I recently chatted with some guys and gals in their early 20s. They were somewhat bemoaning the lack of music acts they enjoy from their own generation. They told me; “We just stick with artists from older generations. In recent years the concerts we’ve attended include Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Nicks.” I started wondering why even so many young people connect with “classic” rock. In a recent Rolling Stone Magazine release of archived Bob Dylan interviews, one interviewer asks him if he can describe why music “back in the day” had such a unique, explosive force to it. After the usual Dylan-esque diversions, he referenced the influence of the atomic bomb. He said (as I paraphrase), with the coming of the infant knowledge humanity had the power to completely destroy itself, there was an edgy desperation triggered which was reflected in the soul of the music. With that, I began to ponder – how many new artists in our own time tap into this soul of classic rock?

Mark Taylor

Enter Mark Taylor. In the Chicago scene, Mr. Taylor is known as the most convincing Rolling Stones cover artist in existence. His first original songs release (No Closer to Home) certainly reveals his natural gifted-ness to replicate an act like the Stones, but the album also conjures up much more. Without being excessively derivative, this eleven track release seems to channel the very soul of classic rock. One description notes it is “best listened to as a whole album.” This couldn’t be more true. Although it’s rare in our current MP3 download existence, in classic rock tradition Taylor has crafted an actual… album. From the opening, unassuming, minor key acoustic number “Snowflake” to the almost angry, forlornness of the band-plus-piano-laden “At the End of My Rope” – “No Closer” is a well-crafted work reminiscent of everything people used to dig about Vinyl and early FM radio. My personal favorite songs include “Missing Parts,” the closing number “It’s Too Late,” and the title track “No Closer to Home.” The first two are reflective of the “something lost” attitude of the album – and along with so many others on this collection, they are just simply great songs. “Too late” even unearths an era-ending mood not dissimilar to Grandpa Zimmerman’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” In this reviewer’s opinion, that’s quite an accomplishment. “No Closer…” presents an almost umbrella-like, metaphoric theme of the album, and does so in a memorable, anthem-like manner. The song actually ascends with a vibe not too distant from Jagger bleeding out “You Can’t Always Get What you Want.” Aside from the obvious classic rock consultation, there is still an olive branch here connected with the alternative scene which will appeal to a variety of younger music buffs. Fans of Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Jack White, and even Guns N Roses will probably love this album. For certain, you’ll find the empathetic soul you’ve been missing by checking out No Closer to Home by Mark Taylor.

Go take a listen for yourself at:


-review by Francis Itch of Indie Band Guru

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