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October 16, 2006
Mark Newton Band Releases Hillbilly Hemingway
"Only once in a great while does an album come out with that crucial mix of songs, performances, and just all-around artistry on this level. Hillbilly Hemingway is definitely one of those. Mark and band have hit a home run with what promises to be one of the classic bluegrass discs of all time." Kyle Cantrell-- XM Satellite Radio

"On Hillbilly Hemingway, it's evident that Mark Newton has reached his pinnacle of excellence in a long-standing career. The songs are poignant and fresh. The band's performances are meticulous, sensitive and strong. Mark's vocals translate straight to the heart with a fresh dose of reality and confidence." Claire Lynch--IBMA Award Winning artist & Grammy nominee

*** NASHVILLE, TN IBMA Award winning artist Mark Newton, one of today's most respected interpreters of bluegrass music, will release the highly anticipated album Hillbilly Hemingway on Nov. 7th on Rebel Records.

"I'm really proud of this record," says Newton. Newton s pride is understandable; collaborating with Grammy-winning producer Carl Jackson, he s fulfilled the promise embodied in the title of his previous effort, No Boundaries, searching beyond bluegrass for just the right songs, adding tasteful percussion and raising his already considerable interpretative vocal skills to a new level. The result is an album solidly rooted in bluegrass without being hemmed in by its narrowest conventions a collection that he calls, without hesitation, the best album I ve ever made. Bluegrass Radio Network and WSM Radio's Terry Herd calls Hillbilly Hemingway "a stellar project!"

That observation may seem commonplace, but in Newton s case, it s an indication of just how strongly he feels about Hilbilly Hemingway, for his tribute to and collaboration with the women of bluegrass, Follow Me Back To The Fold, earned him the International Bluegrass Music Association s Recorded Event Of The Year honor in 2001, culminating a career that stretched back to the early 1970s and included work with now legendary groups like the Knoxville Grass and the Virginia Squires. Forming the Mark Newton Band shortly after the album was made, he went on to release two solid projects in 2001 and 2003, but already he had his sights set on a more compelling achievement and to turn it into reality, he decided, a move to Nashville was in order.

For 3 or 4 years prior to moving [in 2005], I felt this might be a good opportunity for me to recharge my batteries, to get in an area where I could feel the pulse of what this town has to offer. And I also got to a place where I felt I needed something or someone to inspire me. I didn t really have a clue who or what that might be until I saw Carl walk by at the IBMA s Fan Fest in 2004. I spoke to him in passing and told him that I d be moving, and he said, call. So I did, and I explained to him that I wanted to make a record that would entertain, but it was just as important to come to Nashville, to find a producer, to find great songs, start the creative process and see where it would lead and that I thought he was the right person.

I d been hearing Mark s music for years, Jackson says. And he s a wonderful interpreter of a song. But I don t think he d ever really had time to spend in the studio, or had anyone to give him direction and that s what he told me he wanted. He sold me on how much the music meant to him, and how he wanted to do the best record of his life. So we agreed that we would try to find great songs, we weren t going to go into the studio until we had the songs together, and we d take the time to do all the right things to make it a special record. And I think the result speaks for itself.

Significantly, the decision was made early on that Hillbilly Hemingway would be a band record, rather than a solo undertaking. My current band members Beth Lawrence, Clay Hess, John Wheat and Andy Ball are very talented in their own right, Newton says, so it was a no-brainer to go in a direction that would showcase them as much as we could.

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