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Half Smiles Blue Skies

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Customer Reviews

Give this man a big recording contract!!

While veteran Baltimore area songwriter, performer and recording artist Howard Markman has headlined local acts and toured as part of successful national efforts such as Disappear Fear, this is his first major solo project. "Half Smiles Blue Skies" delivers in spades what Markman does so very well: catchy melodies, tasty guitar work, and profoundly clever and thoughtful lyrics. The inevitable comparisons with better known perfomers bring the listener a good dose of John Hiatt at his best ( although this material is better than Hiatt's most recent), some of the sound of T-Bone Burnett, and a touch of Mark Knopfler's lead guitar work. Comparison's don't do justice to the quality of the songs, however, which range in sound from folky and sad (Anna, I see the Rain) to full-on rockers ( Baltimore to Bethlehem, Sashimi To Go) and poignant, winsome tunes such as "Almost Home", perhaps the most accessible track on the disc. The lyrics are incredibly clever, steeped in a humor and maturity that is an all-too-rare find in the modern era of manufactured pop hits. This listener's thought after a couple of listens through "Half Smiles Blue Skies" on the way to work was "Give this man a big recording contract!!"

He's no Jonas Brother

Remember when music made you think? Remember when it didn't require a music video to SEE the story? Just when you thought those days were gone you find Howard Markman. I think of Warren Zevon or Randy Neuman when I listen. The songs are smart. They paint pictures. I'm pretty sure those are different pictures for all of us. Don't you miss those days? This CD is a real gem buried under a ton of ITUNES songs. You'll be thrilled - it's well worth digging up. Baltimore Mag. named one of his tunes "Best of Baltimore" Hey they've always been right about pizza - Who knew they knew music as well? I didn't even touch the tight, hot musicians. Howard can PLAY and he's got a group that doesn't disappoint behind him. This is one of those "I didn't know they still made records like this" records. Except that it's not a record, or cd. It's a download - but you get the point. BUY IT

I Especially love Carla Bley

I've never done drugs, but after listeming to Carla Bley, I feel as if I can understand the experience. It sounds like a Neil Young 45 played at 33rpm with the speakers placed in a tub of water, and then placing a Neuman U87 mic at the end of a long hallway that adjoins the bathroom and piping that through two Marshall stacks at full volume, while the listener who is high on a combination of acid, speed and alchohol and wearing a tie-dye t-shirt with a leather fringed coat is slo-mo Deadhead dancing while watching a Joshua light show performance. I really like this song. Good work Howard.

Half Smiles Blue Skies, Howard Markman
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Oct 30, 2005

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