From the photo shoot for the album cover, 'Different and the Same'.
I am just in the mood to revisit some music I dearly love, and an artist I respect so much but hardly get the chance to talk about any more. I speak of Mark Weigle, an amazingly talented singer/songwriter, who retired from the music business in 2007, after releasing six great albums since his 1998 debut. His is the music that makes me happy, touches my heart, brings a tear to my eye, and yearn for love, sometimes all in the same song. There is a wonderful richness to his voice, the tone remarkable. He made music that was not always easy to categorize, often blurring the lines between Folk, Country, and Pop. Whenever I start listening to him, I tell myself it has been too long, no matter how long it has been. His voice wraps me in a warm embrace, and his honesty reminds me to live my life not quite as safely as I might want to, so I can strive to live life as open as I can.
Mark Weigle with JD Doyle at a rodeo in Texas.
I think I first discovered Mark's music through JD Doyle and his Queer Music Heritage website. JD has long been a a curator of sorts, for the music of LGBT artists. I've discovered many through him, as was the case with Weigle. I can't remember exactly when I discovered the music, but I do remember being hooked instantly, and purchasing all the music I could on iTunes. Soon, I was eagerly awaiting the next release, more music to enjoy. I was addicted, and couldn't shake it. As I am at a loss for words as I try to explain how his music makes me feel, I sahll let Mark himself do the talking. Man, I just love his 1998 debut album, 'The Truth Is'. There is plenty to love, from his beautiful "Two Cowboy Waltz" to the breathtaking "Take Your Shoulder From The Wheel", and the stunning "I Confess". There is an honesty to his song, and a truly touching nature. On this song, Mark smooths over the distinctions of Folk and Country to create this gem. This is "I Confess".
Fast forward five years, and we find Mark releasing his third studio album, 'Out of the Loop'. On that album, Mark did a posthumous duet the Steve Grossman on the late singer/songwriters wonderful song, "Out". You could also find his delicious homage to sexy men in "Bears", as well as the touching "Blue Eyes To Brown Eyes". But I chose to share with you a bold and beautiful Country song, "In the Last 5 Minutes", the first track off the 2002 album. This is a song that just does my heart good.
The following year, Weigle released another album. 'Different and the Same' had a slightly different sound for Weigle, incorporating more of a Pop flavor than the three that came before it. The album featured several covers, like "867-5309/Jenny", the fun song by Tommy Tutone. Only Weigle adapted it to be "867-5309/Jimmy". And his take on the iconic song from the Jackson 5, "ABC", and it became "AZT", a song featuring the daily schedule of an HIV positive person. He also did a brilliant cover of "Love Song to a Stranger", written by the great Joan Baez. But toady, I decided to offer you his version of "A Different Kind of Gone", a song written by the gifted Mary Gauthier.
The album 'The Truth Is' can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. The album 'Out Of The Loop' can also be found on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. The album 'Different and the Same' can also be found on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. For more about Mark, you can 'like' him on Facebook. I still hold out hope that Mark will come out of retirement, even if for just one last tour. I've not seen him live, and it remains one of those things on my bucket list. After listening to these songs, I bet you are feeling the same way.