Mark May Band at R&R Sportsbar ~ By Abby Owen

Posted on 1/09/2010 by Abby Owen

It was Saturday night at R&R Sportsbar in Friendswood Texas, in the powerful heat of August, when the 'Mark May Band' started up the familiar and much loved tune of Santana's 'Oye Como Va'. Recognizable? Yes. A favorite? Absolutely! The thing is these guys take it to a whole other level.

If the regulars and the odd stragglers thought it was going to be just another band, business as usual, they soon find themselves frozen in their seats or gravitating zombie-like down to the floor in front of the stage, eyeing the electrifying guitar licks by both Mark May and Paul Ramirez. Soon every young dude in the place is forgetting the pool game, dart board, chit-chat with girlfriend, and rocking out to Mark's own particular style of Blues/Rock, with his powerful vocals backed by unbelievably talented band mates that are all extremely accomplished musicians, each in his own right. It would take too many words to recite for you here how many big name acts these guys have been involved with, toured and played with, but if you are interested, they have bios on their web-site at '' and I will touch on that more in my upcoming interview with Mark next month.

You might be tempted to be blown away by Paul’s guitar leads on Oye Como Va, but look again at the smokin' base lines of Dan Cooper who easily matches the lead guitar in complexity and execution of that funky stuff the song absolutely couldn't live without. Clyde Dempsey on drums is flawless, technically right-on with every lick, utilizing the entire drum kit like the pro that he is. These guys pull out all the stops. There's something for everybody.

If their well-crafted and rousing renditions of the classics like Crosby Stills Nash & Young's 'Ohio' aren't enough to thoroughly please and have all heads bobbing in time, Mark throws in songs from all three albums recorded so far which include his first album ‘Call On The Blues’, followed by ‘Telephone Road’ and ‘Dollmaker’.

Mark's originals flow as effortlessly into the mix reminding one of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana and some of the older blues greats who found just the right bluesy tune to carry a simple message, a message of good ol' down home blues, and Mark is better at it than he has ever been given credit for. He has been referred to as the 'best original blues artist you've never heard of' by industry insiders, but he is going to be heard of much more in the coming months, as he has just released his fourth album which is a collection of live performances of Marks’ hand-picked favorites, and the cd spotlights the current band members, Dan Cooper (bass), Paul Ramirez (guitar) and Clyde Dempsey (drums), in addition to former guitarists including Kirk McKim (Pat Travers Band), Kenny Cordray, and Matt Johnson.

There are lots of exiting things in the works for the future including a much anticipated fifth album of more original Mark May blues. It can't happen soon enough for all the Mark May fans that have been waiting and wanting more from one of the most talented original blues artists of Houston, in the great state of Texas, USA.

Check or for upcoming shows, and for all samples from his first three albums.

Be looking for a full interview with Mark May for my February 13th posting.

Copyright © 2010 Abby Owen. All Rights Reserved.

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