January 9, 2001
Self produced and Independently Recorded
Available at Satori Sound
Mark Pfaff starts his self-titled album with "If You Need Me," a psychedelic slap in the face that starts in mid-chorus and never looks back. It is a fitting start for an album that is full of hooks and fuzzy guitar anchored by Pfaff’s well-worn vocals and excellent bass playing.
Mark Pfaff first made a name for himself as a sideman with Mobile’s own Will and the Bushmen. More recently he has been playing with Walter Egan in The Dinosaurs and in Igmo with fellow Bushman Sam Baylor. But it is his first solo album that finally gives Pfaff an opportunity to step out front and demonstrate his skills as a front man.
Anyone who has seen Pfaff perform live should not be surprised at his ability to carry an album’s worth of material on his own. An affable and amiable sidekick, he is well aware of the spotlight and knows how to draw it his way. What may shock some is the depth of the songwriting on this album. Twelve of the thirteen tracks are written by Pfaff and range from the heartfelt ballad "I Will Comfort You", to the blues workout "Hello Jimi," and then all the way to the Lennonesque "Scared". Pfaff also conducts quite a lesson on the rock-n-roll uses of the harmonica.
All in all an excellent outing by one of Mobile’s finest performers, Pfaff is a true rock soldier. He got the gospel early and spread it often. If only one in ten people who have enjoyed his live performances bought this record it would be in the top ten. Which is where this cat deserves to be.
-- Jay Sharpe
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