Live & Alone New!  

Those who follow folk singer songwriter Mark Dvorak know he is at his best when performing live. Live & Alone is Dvorak’s twenty-first release and was recorded in an empty concert hall outside of Chicago during the height of the great pandemic. Just ten days before the 2020 presidential election, Dvorak took the stage for WFMT 98.7 fm’s Folk Stage broadcast. Dvorak performed for a radio audience, his signature voice clear and strong, his playful sense of humor ever-present; the solid musicianship , the great songs, the tuning and flubs, all there.

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And those who happened to have tuned into the broadcast that evening will know that Live & Alone is pretty representative of the way the whole show went down.

Live & Alone contains some of Dvorak’s best-written songs. The set kicks off with the definitive Every Step of the Way, Dvorak’s signature piece penned in 2005. The Middle Years makes a light-hearted remark on aging followed by the stunning Trying To Get the Balance Right, a song written by Johnny Duhan of Limerick, Ireland.

Dvorak turns in a faithful arrangement of Billy Hill’s The Glory of Love, a song he picked up “from an old scratchy recording by Big Bill Broonzy.” Dvorak tips his hat to the great Woody Guthrie with This Train Ain’t Bound for Glory Anymore, a lyric composed from famous Guthrie titles and phrases.

It’ll Be Better When It’s Better is a mischievous and catchy original, and Dvorak’s arrangement of Townes Van Zandt’s bluesy Brand New Companion is spot-on.

The mood then changes with Dvorak’s powerful invocation Let Love Go On and brightens up again with the twangy Old Friends. Dvorak closes the evening with an elegant performance of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.

Mark Dvorak is a unique artist who has endured well into the digital age. He continues to thrive, writing, recording, and traveling, all the while creating a rich and poignant context to a kind of music that still belongs to all of us. Listen. Join in.

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