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Red Lick Records



Early Blues Interview
Mark Thornley


Alan    What are your first musical memories?

Mark   Listening to my mum's record collection, a lot of blues in there.

Alan    Did you always was to become a musician?

Mark   Most definitely yes. 

Alan    How did you get started in music?

Mark   Always been music around the family, it was a natural progression for me to be involved in it, and I worked in a record shop when I was 16 and heard so much stuff working there. 

Alan    What kind of material were you playing in the early days?

Mark   I started playing the guitar at 14, and taught myself mostly, I'm a man was one of the first things, so it was the blues I started playing, and than covered a lot of stuff from rock to jazz, but blues is my first love. 

Alan    What first attracted you to the blues?

Mark   I loved it and felt it when I first heard it as a teenager, and when I saw Muddy Waters in Manchester when I was 16, that was it. 

Alan    Who are your favourite blues artists (both old and new)?

Mark   Muddy of course, Freddie King, T Bone Walker, BB, Buddy Guy to name a few of the older generation, but there are too many to mention, and of the later generation, Peter Green Clapton, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and again many more. 

Alan    Who has influenced you the most in your writing and playing?

Mark   Freddie King, and Clapton have been an influence in my playing and writing among others, other influences in my playing have also come from the rock world like Paul Kossoff  and Jimmy Page.

Alan    What was the best blues album you ever had?

Mark   Too difficult to answer to be honest. 

Alan    What is your favourite instrument?

Mark   Without doubt the guitar. 

Alan    Are there any particular songs that you play that have special meaning to you?

Mark   One I wrote, 'Play The Blues and Sing'. It is about getting over bad times and to keep doing what you feel you should be doing in life, thatís what its all about for me. 

Alan    Tell me about the time you were support for Peter Green and Cozy Powell.

Mark   That was with The Healers, it was a big honour for me to be asked to support Peter, being a big fan of his early work and it was a pleasure to meet him and to grace the same stage, and Cozy Powell was a pleasure to meet and chat with, sadly not long after he crashed his car.  The night was great, a special occasion for me. 

Alan    With the Red Handed Band you recorded the 'Handful of Blues' album in one day, tell me about it.

Mark   We had seven tracks ready to record, went into a studio and the guy just got what we were about straight away. Once the drum sound was sorted and we were set up, we just did them all in one take and then mixed them and that was it, the quickest recording  session I have been involved in, and it turned out well. We started recording at 1 in the afternoon, and had finished all the mixes by 11 that evening. 

Alan    Tell me about The Mark Thornley Band, when did you get together?

Mark   We have Paul Randell on bass and the excellent drummer Mick McDonald on drums full time now, and we have been together about 10 months. I decided to front my own band after Red Handed and take on the vocals role which I have never done before, but it seems to be going well, and we want to take this as far as we can go. 

Alan    Some music styles may be fads but the blues is always with us. Why do you think that is?

Mark   The blues is the roots, and from the roots comes the fruits. 

Alan    How do you see the future of blues music?

Mark   Hopefully becoming more prominent as a genre of music, and with Joe Bonamassa filling the Albert Hall that can only be a good thing for blues.  Long live the festivals. 

Alan    How is your university course going?

Mark   I have one more year to go and it is going well thank you, The Degree course has an emphasis on Experimental  compositions, and explores differing song writing techniques as well as other aspects of the musical world. 

Alan    What are your future plans / gigs / tours / albums?

Mark   We want to play as many blues clubs and festivals as we can, and get over to Europe, anybody who can help in that department feel free to get in touch.     www.myspace.com/markthornley    Shortly we hope to record an album and take it from there.

Alan   Thank you Mark, I really appreciate your time.

Alan White  -  earlyblues.com

Click here for the Mark Thornley Band biography




See the Mark Thornley Band on the British Stage (Radio Lancashire Night)
at the Colne Great British R&B Festival Friday, 28th August 2009.

Return to Blues Interviews List

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