Originally from New York City Mark Telesca held the “bass chair” in many Broadway productions. He attended Florida Atlantic University and now resides in West Palm Beach. His passion for the blues led him to be a member of the band “Blues Dragon” and they competed in the 2012 International Blues Challenge. Telesca also tours with the 2014 Blues Music Award winning Diunna Greenleaf; and hosts the weekly Monday night blues jam at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton. Previous recordings include his 2015 solo debut “Heavy Breathing”; and “You Can’t Do That” a collaboration with Mick Kolassa. In 2017, Telesca was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy treatments. During his recovery he authored his second book “Love Music, Hate Cancer” and focused on his songwriting.
“Higher Vibration” is a solo acoustic collection of sixteen songs including nine Telesca originals; the remainder are selected covers. Telesca guitar, bass, and vocals are accompanied only by Bob Taylor’s occasional snare drum.
Telesca opens with “99 Years” a song perhaps inspired by his self-imposed exile during recovery. “I swear I didn’t do it, I’m an innocent man. Now all I got is my faith, and I’m doing the best I can”. Telesca’s impressive baritone is highlighted by his phrasing which is essential to his story-telling. He uses the guitar to include riffs and fills between lines “so pour me a thousand scotches and give me one hundred gins ‘cause I just can’t believe the situation I’m in”. Telesca’s narrative on “Murderin’ Blues” credited to Doctor Clayton was recorded by Robert Nighthawk in the early 1960’s and is given a new treatment.
On another original Telesca sings “I’m going down to the valley, I got a bucket in my hand, gonna see if I can make it, to the promised land, cause there ain’t no love, for this lonely old soul, I don’t really seem to mind too much, I’m just Looking for Some Gold”. He references his mortality on “The Electric Chair” but is positive and thankful throughout the recording. Appreciative of life and his loving spouse he can also be playful “you move so damn slow…what takes so long, you know you look real strong, just put your Black Dress on”.
Other covers include Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Louise”; Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen”; two from Leroy Carr, the fabulous “How Long Blues” and “Papa’s On The House Top”; Blind Willie Johnson’s “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burnin’”, and Al Green’s “I’m A Ram”.
Telesca’s hook oriented originals and reverence for tradition make this a recording that can be enjoyed for years to come.