Songwriter CD from Mark Brinkman

Do you know the name Mark Brinkman? Perhaps you know him by his nickname, Brink. Still not sure?

If you’re not certain you know Mark, you certainly know his music. His original songs have been recorded by Lonesome River Band, Larry Stephenson, Don Rigsby, Larry Sparks and many others. Carolina Dust, which was chosen as the winner of the 2010 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, is one of Brink’s songs.

Now, Brink has a full CD of his original songs, On The Brink Of A Dream, featuring an all-star cast of bluegrass pickers and Mark doing the lead singing. Tim Stafford is on guitar, Alan Bibey on mandolin, Jamey Booher on bass and Justin Moses on banjo, fiddle and resonator guitar. Steve Gulley (who also produced) and Dale Ann Bradley help Brink with harmony vocals.

We asked Brink to suggest a couple of tracks we might sample for readers of Bluegrass Today, and here are his picks.

The Littlest Guardian Angels:       []

“In 1985 my wife Jan and I lost our little girl Lindsey Jean at birth. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about her even though it has been many years. If others have lost small children I pray that the song gives them some comfort and know they have the ‘littlest guardian angels’ watching over them.

One of the favorite lines I’ve ever written is from an image I had:  ‘one hand reaches down from heaven…while the other holds the hand of God.’ Lindsey, this one is for you.

Dale Ann sings the fire out of this one and was a very emotional time in the studio for everyone.”

The other he chose was Carolina Dust,which took first prize at Merlefest this year.

Carolina Dust:      []

My Great Uncle Albert lived to be 99 years old and died on Christmas Day. He was an inspiration to many. My Grandmother also lived to be 94 and outlived her husband and both her daughters (one being my mother).  She told me it was hard to outlive all your friends as well as your husband and kids.

I remember hearing one of them say, ‘It’s the devil’s curse to live this long.’ They always wondered why God would not ‘take them home.’  The one line that hit me in this song is ‘I spend my days counting memories, and the flies that hang on the back porch screen.’  After all the years the most exciting thing they do is count flies. For me that really hit hard. I tried to convey the emotion of someone that has reached that age.”

You can hear samples from all 16 tracks at CD Baby.

A lot of folks enjoy hearing how a songwriter envisions their songs. Well… here’s your chance!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • Hi, In August 2010, I had just left a funeral home to prepare arrangements with my mother for my father, who passed away, ever so gently the night before. Although, I had my dad until he was 84 years old. It broke my heart needless to say. Yet, I knew that his suffering was at last over. While driving back, I was turning the radio station and heard the most amazing song, Beyond The Rain, by Mark Brinkman. I believe that it was sang by a blue grass band called Pine Mountain Railroad. It reminded me that someday there will be no more pain and no more sorrow. The lyrics really touched my heart that day. I searched and searched for that song so it could be played , possibly at his funeral, but I wasn’t able to at that time. However, I did not stop looking until I found it afterwards. I then made a video of my own in memory of my dad. Although, I wanted that song to play as background, still no luck. However, getting back to this touching and beautiful song. I purchased it from Amazon and it was digitally downloaded. Unfortunately, my computer crashed and bam, lost it, lol, this isn’t what I had prepared to write. Sounds pretty bad. Unfortunately, all of it is true. With that being said. I simply would like to convey to Mark Brinkman, how much I love that song. Thank you Bluegrass today for allowing me to comment. Thanks again. God Bless You All.

  • fdwil111

    This man writes powerful songs. Good songs are what feelings sound like. Keep writing, please.