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Album Review

In the self-penned press release accompanying her superb second album, Terrible Hostess, Carolyn Mark self-deprecatingly dubs herself "The Other Girl in the Corn Sisters," and while it's true she's never earned the notice or acclaim justly heaped on duet partner Neko Case, it's time people started paying closer attention. Mark's songs are boozy and brassy, and her voice suggests a tough, salt-of-the-earth Natalie Merchant — moving deftly from the Red Bull-and-vodka bluegrass of the opening "Fuzzy Slippers" to the juke-joint torch balladry of "Inevitable," Terrible Hostess is both rooted in traditional country & western and a repudiation thereof, smarter and saucier than anything to come out of Nashville in eons.


Born: Sicamous, British Columbia, Canad

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Canadian alt-country singer/songwriter Carolyn Mark was born and raised in Sicamous, British Columbia, growing up on her family's dairy farm. Taught piano by her father, himself an accomplished violinist, she surfaced in 1991 as a member of the Victoria, B.C.-based all-girl rock combo the Vinaigrettes, touring Canada and the western U.S. relentlessly over the next seven years. After the group's 1998 dissolution, Mark formed the Corn Sisters, a duo with fellow insurgent country diva Neko Case. A live...
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Terrible Hostess, Carolyn Mark
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