Mark Cutler

Mark Cutler talks to Rick Cornell about his musical evolution from the Raindogs, “Venus of Avenue D” and other favorite covers, and how he learned to invite the muse.

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Mark Cutler

Mark Cutler

Interview Recap

Rick Cornell asks Mark Cutler about some of the covers he plays live. Mark Cutler says he plays Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Workin’,” and “Can’t Lose Whay You Never Had.” He sometimes plays Neil Young’s “Helpless” the “The Kids Are All Right” by The Who. Mark says he plays lots ofblues standards plus covers of Rolling Stones and Velvet Undergrounf as well. Rick asks Mark Cutler what cover songs he might put on an album. Mark mentions that there’s a song by Willie DeVille called “Venus of Avenue D” that he’s always wanted to cover. He’s also wanted to cover The Five Stairsteps called “Ooh Child” that he’d like to record some day.

Rick Cornell asks Mark Cutler about how the songs for Sweet Pain came together. Mark says they’ve come together over a few years. Mark says they come in clumps. He’ll write a few over a couple of months then “the muse takes a vacation.” Mark says the recoding was quick and dirty to keep it fresh.

Rick asks Mark about the wide variety of songs on Sweet Pain. Mark Cutler says he doesn’t try tpo peg himself into any certain scene. He says sometimes you just have to let the song take you where it needs to go. Mark Cutlery gives credit to the backing band for putting their personality on the songs as well.

Mark Cutler sets up “Waste Some Time”. He says this song was written many years ago for his girlfriend. The lead guitar on this track is Eric Ambel.

[Rick plays "Waste Some Time" from Sweet Pain by Mark Cutler.]

Rick asks about Mark Cutler’s past bands. Mark talks about his first band called the Schemers in the 70’s. They were influenced by Mink DeVille and played rootsy stuff. In 1986, he moved to Boston and started the Raindogs and signed with AtCo and toured with that band. He’s recently been doing solo stuff ever since then.

Rick notes there is a cover of The Schemers and a cover of The Raindogs on Sweet Pain and asks Mark what is was like to record them now. Mark says he’s never stopped playing those songs over the years and talks about how they’ve evolved musically over the years. Mark says he tries to write songs that could have been written last year or 100 years ago.”

[Rick plays "Lonesome Pain" from Mark Cutler's album, Sweet Pain.]

Rick asks about the difference between the Raindogs days and today in terms of writing music. Mark says “I feel like I have the song in me now. I also realize now that the muse doesn’t just visit you. You have to invite the muse to come to see you, which means that you have to sit down and really work at writing a song. Sometimes it takes a few days. You don’t wait for inspiration to come around. You have to create the environment to be inspired. That means you have to sit down and work on writing songs over a period of time. I think that’s the main thing I’ve learned.”

Mark Cutler runs through the backing band, Men of Great Courage. Mark talks about how the Men Of Great Courage got their name.

Mark Cutler give a shout out to some of his friends from Facebook.

Mark Cutler sets up “She’ll Be Killing You Too” Mark says he was really happy with how it turned out. He recorded it at his house with just him strumming a guitar then a friend of his added the pedal steel.

[Rick plays "She'll Be Killing You Too" from Sweet Pain by Mark Cutler.]

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Rotation 331

  • Little But I’m Loud / Rosie Flores / Working Girl’s Guitar / 3:36
  • Big Bad Love / Andrew Combs / Worried Man Masters / 3:58
  • I’m Tired / Bettye LaVette / Thankful N’ Thoughtful / 3:19
  • Keep Using Me / Bonnie Bishop / Free / 4:00
  • Go To Sleep With The Angels / Bill Mallonee / The Power & The Glory / 4:18
  • Loretta / Cahalen Morrison & Eli West / Our Lady of the Tall Trees / 2:57

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The Americana Music Show is copyright 2012 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists.

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If you have any feedback for this episode or any other episode feel free to leave a comment on the episode page or send mail to calvin@americanamusicshow.com.

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