April 13, 2024
Mark Cameron Band – Nasty Business

Mark Cameron Band – Nasty Business

Blue Heart Records, 2023


10 tracks, 42 minutes

Minneapolis based singer/songwriter and guitarist, Mark Cameron, has been recording albums for a long time.  His band won the Road to Memphis challenge in 2017, and his 2019 album, On a Roll, was voted best independently produced CD by the Minnesota Blues Society.  The current composition of his band includes Rick Miller on harmonica/vocals, Scott Lundberg on bass/vocals, Dan Schroeder on drums, and Cameron’s wife, Sheri Cameron, on saxophone, flute, and percussion.  He has also invited numerous guest artists for this recent project, with the most famous being Grammy-nominated singer, Teresa James.

With some songwriters it can take a repeated times listening before their original songs are fully appreciated, but this is not the case with Mark Cameron.  All the songs on Nasty Business were written by Cameron, and he has a gift for making his original songs sound instantly familiar. And, his catchy choruses will get stuck in your head, but will be welcomed. (Such as, “What’s the combination to unlock your heart?)  Additionally, Cameron’s lyrics are often quite clever.  For example, in “What’s for Supper” he notes, “looks like someone else showed up to eat.  Now I go hungry…All that love that tastes so good you’re saving for another…the main course was unsatisfying.  Half-baked excuses on the side…you didn’t get what you ordered—didn’t know it would hurt.  Back for seconds on the pain with heartbreak for dessert…now the whole things boiling over and blowing off the cover. The blues is what’s for supper.”

One of the best tracks on Nasty Business is the slow number titled “That’s a Fact”, which describes the pain of a breakup.  “We broke into little pieces.  I guess we weren’t that strong…that’s a fact—you ain’t here.  I don’t know when you’re coming back.”  What stands out the most in this song are the emotive vocals, ending with spectacular background vocals that have a gospel-feel and are provided by guest artists Sara Renner and Tonia Hughes.

Cameron’s vocals are strong and soulful but, of course, Teresa James can make a great song sound even better.  Her contribution of background vocals to the song “Combination” does not disappoint, although this song would likely also sound incredible if they equally shared the verses as a duet. “Combination” also contains a guitar solo that is pure with a beautiful tone.

The talent of the Mark Cameron Band is consistently evident throughout this album, and listeners will be unlikely to be skipping any of the tracks.  Nasty Business is definitely worth adding to your collection.

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