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Hammers and Nails: the book... the CD... visit hammersandnails.net


2011
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OCTOBER

~ Mark Heard remembered...
Singer-songwriter Randy Stonehill just released his 24th album, Spirit Walk, forty years after the release of his first album (Born Twice, 1971). In a recent interview with the Greater Than Magazine Stonehill talks about his work with Mark Heard:

Q: Who sharpens you musically?
A: Certainly the late great Mark Heard. He reminded me of the power of delivering an honest, heartfelt performance. He helped me to be less self conscious about the fact that we were in the recording studio making a record. In so many unspoken ways he helped me to recognize what was valuable. He inspired me to dig deeper both as a writer and a communicator. He helped me to remember where the gifts came from and who you serve, just by the way he conducted himself with integrity and authenticity.

Read more at Randy Stonehill: The Surf Duke on Spiritual Maiden Voyages



JUNE

~ Two Mark Heard songs covered by Joan Baez
The Joan Baez recording Play Me Backwards was first released in 1992. The album, produced by Wally Wilson and Kenny Greenberg, featured songs by songwriters like Mary Chapin Carpenter (“Stones In the Road”), John Stewart (“Strange Rivers”), John Hiatt (“Through Your Hands”), the duo of Janis Ian and Buddy Mondlock (“Amsterdam”), and Ron Davies (“Steal Across the Border” and “The Dream Song,” co-written with Joan).
In the spring of 2011 the album was reissued as Play Me Backwards - A Collector's Edition (2CD/2LP Gatefold Sleeve). Adding historic provenance to this reissue is a second disc containing previously unreleased demos of 10 songs which were contemplated by Joan and her producers, heard here for the first time. Among the songs included are “Rise From the Ruins” and “Lonely Moon” written by Mark Heard. As well, the song “In My Day” co-written by Joan Baez and Greenberg’s wife Ashley Cleveland is included.



MARCH

~ Mark Heard remembered...
Paste Magazine's Andy Whitman recently did an interview with Buddy Miller (who's new album, The Majestic Silver Strings, features a guitarist’s dream band of Miller, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Greg Leisz paired with a host of stellar guest vocalists). During their conversation Andy brought up the name of Mark Heard:

Paste Magazine: I think the first time I heard your voice was on a Mark Heard tribute album from 1994, where you and Julie sang Mark’s song “Orphans of God.” I know that for me, and for a few other folks, Mark Heard was something of a hero, an honest, articulate Christian who wrote poetically about faith and doubt. And then to hear his words coming out of that big, soulful voice of Buddy Miller was a revelation for me.
Buddy Miller: Well, thanks. He’s a hero to me, too. I have his console and a lot of his studio equipment in my house. I’m sitting in front of some of it right now. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about Mark Heard...
(Please visit Paste Magazine to read the rest of the interview.)



2010


OCTOBER

~ New Recording of Mark Heard Lyric
The album Land of Plenty from Blind Records recording group The Redemption Center features the song "I'm Afraid of You," with lyrics by Mark Heard and music by Steve Smith, the band's lead vocalist. The lyrics were originally published in Hammers and Nails, Heard's biography; Smith obtained permission from Janet Heard to set them to music.



AUGUST

~ Michael Been : 1950 - 2010


Michael Been died of a heart attack August 19th backstage at the Pukkelpop Music Festival, Belgium, where he was working as sound engineer for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (a band featuring his son Robert Levon Been). Been was known as the bassist and frontman of The Call, a band who made music that mattered in the 80s, featuring socially conscious, spiritually aware lyrics. He also contributed on a few CCM-related albums in the 70s, like the Barry McGuire classic Lighten Up and the first two releases by 2nd Chapter Of Acts. As well, in the 90s Michael Been did play on two of Mark Heard's albums, Dry Bones Dance and Satellite Sky, and is featured in a short glimpse (probably shoot during the Satellite Sky sessions) on this Mark Heard video. As well, The Call did a passionate cover of Heard's "We Know Too Much" as a part of the Strong Hand of Love tribute project.



JANUARY

~ Thomas L Howard : 1950 - 2010
Composer, arranger, producer, and musician Tom Howard is no longer with us. He had a heart attack January 29 while hiking together with his wife Dori at Edwin Warner Park in Nashville.

Tom will be remembered for his sophisticated, but at the same time gentle, pop albums like View from the Bridge (Solid Rock Records 1977) and Danger in Loving You (NewPax Records 1981) as well as a myriad of beautiful instrumental albums (the last one, Piano Christmas: Fifteen Classic Piano Carols was released by Kingsway Music just a few months ago).

