more reviews

"Mark Dvorak has always had a confident and crystal clear vocal style with a beautiful timbre, which, in combination with his refreshingly understated and straightforward interpretations, has always left me in awe. The same tasteful restraint of his skills makes his instrumental accompaniment fit perfectly with his singing. On this CD he as enlisted just enough extra musicians to fill out the sound, and the quality of the recording - with the levels of the vocals and the instruments exactly right - is perfect. The whole project has that satisfying feel of being just enough of everything but not too much of anything.

"Mark has written all but three of the songs on this project, and his writing is as fine as his singing, with lovely, inventive and catchy melodies that match and enhance the intent of the lyrics every time. These songs themselves, as well as Mark's singing of them, remind me of those stellar old works that came out way back when country music was just beginning to branch off from traditional folk. Songs like Mark's gorgeous, 'The Bluebells in Kentucky' could have been written in the 1920s and would have fit right onto those early airwaves without a hitch. By this I do not mean that Mark's songs feel dated, because to me, one of the finest aspects of those old songs is that they feel timeless, which is true of Mark's songs too.

"I'm a big fan of songs that have very specific detail in the lyric, and am especially drawn for that reason to the the Bluebell song, and to Mark's song about his guitar, 'My D-18,' but all the cuts are superb; not a clinker in the bunch. This is a fine, fine CD."

Peter Berryman, Madison WI

"You might think it's easy to sing, play, write and record like Mark Dvorak has on this new CD. That's a natural response because Mark makes everything look easy - he's one of those guys that makes everyone comfortable, and his singing makes you feel good. But it's not easy! You have to give your life over to the music. You have to study the work of the great masters like Sonny and Brownie, Woody, Pete, Big Bill, and come away with the knowledge of what to do with a song, and what a song can do. Perhaps most challenging, you have to have an open heart and mind and freely offer your own feelings and soul with every note. Mark has done all that. That's why this record is such a nice document of his craft. That's why we feel good when he sings.

"I'm very proud to have played on a couple of these songs, and grateful for the opportunity. I'm sure the other accompanists feel the same way. Hearing a spirited performance of a great song reminded me of why I wanted to play music in the first place. Thanks Mark, and also John Abbey, for capturing more than most recordings do."

Don Stiernberg, Skokie IL

"For this album Mark has assembled a veritable 'who's who' from the Chicagoland acoustic music scene.  World class talent all the way. And there is sensitivity and a feeling of warmth woven throughout the songs, covering a variety of musical styles, that makes you smile. Just what you'd expect from a master singer-songwriter like Mark Dvorak."

Al Kniola, 88.1 WVPE, South Bend IN

"'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is a great recording! Sad songs and glad songs, great picking and singing, and well written original material. Mark Dvorak is one of the reasons folk music is alive and well..."

Greg Cahill, The Special Consensus, Chicago IL

"Mark's songs are always so informed by his extensive knowledge of traditional folk music that you feel you already know them and sing along immediately. His musicianship and warmth shine..."

Anne Hills, Bethlehem PA

"As if channeling Carl Sandburg, Mark Dvorak's songbook ranges across the American heartland celebrating the warmth of a beloved guitar, the last of summer's fading glory and the tragic cycle of youth off to yet another war - love and loss writ large and small. Heartfelt lyrics, tasty instrumental licks, and gentle harmonies make this an intimate treat for the acoustic music fan who treasures well-crafted ensemble music."

David Roche, Executive Director, Blue Bear School, San Francisco CA

"Mark Dvorak sings - and writes - with clean, clear-eyed sincereity. He finds the heart of the matter and renders it to the listener one strong note at a time..."

Joel Mabus, Portage MI

"Mark has never sounded better... his new songs are powerful, thoughtful and full of humor and truth - just like him. He is truly at the top of his game."

Sons of the Never Wrong, Chicago IL

"I love your new songs, and "Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is a real knockout... John Abbey is one great producer."

