Instigated as a lark to celebrate Mark Bliesener’s 70th birthday and consolidate his recent recordings, “Jurassic Mark” was recorded in Denver at Sparky the Dog and Absinthe Studios. All songs are written by Bliesener except Gram Parson’s “Older Guys.” Many of the titles deal with the topic of aging.
“Over the past 24 months,” says Bliesener, “as my tolerance for, and patience with the business part of music has waned, I embarked on a non-stop series of recording sessions intended strictly for pleasure. When pressed by friends and colleagues to release an album from these sessions, I adamantly declined, as doing so would take away the fun – requiring marketing, promotion and other aspects of personal management – my previous gig.”
Bliesener has years of experience in the music business as a performer (1966-1976), music critic (1976-1978), publicist (1978-1988) and personal manager (1989-2016). He has performed and recorded with bands including Question Mark and the Mysterians and Humpback Whale, and has received 16 Gold and Platinum record awards from artists whose careers he has managed including; Alan Parsons, Lyle Lovett, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
In this frenetic recording effort, he ended up with thirty four completed tracks – a process he equates to building model airplanes as a kid. “You’d work on that model kit ‘til it looked pretty good, put it on the shelf, forget about it and move on to the next one. That’s all I intended to do with these songs” explained Bliesener. “Then with the surreal reality of my 70th birthday pulling into view, I decided to relent and compile an album from the finished tracks as a sort of birthday celebration.” Hence Jurassic Mark.
Bliesener produced the disc and plays most of the instruments, though he is assisted mightily by Gregory Hill (the Babysitters, Manotaur) on bass, sax, piano and organ. Also contributing lead guitar are Eddie Turner (Zephyr, Otis Taylor), Bob Ferbrache (Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, the Soul Merchants), and Ernie Martinez (Tom Paxton, John McEuen).
In recent years Bliesener has seen several of his previous recordings released on successful compilations including; Hyperpycnal’s “Rocky Mountain Low,“ A Rock by the Sea’s “Christmas Comp,” and UK based Soul Jazz Records’ “Punk 45,” where he is featured alongside Joe Strummer’s 101ers, the Count Bishops and Cabaret Voltaire.
“I feel pretty good about turning 70 in 2019, as musically this personal time line has put me in several places at the right time, being 14 when the Beatles impacted, 17 during the Summer of Love and an “old” 25 when Punk hit,” states Bliesener. He coined the band name Dead Kennedys which was adopted by his friend Jello Biafra.
“Jurassic Mark” is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Pandora and at retail.