Tom's musical contributions can be found on Mark Heard albums like Appalachian Melody (Solid Rock Records 1979) and all of Mark's studio albums released by Home Sweet Home Records during the 80s (as well, Tom was among Mark's friends "featured" on the front cover of Mosaics). Tom Howard also worked with other Solid Rock artists like Randy Stonehill, Daniel Amos/Terry Taylor and of course Larry Norman, and other Mark Heard connected artists like Pat Terry, Phil Keaggy, The Choir, and Pierce Pettis. Please visit In Memory of Tom Howard for more info and audio clips.

FYI January 30 Solid Rock Records published the following statement on their website: "Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tom's family and friends, and we hope to be able to help out in any small way we can. Tom was one of the Solid Rock artists in the late 1970s and we had plans to re-release his album View From The Bridge later this year."



2009


DECEMBER

~ Appalachian Melody CD release
Mark Heard's 1979-album Appalachian Melody, originally released on vinyl with a fold out cover, is finally available on the CD format. This fine folk/folkrock-oriented album was co-produced by Mark Heard and the Solid Rock boss Larry Norman and features musicians like Tom Howard, Randy Stonehill, Al Perkins, and the late great Jon Linn, among others. More info to be found over at Solid Rock Records.



JUNE

~ A new Mark Heard cover
Two old friends of the late Mark Heard, Phil Keaggy and Randy Stonehill, just released a new album. The recording entitled Mystery Highway features a great collection of rock'n'roll songs written, produced and performed by Phil and Randy (with John Sferra of Glass Harp fame behind the drums), as well as a cover of Mark Heard's "Love Is Not The Only Thing" (from Mark's 1991 recording Second Hand). Please visit Phil Keaggy's webstore to check out audio samples.

As well, Popdose.com recently featured an interesting interview with Phil Keaggy where he talkes about the recording of his classic 1988-release Sunday's Child which not only featured the musical talents of Mark Heard but two of his songs as well (the vinyl release featured "I Always Do" only, but the CD release featured a cover of "Everything Is Alright" as well).

Phil Keaggy: "You know, the thing is that, with Sunday’s Child, it was a Myrrh release, and here’s the weird thing about it: people from RCA/Victor heard the master of the album...it might’ve been because of Jack Puig, who engineered and mixed the album, who must’ve gotten it into the hands of friends of his at RCA...and they flipped over it. They wanted to release "I Always Do" as the first single on RCA. But because of the Myrrh/A&M deal, we couldn’t do it...and A&M did nothing with the album. They didn’t care to promote it."



APRIL

~ An interview with Pierce Pettis
Back in June 26, 2008, Anne Williams at WNRN in Charlottesville, Virginia, did an interview with singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis. In Part 1 of the interview Pettis does an excellent live cover of Mark Heard's "Rise from the Ruins" from Mark's brilliant 1990 recording Dry Bones Dance. Some of you will know that Pettis covered this tune on his 2001 album State of Garce as well. In the third and final part of the interview Pettis gives us a story from his work with Mark Heard who produced Pettis' Tinseltown).

WNRN - Pierce Pettis Interview, Part 1
WNRN - Pierce Pettis Interview, Part 2
WNRN - Pierce Pettis Interview, Part 3


JANUARY

~ Pierce Pettis and Pat Terry
Four years in the the making, January veteran singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis (myspace site) released his 9th soloalbum, entitled That Kind of Love (Compass Records). Since Mark's passing, Pettis has included a Mark Heard tune on each and every of his releases, and this time around he has included a cover of Mark Heard's "Nothing But The Wind", a song originally featured on Mark Heard's final studio recording Satellite Sky. Check this fine album out at Compass Records or at your local musicstore.

Some of you might remember singer-songwriter Pat Terry (myspace site) from The Pat Terry Group in the 70s, or his years as a solo artist in the 80s. Though Terry is still working as a songwriter he hasn't released any new album since 1985, until now....December 2008 Pat Terry finally released a new album entitled Laugh For A Million Years, a name taken from a song written by Terry not long after Mark Heard died. (That song was played in tribute to Mark at the memorial concert in Nashville that year as well.) The new CD can be ordered over at Pat Terry's official website. At Terry's blog ("A New CD...and me", 12/16/08) you will be able to read more about the new album and Terry's connection to Mark. (So Pat, when will your album trilogy produced by Mark Heard in the first half of the 80s finally be available on CD??)



