Mark Wayne Glasmire is a long EP follow-up to 2009's well received Life Goes On, a disc that yielded several hits, one of which, "You Opened my Eyes", remained #1 on the Country HotDisc chart for a month's worth of weeks. Glasmire's guitar work is well enough respected but what really snags the ear is a voice that sometimes shades into Dan Fogelberg territory, as in the catchy opener to this disc, "Last of a Dying Breed", a song crafted around a friend's retirement from a decades-long career in the military.
That's a touchy subject nowadays within an increasingly fascist society (if you doubt, merely refer to USMC Smedley Butler or USAF L. Fletcher Prouty), but it's also needful, to remember how things are supposed to be. Dying Breed harks right back to that. As a hiker who frequently blazes trails where he shouldn't (or so the rangers tell me), one of my favorite parks is Joshua Tree National Monument, the place U2 memorialized, and I inevitably meet up with Marine DI's from the nearby 29 Palms base whenever I depart beaten path. These are gentlemen who inevitably impress me, a meta-anarchist, with their integrity, intelligence, and self-composure. There are indeed people born with a desire to protect their homeland, and they are honorable men…within, unfortunately a less-than-honorable military-industrial complex, but we'll leave that for another time. Dying Breed reminds us that such people have not disappeared, even in the present oppressive terrain, and further intimates that such are right now among us, though the title and refrain "I'm the last of a dying breed" echo the breakdown in the way of things, further connoting what may happen in the future.
I Like You gets waaaaay Jimmy Buffetesque, something parrotheads will smile upon while hoisting a margarita, then the Fogelberg element re-enters like a Fall wind in the beautiful Going Home, my favorite cut, a bittersweet lament of leaving and returning…ah, but not like, say, Alan Parsons' The Traveller, not quite, as it's actually something of an extension of Dying Breed, a morality play that may or may not be about a service-man. Glasmire crafts the song to apply to anyone who has spent a lifetime dedicated to a singular vision, a dream which might have proven to be something other than what it started as. The Moment closes the disc with a final Fogelbergy twist on the same note, that all too human propensity to reflect and regret while finding wistful value within experience. Glasmire does very well in all he creates, but his shining plateau is in this moody, aching, its-better-just-over-the-horizon sort of lamentive hope song.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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