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: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/guardian_angels.mp3]
“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: [http://media.libsyn.com/media/thegrasscast/carolina_dust.mp3]
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!