2008


Mark Heard : The Lost Artifacts of An American Poet - Part II / Solid Rock Records 2007

NOVEMBER

~ The Lost Artifacts of An American Poet - Part II
The late Larry Norman's label Solid Rock Records have released The Lost Artifacts Of An American Poet - Part II (as pictured above), a CD featuring never before released recordings by Mark Heard. In the words of Solid Rock Records: "This is the followup to the very well received Mark Heard demos collection we put out in 2007." Songs included on the CD are: Bluegill On The Line / Cold Soaking Rain / Life's Ocean / October Farms / Second Best Friend / To Walk In The Wood / How Long / Not Alone / Even So Come / Goes A Long Way / Bethlehymn. More info featured over at Solid Rock Records.



Ralston Bowles : Rally at the Texas Hotel

MARCH

~ New Mark Heard cover
Ralston Bowles continues the pattern of kicking off albums with a Mark Heard cover. Rally at the Texas Hotel starts with Ralston's take on "Satellite Sky." Check it out at Amazon.com.



FEBRUARY

~ In Another Land...
Singer-songwriter Larry David Norman (4/8/1947 - 2/24/2008) passed away Sunday morning February 24th. Larry Norman was known as a friend of Mark Heard as well as his mentor. In 1976 Mark met with Larry and Randy Stonehill and was offered a recording contract with Solid Rock Records. An album, Appalachian Melody, was released on Larry's Solid Rock label in 1979 before Mark moved on to Home Sweet Home Records.

Mark and Larry working together in the studio ca 1980
Mark and Larry in studio

In this interview from 2000 - a small clip from a yet to be released movie about the late producer and musician Gene "Eugene" Andrusco (of Adam Again) - Larry is commenting on Mark Heard as well Gene Eugene and Terry Taylor (Daniel Amos).



Mark Heard : The Lost Artifacts of An American Poet / Solid Rock Records 2007

JANUARY

~ The Lost Artifacts of An American Poet
In December last year Larry Norman's label Solid Rock Records released The Lost Artifacts Of An American Poet (as pictured above), a CD featuring never before released recordings by Mark Heard. In the words of Solid Rock Records: "When Mark Heard died of a heart attack at age 41, the world lost a musical visionary and Larry lost one of his closest friends. In his short lifetime, Mark released 16 albums, but recorded many more songs which were never released. Until now. A recent foray into the vaults yielded several artifacts that Mark recorded during his time at Solid Rock, some of them never before heard. We've included them on this collection of songs written by a true American poet, ten tracks filled with Mark's trademark wit and wisdom."
More info featured over at Solid Rock Records.



2007


OCTOBER

~ Mark Heard featured at emusic
Under the heading "Mark Heard: Orphan of God", Michael James McGonigal has written a nice column on the music of Mark Heard over at emusic.


AUGUST 16

~ Mark Heard : December 16, 1951 - August 16, 1992

"In a perfect world Mark Heard would be mentioned alongside such influential songwriters as John Hiatt, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson and Steve Earle."
[All Music Guide]

Mark Heard - Live at Cornerstone 1990
Mark Heard - Live at Cornerstone 1990

"I think that all the mystery in the world, all the wonder in the world, all the tears of happiness, all the tears of sadness, all the truth in the world - they have all been rolled up into a big ball and thrown into a hole and boarded up by society. All I'd like to do is just to punch a peep-hole in that, so that somebody walking by might look in." [Mark Heard]

For the record: Today, five years after the launch of this website, The Mark Heard Tribute Project has been visited by close to 22.000. We strongly encourage our visitors to forward any articles, reviews, etc., you may have, covering the work of Mark Heard. Thank you for keeping the legacy alive.


MARCH

~ Mark Heard remembered...
Darryl Purpose, “America’s most original narrative story-teller since Harry Chapin” according to Q Magazine, has released a CD as well as a DVD featuring "Singer Songwriter Heaven", a song originally written by Kevin Faherty. Darryl Purpose is supported by Julie Beaver on these recordings. You could listen to some mp3-samples over at CD Baby and read a nice review as well.



~ Treasure video...
The «Treasure of The Broken Land» video as featured on the Strong Hand of Love Long Form Video (Fingerprint Records/Word 1994). This song originally was featured on the 1992 album Satellite, Mark Heard's final recording.

The video is almost prophetic as it shows the Twin Towers/ World Trade Center in New York and one of the video effects makes it almost appear as if the towers are falling. As well are the lyrics...



