I tend not to feature artists without a specific latest release, but Mark Andrew Pudas intrigued me from the time I first heard him. It’s almost cliché in the “business” to say that some people have “it” and some others don’t. Pudas has it. It’s a style and something special that makes him transcend typical descriptions. It’s easy to say he sounds like this great blues artists or that rock hall member, but the greatest compliment to him is that he’s an artist in his own right. Here’s why.
Take a listen to “Not Cold, But Broken” a clear cut blues tune. The full band fills around a distinctive just-raspy-enough vocal that has a lot of attitude. But then, just when the listener thinks he’s the standard blues man, there’s a softer, gentler side to the vocal performance. He doesn’t just sing with his vocal chords; he sings with his heart. That’s the “it” factor where I sit. This guy has “it” in spades.
“Ooh Eeh” is onomatopoeiaic title of a feel good love song. Complete with hand claps and female harmonies, the track has a simple structure and message. Several of the lyrics are almost scat, but the primary lyric “ooh eeh… come with me across the deep blue sea” is about that young love ambition that just wants to elope. This track just begs to be attached to a film or TV show. It’s infectious.
“Murphy’s Harp” is a darker tale of love, loss, and seeking. It has a blues-influenced country sound that is captivating. Some of the guitar work is intricate, conjuring images of lonely dark places. Pudas uses his highly emotive voice to shape a different character altogether. While some artists that attempt this Renaissance Man approach to music (usually unsuccessfully) there’s a stale mimicry evident in their work, but Pudas seems to really be reflecting his heartfelt songwriting. His variety of influences come through almost by necessity.
The last track on this short ReverbNation teaser is “Sunshine,” and by far my favorite. This is Pudas at his best. It’s country charm, killer blues-based guitar work, and some classic Americana attitude. “After the rain comes… the sun shines.” It’s the kind of song that can help people get through a rough stage of life, but also help folks in a good place have nostalgia for the good old days. Pudas describes characters and emotions with an authenticity that is rare in the contemporary music landscape.
Some musicians send us links like this and we say no thanks, or tell them to send us a finished product when they have it. But I actually requested Pudas. I don’t remember where I heard him first, but this one-of-a-kind style is what I love to highlight. Finding an artist with this ability and genuineness is exactly why I write about music. I can’t wait to hear the full, finished product from Pudas. I hope it has a lot more tracks like “Sunshine” to keep us all smiling about our brighter days.