Tales is Mark Westin’s 4th full-length album. The ten songs on the record are culled from an intensive two-year period of writing. Mark wrote close to 50 songs, and narrowed down to the ones I felt would fit together thematically.
Listen in here: https://open.spotify.com/album/0yXpxX59KGFsKHyHW9z2sP
The unifying thread is that all the songs on Tales are character-driven narratives. Think of this album like a book of short stories. You can start at the beginning and go through to the end, or you can dip in and choose one that appeals to you at the moment, then put it down and return later for another.
Tales was recorded at The Building in Marlboro, New York. After the isolation of Covid, which had required MArk to record by himself at home with collaborators uploading their tracks, “I really wanted to get back into a room with other musicians and make an old-school record,” he shares.
His band for Tales was The Restless Age: Will Bryant, Lee Falco, and Brandon Morrison. They’re terrific players who have performed with Donald Fagen, Marshall Crenshaw, Joan Osborne, The Lemonheads, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Amy Helm and many others.
“I wanted the album to feel fresh and immediate, so I gave the band only basic sketches of the songs in advance and told them to go with their first instincts in the moment. We all played together live, and none of the songs took more than three takes to nail down.”
In two days they recorded all ten songs. A fiddle part by Daisycutter’s Sara Milonovich and a bodhran from Scott MX Turner were overdubbed, along with a couple of guitar parts and some backing vocals, but most of what you hear on this album is the first or second time they had ever played the song.
Tales is available on all streaming services and on Bandcamp as a vinyl album, CD or high quality digital download.