FEBRUARY

~ iDEoLA...
The «Is It Any Wonder» video from the Tribal Opera album by iDEoLA (a.k.a. Mark Heard), originally released in 1987 on A&M/What? Records.



JANUARY

~ An animated tribute video...
The new year kicks of with a beautifully crafted animated tribute video by Rayvon Pettis featuring Mark Heard's 1991-masterpiece «Lonely Moon». Enjoy...



2006


DECEMBER

~ Mark Heard quoted...
In the liner notes of Greatest Hits: The Atlantic Years by the multimillion-selling nu-metal act P.O.D., Mark Heard was remembered...

Mark Joseph writes "...The group’s Atlantic Records debut, The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown, proved that Sonny, Wuv (drums), Traa (bass), and Marcos (guitars) could rock with the best of them, and their music skillfully wove in elements of rock, rap, and reggae. But a whole new storm would soon erupt when some devout fans, spooked by the album’s surreal cover art, demanded that the record be removed from certain retail stores. Others of a more secular nature decried the band’s refusal to keep their faith out of their songs. And the battle for the soul of P.O.D. was on: In the words of another singer named Mark Heard, who once fought a similar battle with his own music, they were too saved for the sinners, and the saved didn’t want them around. P.O.D wasn’t going to move, but America was about to..."



OCTOBER

~ "All My Tears" featured on the new album by Jars of Clay
Good Monsters, the new studio album by Jars of Clay, features a cover of Julie Miller's "All My Tears", a song that has been a long-time staple of Jars of Clay's live shows. In the words of Jars' Dan Haseltine: "That was a scary song to try to do. We thought we had to tailor it to make it a little more rock and roll, and we were really scared because we wanted to honour how the song was originally written, about [singer/songwriter] Mark Heard and by Julie, who's experienced so much chronic pain in her life."



AUGUST 16

~ another year has passed...

These days
We put on cars like shoes
And walk faster
We form lines and remain mute
Almost unaware of the walkers around us
As we transcend space
We put on wings like a coat
And spend morning and evening in separate worlds
Instant schizophrenia
As we transcend time

Maps hide cities
Cities hide houses
Houses hide faces
Faces hide hearts
But hearts still beat quietly
Few feel even their own pulse
But hearts are made to beat
We can drown them out with more accessible rhythms
But they continue the counterpoint
Hearts are made to beat
Our souls are still within us
Our Creator waits for us to notice
As our geographical boundaries
Are chased around the sun by time
Decaying in a fashion some call normal

[from Mark Heard's journal]

For the record: Today, four years after the launch of this website, The Mark Heard Tribute Project has been visited by more than 16.000. We strongly encourage our visitors to forward any articles, reviews, etc., you may have, covering the work of Mark Heard. Thank you for keeping the legacy alive.


JUNE

~ Mark Heard remembered by Paste Magazine
In Paste Magazine's #22 June/July 2006 - a Special Collector's Issue featuring the 100 "Best" Living Songwriters - the late Mark Heard was remembered as well:

Paste Magazine, Issue #22, June/July 2006, excerpt from page 64

Featured on Paste's list of the 100 "Best" Living Songwriters were a few friends of Mark Heard like T Bone Burnett, Sam Phillips, Victoria Williams, Bruce Cockburn, Julie Miller, Bill Mallonee and U2. Paste Magazine is one of the best music magazines around, so go get an issue and check it out for yourself!



2005


SEPTEMBER 9

~ "Worry Too Much" - Song of the Year at
the 2005 Americana Music Association Awards

At the 4th Annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards, the Ryman Auditorium Friday September 9, Buddy Miller received the Album of the Year Award for his Universal United House of Prayer, and the opening cut of that album, Mark Heard's "Worry Too Much", won the Song of the Year Award. As some of you might know, "Worry Too Much" was recorded by Mark Heard on his album Second Hand, released back in 1991.

You can read more at CMT, Tennessean and Americana Music Association



AUGUST 16

~ Friends of Mark Heard...
Another year gone by...it's alreday 3 years since The Mark Heard Tribute Project was launched on August 16th 2002, and so far the tribute website has been visited by more than 11.000... thanks for your effort to keep Mark Heard's music alive!

For those of you who would like to discuss the works of Mark Heard, feel free to visit the Mark Heard Music Zone at Yahoo!groups (a place to share photos, links, music and info on the works of Mark Heard) and the new forum at markheard.blogspot.com (dedicated to readers of Hammers & Nails: the Life and Music of Mark Heard by Matthew Dickerson, Cornerstone Press Chicago, 2003)



2004

OCTOBER 26

~ Buddy Miller's Worry Too Much video available
Buddy Miller has recorded a video for his cover of Mark Heard's "Worry Too Much" featured on Miller's new album Universal United House of Prayer. Mark Heard was mentioned in an interview with Buddy Miller featured in the latest issue of No Depression magazine (Issue #53 September-October 2004).


