Written By:


article by: Michael Canter

05 September 2011

CD Review - Americana: The Journey Of Life by Mark Alan Stansberry with Family & Friends

“Mr. Stansberry and family serve a musical meal that is filling in every sense of the word. Soft and elegantly played instruments, deep and well thought out lyrics, a sense of pride that lulls you into the depths of your emotional psyche at a time when we are reminded of the importance of friends and family, as well as of our roots and of our futures . . . .”
–Michael Canter, Jivewired.com



Release Date: 21 August 2011

Genre: Folk/Country/Americana

Publisher: (C) 2011 Mark Alan Stansberry with family & friends

Label: Mark Alan Stansberry with family & friends

Time: 22m 19s

Review Date:05-September-2011

Format: MP3

JivePK™: Currently not a Jivewired member


Click image to purchase from CD Baby

Track Listing:

01. Journey Of Life 4:36
02. Keep Falling 3:57
03. See You Again (Some Day) 5:21
04. Summer Days, Apple Pie 4:41
05. America! America! 3:39

Review:

Mark Alan Stansberry has a way with words. The manner in which he wraps his tales so magnificently around the imagery the lyrics represent, the way he touches his listeners – in such a strong way that it’s impossible to feel anything but moved by the experience, is exquisite. "America: The Journey Of Life" is a declaration of love to friends, family and country. Stansberry's cadence is remarkable, his tone a preeminent conductor of both reflection and hope. His singing voice reveals the true soul within these compositions, within the man behind the microphone, and behind the messages he so compassionately delivers.

Two songs demonstrate the celebration of Stansberry's lifelong love affair with his wife Nancy (at the time of this writing the couple are celebrating nearly thirty-four years of marriage). The title song, "The Journey Of Life," is a traditional roots and folk arrangement that is bathed in emotional resonance and simple, heart-warming endearment and is the best song on the EP. Likewise, "Keep Falling" is similarly good, an emotional declaration of the Stansberry's love for each other and their family.

But, "America: The Journey Of Life" is more than just the Stansberry's personal message of love to each other. Indeed, there are life lessons here. "See You Again (Someday)" is a song where the narrative describes the final conversation transpiring between a dying parent and his child or maybe two siblings or perhaps two friends. Though never lacking love nor affection, the theme is nonetheless one of temporal loss; but loss with the affirmation of faith that will one day bring the subjects face to face in a hallowed, eternal existence.

"America! America!" is a timely, musical epistle that significantly and relevantly depicts domestic unity, national pride and unilateral strength, that we as Americans have occasion for, while we somberly reflect upon the ten-year anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Without question, the love of family is the single driving force behind Mark Alan Stansberry’s passion for music and the inspiration for his songwriting. For the entire family, music is a generational affair, and this release bears the fruits of their efforts. Stansberry leans on friends as well, and the incredible lineup boasts of performances by some of the most respected names in Oklahoma indie rock, folk and country music, including: Kyle Dillingham, Jeff Hall, Dustin Ragland, Brine Webb and sons Joe Stansberry and Matt Stansberry, as well as Mark's wife Nancy. Even the grandchildren and in-laws chipped in.

Mr. Stansberry, family and friends serve a musical meal on "America: The Journey Of Life" that is filling in every sense of the word. Soft and elegantly played instruments, deep and well thought out lyrics, a sense of pride that lulls you into the depths of your emotional psyche at a time when we are reminded of the importance of friends and family, as well as of our roots and of our futures. The EP will wholeheartedly and effortlessly connect with you, and though nothing musically unique, it is nonetheless a breathtaking effort by all involved.

About Mark Alan Stansberry:



Mark Alan Stansberry is an American singer-songwriter from Edmond, Oklahoma. His new EP is Americana: The Journey of Life.

The 5 track set, his fourth album as an independent musician, includes performances and technical support by some of the most respected names in Oklahoma indie rock, folk and country music, including: Kyle Dillingham, Jeff Hall, Dustin Ragland, Joe Stansberry, Matt Stansberry and Brine Webb.

Previous work includes Love’s Here to Stay (2009); We Are People to People (2009); and Bound Away (2007).

Without question, the love of family is the single driving force behind Stansberry’s passion for music and the inspiration for his songwriting. For the Stansberry’s, music is a family affair.

His dad, George, was a talented fiddle player, and his mom, Lucy, was a constant source of support and encouragement for her son’s music education.

“They sacrificed a lot of time and money supporting my love of music,” Stansberry said of his parents. “Guitar teachers were scarce in Elk City when I was young. They would regularly drive me an hour to Altus, and two hours to Oklahoma City for guitar lessons.”

The guitar lessons paid off. In 1973, Stansberry was one of two Oklahoma high school guitarists selected for the all-state stage-band (the other guitarist, Scot Hendricks, went on to become the president of Capitol Records and Virgin Records in Nashville, and is now Sr. Vice President of A&R at Warner Music Nashville).

Stansberry met his wife of nearly 34 years, Nancy, at Oklahoma Christian University where they both attended on music scholarships. They were both members of the same college musical group that toured the country — but not at the same time. They later joined musical forces as part of a band called the Southern Night Band.

His sons, Joe and Matt, are both successful Oklahoma-based singer-songwriters.

Not surprisingly, Americana: The Journey of Life is a Stansberry family labor of love.

Background vocals were supplied by his wife, sons, daughter, grandchildren and in-laws. Matt Stansberry produced the album, which he recorded, edited and engineered at his home studio in Edmond Oklahoma.

Americana: The Journey of Life is available for purchase at www.markstansberry.com and on iTunes and CD Baby.

1 comment:

Kelz said...

Every once in awhile there is a family that has everything together. Best to all of you.