Dan Seymour and Mark Robinson
Blind Chihuahua Records
Chug It Down And Go is the debut album by Dan Seymour and Mark Robinson. This collaboration of two great friends and better musicians releases November 10, 2018 on Blind Chihuahua Records. This release is a “jug-band” album of sorts and each song has its own unique style pulling anywhere from blues to country, Cajun to swing, jazz to folk and everything in between. This is an album you’ll stop playing only long enough to Chug It Down And Go back to the dance floor.
I had heard of Dan Seymour and Mark Robinson well before I ever heard their music. They are two of the most respected roots artists in Nashville. Dan and Mark collaborate with many renowned artists, many of which are my absolute favorite recording artists. Artists such as David Olney, Tommy Womack, Davis Raines, Phil Lee, Amelia White, (oh my the list continues), are great feathers to have in your cap. Finally hearing Dan and Mark performing individually confirmed what I already knew.
The songs on the album each has its own feel, owing in part to the artists vast music history and in part by the collaboration. Three of the songs are co-written by Dan and Mark, Barefoot Girl is a fun jug-band tune complete with kazoo, Olney on harmonica, and shout chorus. 19th Street Ramble is a guitar rag in the tradition of Doc Watson, John Hartford and Norman Blake. Take Me On Down The Road is a rootsy blues standard, a favorite among favorites from this album.
Dan wrote three including the title track inspired by some of the characters you see from the stage. Chug It Down And Go is my favorite song on the album, it’s a feel good instant hit in the jug-band tradition. Use the link below to listen to the song. Mississippi Line is a string band ditty with a good vibe and a traveling down the road feel to it. Driven by upright bass and embellished with harmonica, this one will get you on your feet. Dan’s vocal is perfectly suited for this song. Dixie Waltz is exactly as stated, it’s a love song accompanied by an old mandolin.
Mark wrote three, Slow Moving Train is a country standard and a train song at that. Not bad for an ol’ bluesman. Be sure to listen for the Marxophone among all the string instruments on this one. First Fool is a Tin Pan Alley woman done her man wrong song, it has a nice swing to it. and Gypsy Moon has a definite Hawaiian feel to it. The combined vocal and lap steel harmonies, paired with accordion and ukulele, blend in a beautifully weird way. Mark co-wrote one song with John Hadley called One Eye Blue and it is a Cajun song with a catchy lyric and Webb’s romping accordion.
Dan and Mark have been friends for nearly a decade. They both come from Indiana growing up within a hundred mile radius of each other. They became friends in Nashville claiming the local hot spots as their playhouse and sharing their love of music history on and off the stage. Chug It Down And Go, produced and engineered by Seymour and Robinson at Guido’s South Studio is a ten song album written by Dan and Mark. There are a few collaborations, but Dan and Mark play most of the acoustic instruments. Dan Seymour plays upright bass, mandolin, ukulele, autoharp, percussion, and Marxophone. Mark Robinson plays acoustic guitar, Dobro, banjo, lap steel, resonator guitar, harmonica, tenor guitar, drums, percussion, and kazoo. Guests artists include David Olney on harmonica, Pat McInerney on drums and percussion, Michael Webb on accordion, and Melanie and Bill Davis on backing vocals. Dan and Mark swap lead vocals throughout the album.
As individual artists, Mark Robinson leads his own, The Mark Robinson Blues Band and has garnered fans in the U.S. And Europe. I had first heard his music on Internet radio stations broadcasting out of Nashville Tennessee where he was voted Best Roots Guitarist in the Alternate Roots reader poll. Dan Seymour performs his songs in some of Nashville’s iconic venues such as Brown’s Diner among others. Dan is mostly known by fans on both sides of the Atlantic as the touring bassist for artists, most recently with David Olney. I enjoy hearing Dan take the front man role on this album and look forward to seeing Dan Seymour and Mark Robinson take the Chug It Down And Go tour on the road. Go see them! You’ll be glad you did.