Paul Mark & The Dorens – “December At The P.O.” sends out a holiday spirited single for the winter blues during one of the craziest times to live in, and it puts life into perspective if you listen to the words and let the music do the rest of the business. This band NY-based band are no strangers on the music scene, but this track is not my introduction to them, I have also heard the entire Gravity album and some more of their music with Paul Mark leading. The song is magnificent to say the least, but there is more to it than music.
LISTEN TO THE SINGLE: https://music.paulmark.com/album/cd-single-download-december-at-the-p-o
With decades behind him as a touring musician and band leader, Paul Mark has done it all and lived to tell about it, with a band that he named the Van Dorens after the movie High School Confidential. The members of the band come and go, but currently feature Christian Howes, Eli Bishop and Greg Byer on strings, Tess Primack, Connie Laws – Backing vocals with Mark on lead vocals, piano, bass, guitar, organ, xylophone, drums, and accordion. All of them help make “December At The P.O.” a terrific piece of music and spoken-word holiday song.
The background of Paul Mark leaves a lot to get into, but this single is from the 11th album, if that is any indication of what him and the Van Dorens have been up to with various different line ups. Paul Mark started off as a blues guitarist and went onto play everything from drums to Hammond Organ, and he plays a seriously mean piano and tells a good story on “December At The P.O.” And after I played it just one time, I was drawn in by the story itself because of the way Mark tells it and secondly the way the whole tune is arranged.
The belief that the song always comes first is something Mark firmly holds onto as one of the many values he brings to songwriting and producing as well as playing so many instruments. And this song is as good as any to exemplify him and what the band do, in the shape of life and times at the post office and all the holiday whatnot that comes with it. It also does not hurt that Mark is a master pianist because I love piano music with or without lyrics, so it comes highly recommended.
“December At The P.O.” is neither your depressing nor your uplifting holiday song, it’s right down the middle with lyrics that catch your ear so that you can understand the meaning of the song and that is why Mark is true to his own principles. He even has a live studio performance of the song, with just him and his piano without the band, but it’s stripped back without strings and the original music but it gets the same point across to promote the song which he wrote. It’s a compelling piece with marvelous playing by Mark, from a fine album also worth anyone’s time.
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