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Mark Wills readies new CD

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – Mark Wills' new studio album, "Familiar Stranger," will be out Oct. 28 on Tenacity Records. His first single, The Things We Forget," ships to radio Sept. 22 with a video to follow.

"On this album I have a chance to show the other side of my personality," he said. "The side that rocks. "Familiar Stranger " is by far the most well-rounded portrait of me ever as an artist."

Wills' returned to the studio with producer Brett James. "I heard several things that were unique sounding and noticed Brett James was the writer on all of them and that he was the producer on them too," said Wills. " I basically went to him and groveled: 'Dude, I love this sound! This is the band sound I grew up with.' And I asked him to work with me."

Wills has scored 8 top 10 hits, including 19 Something, Back At One, Almost Doesn't Count, Wish You Were Here and Don't Laugh At Me. Wills started his career on Mercury and moved to Equity, but never released an album for them.

"Getting this record out and sharing it with the fans is going to be a great experience," Wills said. "I'm looking forward to getting on the road, playing for the fans and putting this new music out there. That's all I've ever wanted to do since I picked up my first guitar."

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CD reviews for Mark Wills

Familiar Strangers CD review - Familiar Strangers
"Days of Thunder is in the same vein as 1980-Something with the character thinking back about a time in their life, complete with the cultural references that made 1980 so unique. This time, the singer tells us about one enjoyable teenage summer. The Georgia native represents one of the south's most popular regional tourist attractions, Panama City, Fla. on not one but two songs. One is a party anthem, the not bad, but somewhat forgettable Panama City about "partying all night while »»»
And The Crowd Goes Wild
With his latest, Mark Wills stands up for the underdog on the title track, feels pity for the brokenhearted through the words of "He's A Cowboy" and salutes hard working truckers with "Prisoner Of The Highway." It sure reads like a guide to being all things to all people. But instead of acting as a sincere communication with the world's increasingly diverse music fan universe, it actually plays out like a paint-by-numbers attempt to touch all the basic country music demographic groups. »»»
Greatest Hits
Mark Wills is king of the mid-tempo country ballad, and all the necessary proof is right here in the plodding of this greatest hits package. It's a collection of nine singles - plus two extra tracks - characterized by soft rock guitar, piano and drums, which support Wills as he squeezes every last ounce of sincerity from his vocals. "Jacob's Ladder" begins this retrospective by riding on a slight bounce, but then it all bogs down to a crawl after that. What follows next is a slow motion wade »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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