AUGUST 16

~ Ladies and gentlemen...
August veteran singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis released his 8th soloalbum, entitled Great Big World. Since Mark's passing, Pettis has included a Mark Heard tune on each and every of his releases, and this time things push off with a cover of Mark Heard's "Another Day In Limbo". Check this fine album out at pastemusic or at your local musicstore. This guy simply deserves your support!
    But Pettis is not the only one to cover Mark these days...Buddy Miller has recorded "Worry Too Much" for his upcoming album entitled Universal United House of Prayer, to be released on New West Records next month. Be sure to pick up this americana jewel as well.

FYI: The Mark Heard Tribute Project was launched on August 16th 2002 - on the very day 10 years after John Mark Heard sadly passed away - to help perpetuate the legacy of Mark's stunning work. During our first year the tribute website was visited by more than 3500, and today, by the end of our second year on the web, we're approaching 7000 visitors. Thanks for your effort to keep Mark Heard's music alive!



APRIL

~ New Mark Heard cover
Singer-songwriter Ralston Bowles' debut album Carwreck Conversations starts off with a cover of Mark Heard's "What Kind of Friend". The album is produced by Marvin Etzioni (ex-Lone Justice) who did the amazing take on "Hammers and Nails" featured on Fingerprint Records 2CD-tribute Orphans of God. In the words of Brett Hartenbach's All Music Guide review: "Carwreck Conversations, Ralston Bowles' debut, is a mature, thoughtful portrait of age, youth, and the place "where dreams and truth collide"...Along the way he aims more questions inward than at the outside world, without ever falling prey to easy rationalizations or self-pity." Check it out at pastemusic, and look for Orphans of God as well...



2003

SEPTEMBER

~ Greenbelt 2003
Late August singer-songwriters Pierce Pettis and Juliet Turner had the honor of opening the 30th Greenbelt Festival with Mark Heard's "Satellite Sky"...


AUGUST 16

~ first year on the web...
August 16th 2002, 10 years after John Mark Heard passed away, The Mark Heard Tribute Project was launched to help perpetuate the legacy of Mark's stunning work. One year after the official release, the tribute website has been visited by more than 3500.

The Mark Heard Tribute Project strongly encourage our visitors to forward any articles, reviews, etc., you may have, covering the work of Mark Heard.


JULY 1

~ HAMMERS & NAILS
The new Mark Heard album Hammers & Nails (as well as every Mark Heard album still in print) is now available at PasteMusic.com. A limited number of Tribal Opera, the critical acclaimed one-man project Mark Heard released under the name of iDEoLA, is for sale as well (NB! vinyl-version only). Get it while you can!

The Phantom Tollbooth has published a review of Matthew Dickerson's book "HAMMERS & NAILS: the Life and Music of Mark Heard" (Cornerstone Press 2003).

Please visit Cornerstone Press' website Hammers and Nails, dedicated to the Mark Heard biography. For those who want to discuss the various topics included in the book, an online-forum is included on the website as well.


APRIL 12

~ The Tribute Project Relocates
The MARK HEARD Tribute Project is soon to be
relocated to the following URL: www.markheard.net
Bookmark today!


APRIL 9

~ HAMMERS & NAILS: the Life and Music of Mark Heard
The Mark Heard biography written by Matthew Dickerson is finally ready for pre-ordering (release-date: June 12, 2003).
Order today at Cornerstone Press

Cornerstone Press says:
Please remember that all royalties from the sales of this book go to Janet and Rebecca Heard! This is very important. This project is a labor of love in honor of Mark's memory and in dedication to the family. By pre-ordering the First Edition you're also making a contribution to insure more copies of this book in the future!


Hammers and Nails - the book



~ HAMMERS & NAILS - the album!
Paste Records has made agreement with Dan Russell, Janet Heard and Fingerprint to become the new home for Mark Heard's music. This includes the release of a new CD, Hammers & Nails, which includes 10 new songs, plus some bonus material.

Hammers and Nails - the CD

Additionally, Paste will be remastering and re-releasing Satellite Sky and bringing "She's Not Afraid" over from the High Noon-compilation. The new label says "Paste will also ensure that Second Hand & Dry Bones Dance stay in print."


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