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Respected Comments & Critiques


Aces of Trades: Even at 60, Licking County's 'blues dude' has plenty of music left

His email moniker says it all – blues dude. He’s Mark May, a homegrown “dude” who plays the blues around the country.
“I do it because I love it,” he said, “and I love how music touches the heart and soul. Nothing makes me happier than someone coming up and saying they played my music at their party, or that one of songs helped them through a hard time in life.”


Mark May Confronts His Demonic Side

If there was any single event in recent history that has given the people of Houston the most of collective case of the blues, it would have to be Hurricane Harvey. And while it’s been almost three years since that most unwelcome guest arrived at the city’s proverbial doorstep, it’s still very much on the mind of Houston-based blues rocker Mark May.


May – Deep Dark Demon (Gulf Coast Records)

Texas-based blues-rocker Mark May delivers a tasteful, mixed bag of azure treasures in a follow-up to Blues Heaven, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard album charts. The guitar slinger’s in top form, mixing up fiery grunge, soulful ballads, blues shuffles and Latin-tinged pleasers that will surprise you at each turn.
The former vocalist/guitarist for both Dicky Betts and Great Southern, Mark penned all 11 cuts, and demonstrates why he’s one of the favorite performers on the Lone Star State bar circuit. The lineup includes Shawn Allen (Keeshea Pratt Band) and a guest appearance from label owner Mike Zito, who contributes lead guitar for one cut.
“Harvey’s Dirty Side” provides a balls-to-the-wall attack to open before the shuffle “BBQ and Blues” lays down a steady groove. You’ll also enjoy “Rolling Me Down,” “My Last Ride,” “For Your Love,” “Something Good” and “Invisible Man.”

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Mark May Band-Deep Dark Demon

An extremely gifted guitarist, outstanding vocalist, and upper tier songwriter, Mark May is indeed a genuine triple threat as an artist. He is another one of those people who seems incapable of making a bad recording. “Deep Dark Demon” is a complete production: great Texas flavored blues and pop/rock songs from beginning to end, lots of tasty guitar licks supported by extremely skilled musicians, polished and consistently good vocals, and world class sound engineering. There are nothing but positives to report about this recording.


Review: ‘Deep Dark Demon’ by Mark May Band

Ohio-born Mark May, a singer-songwriter, guitarist and former alumni of Dickey Betts Great Southern Band, releases his seventh album, Deep Dark Demon, July 17th on Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records. May has made a name for himself in the Texas Blues scene, having been playing guitar since he was five years old. As an adult he honed his craft in biker bars and blues joints throughout Houston, before a demo-tape led to his 1995 debut ‘Call On the Blues’. May cites Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix as major influences and you can’t ask for more incendiary inspiration that that.


Mark May Band – Deep Dark Demon | Album Review

There is plenty to enjoy here. May and the band know how to keep things interesting, offering a heady brew mixing blues and rock in equal measures for more than an hour. With performances several notches above the usual standard for releases in this vein, Mark May and Gulf Coast Records are off to a fine start in their new partnership.

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