MADJACK RECORDS TO RELEASE TOP MEMPHIS SONGWRITER’S ‘MAD AT LOVE’ OCT. 12
“I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR HIS LATEST ALBUM, MAD AT LOVE.” – GARDEN & GUN MAGAZINE
In a one-year span, top Memphis bassist-cum-songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart was diagnosed with lymphoma and lost his father to a heart attack. The combination shook up his world. While convalescing from chemotherapy, he started fingerpicking and working on his singing, neither ever focuses for Stuart, who was long one of Memphis’ first-call bassists, having played with Cory Branan (including on the Late Show with David Letterman) and Jack Oblivian (on ‘Rat City’), among others. He met Levon Helm on Beale Street while playing and the two talked about their mutual Arkanasas origins; Mark used Levon as an inspiration to beat cancer (the latter was in remission at the time). And Mark did. But his father passed away, he found songwriting as the outlet which his grief took. Madjack Records will release ‘Mad At Love,’ Stuart’s third and most mature album, on October 12, 2018.
‘Mad At Love’ tackles tough subjects, often couples in trouble. Special guests include Amy Lavere, Liz Brasher, and Al Gamble (of St. Paul & The Broken Bones) on the album, which was produced by Stuart and Fat Possum’s Bruce Watson.
Stuart’s first two albums each earned reviews as some of the best of Memphis. Memphis Commercial Appeal said, “One of the city’s best songwriters… Subtly and Expertly crafted.” Memphis Flyer wrote, “One of this city’s most vital music-makers… Both 2013’s Blues for Lou and last year’s Trinity My Dear were revelatory.” No Depression called him a “great raconteur.” He appeared on PBS’ national television show Sun Studio Sessions.
Befitting the comparisons to Todd Snider and Robbie Fulks, Stuart’s songs take on multiple meanings over time. ‘Mad At Love’ turns out to be about a widow’s grief but her lack of regret; “Missing You Everyday” is about losing a brother in Afghanistan but pivots on a moment when, not long after his death, the brother’s bass fell and shattered of its own accord; and “Barren Love” explores couples staying together for the sake of a child. “Until We Came Unglued” sees the impact of the death of a beloved pet on a relationship. Stuart says, “I wrote ‘I’ll Be Me’ for my father-in-law or anyone who is struggling with addiction. He’s pleading with his loved ones (his daughter/ my wife) that he’s going to get better and walk a straight path. He’s no longer going to be someone she doesn’t know anymore.”
Two-thousand-eighteen marks Madjack Records’ 20th anniversary. The storied label has released albums by Cory Branan, Lucero, Susan Marshall, and many others.
Stuart also contributed bass to Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Paul Keith & The 145s, Jim Mize, Jimbo Mathus, and on sessions for GRAMMY-winner Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, John Prine).
Mark Edgar Stuart Tour Dates
September 16 – Millington, TN– The Shelby Forrest General Store
September 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note Lounge
September 21 – Red River, MN – Red River Folk Festival
September 28 – Little Rock, AR – South On Main
September 30 – Memphis, TN – Railgarten
October 20 – Memphis, TN – Railgarten (Madjack Records 20th anniversary show)