand
and as I came across to hold you I began to understand
we looked out across the streets and out across the sky
and it all seemed so unreal
stay around

I don't want an imitation, I don't want to save my time
You don't need an invitation, you don't need a magic sign
the only kind of story that ever needs to be told
is in the message of our love
stay around.
Track Name: Full Moon Eyes
With a head full of teenage oxygen
and a pocket full of cash
you ain't the first one to fall into his eyes
baby you just might be the last
and he pulls you into a dead end street
with the full moon in his eyes
strapped down hard in the backseat baby
almost hypnotized

and the americans are home tonight
the TV tells the story tonight
I could be your anything tonight

There's a broken fan in the window
and his work clothes are out on the floor
you can imagine the look in his eyes
as our shadows cross out on the floor
and he stares at my right to self-defense
with the full moon in his eyes
strapped down hard in the bedsheets baby
almost hypnotized

and the americans are home tonight
the TV tells the story tonight
I could be your anything tonight

And it's one shot heard through the sycamore trees
one shot heard in the night
nobody needs to fret about me
I know about whats wrong and whats right
so deliver me to my injection now
with the full moon in your eyes
strapped down hard by the whore of justice
almost hypnotized.
Track Name: Ready for the Show
You got to know
i'm always ready for the show
and if you and I are to ever really know
then it's sorry once again
there's something rotten in the end
and my dogs are howling
should you ever need to know

I'm always ready for the show

one more night like this
you know the danger in a simple kiss

I'm always ready for the show.

one more night like this
you know the danger in a simple kiss

I never guessed
you needed something off your chest
but who am i to gamble when the lights are low
and it's sorry once again
there's something rotten in the end
and my dogs are howling
should you ever need to know
I'm always ready for the show.
Track Name: Together Once Again
Letting go
I saw your brother letting go
as he leaned back to ride
to the other side
and it burned my eyes
to watch the losing and the winning
and the distance he was chasing as he lost control

you are together once again
you are together
you are together once again
you are together

I'm coming home
your daddy's coming home
with a broken box of songs for each of you
come along
let's wander out together
through the endless fields of dancing leaves
that lie to fly alone

you are together once again
you are together
you are together once again
you are together

ain't it so good to know
those ghosts are gone forever
for now
at least for now
and when you close your eyes
do you see us there together
dancing through the longest night
dancing through the longest
dancing through the longest
dancing through the longest night
dancing through the longest
dancing through the longest
dancing through the longest night

you are together once again.
Track Name: Mercedes
I drive a Mercedes Benz to impress my friends I work a twelve hour day and I'm proud to say that my life is good cause i do what I should to please my family and keep them happy and try to act snappy when I'm feeling crappy love my wife for the rest of my life take care of my boys till they got their own shiny fine big red toys to drive around in and at work I got people who work for me and I treat them all so respectfully cause I know if I was working for them I'd expect the same and on Sunday morning I go to church to thank the good lord for being so kind to give me what I got I thank him a lot and I know he hears me cause my Bible tells me so.
Track Name: No Way To Go
Crankin' up the Marshall
paryting alone
calling in for more
on the telephone
riding in the backseat
sleeping in your car
calling in for more from the back of the bar

and it's no way to go

I was talking to you
like only yesterday
it always seemed to me
like you were doing ok
riding in the backseat
sleeping in your car
calling in for more
from the back of the bar

and it's no way to go