|Mark Lemhouse’s debut album, Big Lonesome Radio, breathed fresh air into the traditional blues world, earning a pair of Handy award nominations including “Best New Artist Debut.” But like the great roots innovators who inspired him, Mark Lemhouse is a restless spirit who can’t be confined to any one corner of the Americana landscape. His highly-anticipated follow-up, The Great American Yard Sale, finds the genre-defying guitarist plugging in and heading out to the Great Wide Open, armed with banjo and electric lap steel as well as his deftly fingerpicked National guitar.
The “Yard Sale” of the album’s title suggests the diversity of the album’s musical mix, which simultaneously reflects and upends influences ranging from Dock Boggs to Johnny Cash to Tom Waits. For Mark Lemhouse, it’s OK to look back as long as you don’t stare, and the voice most clearly heard is his own. Strong, new originals like “Scarlet”, “Paper Sack”, and “Never Me” explore dark themes of addiction and self-destruction, while “The Queen of Easy Street” and “You’re a Bastard” bristle with Lemhouse’s trademark brand of wry humor. Iconic and ironic, Great American Yard Sale is sure to become a modern roots classic.