The Observer published an article earlier this year looking at the growing popularity of country music in the UK, arguing that the music genre had finally shaken off the cringeworthy shackles of Billy Ray Cyrus’s ‘Achey Breaky Heart’ to be taken seriously again. It seems that country is cool again, with pop acts such as Niall Horan and Adele working alongside country artists to release music with a mainstream appear. Never has the UK market been more accepting of country musicians with a Nashville inspired-sound and a story to tell.
Mark Shepherd’s Americana-adjacent EP ‘The Grand Scheme of Things’ is a welcome addition to the booming scene and offers listeners two paths of aural experience with both acoustic and electric versions of each track. Shepherd is a veteran of the live circuit on both sides of the Atlantic, well known in venues across the UK as well as in New York City and Texas, and this really shows in his music. As soon as Mark begins singing, you are instantly transported you to a dive bar on Austin’s Dirty Sixth Street with a cold bottle of miller in hand.
His tracks display an impressive aptitude for storytelling, akin to artists such as Mark Knopfler, with the same lucid truths that drew people to country music in the first place. Mark Shepherd, like country musicians before him, isn’t afraid to examine the dark corners of the human experience. Coupled with his melodic guitar and a voice that could only be described as stirring, ‘The Grand Scheme of Things’ certainly makes for contemplative listening.
Check him out on the links below!