Kat Eggleston, Vashon WA

"I love 'Song for a Dismal Day... so poetic and the melody has been haunting me for days..."

Lisa M. Lilly, Chicago IL

"Thank you for sending along 'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me.' It is a beautiful recording..."

Annie Capps, Chelsea MI

"Awfully brave and honest, stirring emotions that I think everyone can relate to or have experience with."

Lizabeth MacDonald, Chicago IL

"This CD is a gem! There is such depth in some of these songs, it knocked me out. When I got to the last song, 'We Become,' I had to get home to check the jacket to see who had written it, or if it was a traditional song. The CD is worth it for that song alone."

Tim Lilly, St. Louis MO

"I downloaded your CD yesterday and have been listening to it. It is just awesome. The writing, singing, playing... all stellar. Contratulations! I especially love 'Promise of the Promised Land."

Marty Cavanaugh, Manchester NH

"Listening to 'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is like Ron Santo taking batting practice. Each song hit out of the park..."

Paul Doughty, Chicago IL

"Dude, it's brilliant..."

Jame Tomasello, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago IL

"What I love about Mark's music is the honesty in his voice and his spectacular guitar playing. He tells his own story and still manages to remind me of the folk and blues heroes who have inspired him."

Ella Gill, Oak Park IL

"Just finished listening to Mark Dvorak's latest album... I love his D-18 too!"

Larry Penn, Milwaukee WI

"Mark Dvorak's new CD is a perfect fit for the unique proclivities of the folk audience in this new millenium!"

Art Thieme, Peru IL

"Mark Dvorak's latest recording is a significant development that employs songs with consistent humanistic messages, those messages that come from the heart and reflect the honest emotions of real people.

"John Abbey's tasteful production values using Chris Walz on guitar, Colby Maddox on mandolin, Ellen Shepard and Sue Demel on background vocals, as well as other fine musicians in highly musical ways, add up to a successful CD.

"Never giving in to the pretensions of many performers in the music biz, retaining the essence of what folk music is, the simple without being simplistic, expression of the working class values of men and women, Mark has always performed with sincerity and conviction. Because this has been Mark's style over the years, 'time ain't got nothin' on him!' "

Frank Hamilton, Decatur GA

"I really loved listening to Mark's new CD..."

Muriel Anderson, Nashville TN

"'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is an excellent collection of songs; insightful lyrics, with voices and instrumentation that brings out the classic Mark. I've been humming 'It'll Be Better' When It's Better' all week. It doesn't get any better than this!"

Don Mormon, Shawano Folk Music Festival, Shawano WI

"There was a time not so long ago, when people were jammed into a bar listening reverently to (yes!) folk music. From time to time they would chime in on a chorus, following the story, the music. It was almost churchy, but with cocktails. People went home feeling warm, sated, part of a community event, less stressed, smiling.

"Mark Dvorak's songs evoke that atmosphere, clear, story-driven, inviting the listener to walk along with him for awhile, taste his world view. Some tasty harmony and basic accompaniment, no pyrotechnics - why, something you could play along with, sing along with, in your living room or car. He clearly takes joy in his work and that  this CD irresistable... 'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is a quiet musical gift in these very noisy times."

Claudia Schmidt, Traverse City MI

"The songwriting is great, and the theme of confronting the ceaseless flow of time carries truthfully throughout the whole album. There are some wonderful pieces here. I think I especially enjoyed the final track, 'We Become.' The refrain resonates and seems to fuse the overarching theme of passing time and boundless love."

Matt Sherman, guitarist Nobody's Perfect, Wilmette IL

"Mark Dvorak's CDs are a must for your collection. 'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is no exception..."

Gary Tuber,

"An awesome performer and a Chicago legend..."

Henhouse Prowlers, Chicago IL

"One of the country's finest singers and songwriters..."

Kiss the Sky, St. Charles IL

"Dvorak's new disc will find its way into Chicago music history..."

Mike Alberts, One MIke Stand, St. Charles IL

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