Mark Cantwil

01 Pride In This Name.mp3

Pride In This Name:

02 Ode To McKennedy.mp3

Ode To McKennedy:

03 Rose Colored Laughter.mp3

Rose Colored Laughter:

04 Raining Blood.mp3

Raining Blood:

05 The Burden MASTER v2.mp3

The Burden:

06 When I Die MASTER v2.mp3

When I Die:

01 Diggin On You.mp3

Diggin' On You:

Let me start out by saying, "I am not a stalker!!" :) The chorus and melody came to me first. I was at my daughters' volley ball game and this groove kept going through my head. So I came up with the chorus, the hook and kept singing it repeatedly until  I could get home, grab the guitar and work it out. So I established the key and the chord progression of the chorus, then I started working on the verses. I ask myself, "What should I write about?" For some reason, Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Rear Window" popped in my head. The one where Jimmy Stewart is in a wheel chair, passes the time by watching his neighbors through his window. So I decided to go from that angle, to write about a guy who is infatuated with agirl in a neighboring building and constantly watches her from his window. What makes the song interesting is that the level of creepiness is totally up to the listener. Is the guy just infatuated and crushing on this  gal? Or is this dude becoming obsessed and bordering psychotic and criminal behavior? I'll let you decide.  :)

02 Play It Loud.mp3

Play It Loud:

This song is fueled with a lil attitude and references events that all occurred over my past 25 years of playing bars, clubs and venues. There is a lot of hustling, paying dues and bullshit involved when trying to stay relevant in the music business. But the pay off, by far, is getting on stage, turning up your amp and sweating out said frustration while melting some faces. That's what this song is about. Brett's slide guitar work is top notch and really added to the over-all feel and vibe of this song. Brett's contribution is somewhat of a tip of the hat to the Jacksonville, FL crew of the 70's that we all grew up with and love.

03 Sammy Boy.mp3

Sammy Boy:

Similar to the "Play It Loud" muse, this song was inspired, once again, from the people, places and experiences I have had met while playing music over the past 25 years. The character Sammy Boy is based on several different cats I used to go see play on High Street in Columbus, OH when I was in college. The over all story though, is based on a few veteran musicians and guitarist I met when I first started playing out that are now aging musicians struggling with disillusionment and frustration of being a working musician while trying to make a living and still stay relevant in the scene and business.  E.g: The line, "He said my friend I'm tired of this scene but I'm too old to change and too young for the grave". As for the music, I was going for an East coast soul vibe reminiscent of the early 70's. Something you might hear Springsteen or Southside Johnny belting out at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park circa 1972. The lovely Shaun Booker helped me transcend this concept with her amazing back-up vocals. I was very pleased with the final mix of this song and it's one of my favorite tracks on the album....

04 The Puppet.mp3

The Puppet is about demons and vices and how one can feel likea marionette to the grip of said vices. The song is about cutting the strings, moving on and taking back ones life.

05 Nothing's Gonna Change.mp3

Nothing's Gonna Change:

"Lake Rat"

This tune is about the flaw in human nature to cast judgment on others. No matter what one may do to better themselves or  change their situation, the perception conceived by others and some will never change. I grew up on the outskirts of a small town by a lake in a housing division called Filburns Island (it was actually a peninsula). In the 50's, 60's and part of the 70's Filburns Island was booming and a popular summer vacation hot spot. There were tons of Cottages and the islands name sake family had a little resort with a restaurant, marina with fuel pumps, camping and a water park/swimming area. In the 80's when I was a child, the place had become run down, pretty rough and earned a bad reputation and the residents got branded as Lake Rats. I used to loath this label when I was a kid because even as a young boy I knew this branding was made with a lot of derogatory and judgment. So I did everything I could to break that mold, perception and moved away as soon as I could. As I got older, I came to terms with being a Lake Rat and actually took pride in the label and found it somewhat endearing. By the 90's, the restaurant was tore down, the marina closed up and a bunch of retirees started investing in property, tearing down cottages and building newhomes. I was glad to see that a place I loved so much and had so many memories as a child was getting cleaned up, revived and restored. To this day I still have some friends that call me Lake Rat and I'm ok with that. But to some, I'm still poor white trash that grew up at the lake.... and I'm ok with that too.  :)

06 The Greatest Show Around.mp3

The Greatest Show Around:

This song was inspired by and about the circus trains of the early 20th century. I didn't know much about this world until I watched "Water For Elephants" with my wife. I was blown away by the cinematography and authenticity of the film. I was immediately intrigued and spent the next few weeks researching, reading and watching videos about traveling circus companies of that era. Before the depression and movie houses, the circus and side shows were the biggest thing to hit rural and small town America. They were huge and the performers were the rock stars of their time! Towns would literally shut down when the circus came to town.... shops would close, schools would cancel and the entire town and surrounding area would attend. It was a big deal! At that time, there were about 80 different circus outfits that traveled different regions around the country. Due to the massive size of these companies, they would travel by train for speed and would book towns along the railways in their region. When the great depression spread the nation, the circus industry took a huge hit because folks didn't have extra money for entertainment. Most of the smaller outfits went out of business and the ones that did continue combined forces to survive. By the time the economy bounced back, moving pictures were all the rage and movie houses were popping up in every small town across the country. Although the traveling circus is still around, still popular and still continues to utilize trains and railroad routes..... they never did regained their formerglory of the early 20the century.

"Buy a ticket for a quarter..... to see the Greatest Show Around!!"

07 Tonight.mp3


"Hell hath no furry like a pretty girl scorn" - This is a cautionary tale to all men to take care of their ladies!!  ;)

Being a working musician, you would think that I am entertaining the folks in the bar, club or venue because I am on stage, right? I would beg to differ this isn't always the case. Over the years I have learned that if you keep your eyes open you can learn a lot about the people in the crowd and not only be entertained but draw some creative inspiration for a song. It is always obvious which girl or guy just got their heart broken. You start seeing them more often, they have a new look, new clothes, hair cut and usually get in shape and drop a few pounds..... like a male peacock spreading his feathers. This mating ritual goes on until a suitable mate is found and then that person disappears. But not to worry..... this beloved character is always replaced quickly with a new, freshly jaded romantic.  ;)

I love the sultry bluesy feel we went with for this tune and once again, Brett's guitar work is amazing and helps create the ambiance to tell the story of this jaded siren.

08 Blackjack.mp3


Blackjack is a tale of two young lovers destined for heartbreak. The song is loosely based on a conversation I had with a friend. When she was 19 she packed her bags, left her little town in Ohio and ran off with her boyfriend to Las Vegas. They didn't tell anyone, their families found out a few weeks later. After a few sultry romantic months in Vegas, the money ran out, the relationship dissolved and they were on their way back to Ohio. Inspiration for the chorus came from the same conversation. The line of "Fill up the tank and lets roll the dice" is in reference to a discussion we were having about touring full time while raising a family. I made the comment that I would love to be on the road more but the reality is that I have responsibilities, a family I love, that depends on me and that it would have to be the right scenario with guarantee of financialsupport for me to leave them for a long period of time...... I just can't fill up the tank and roll the dice. So I took our conversation, combined both topics, added some creative license for substance and Blackjack was born!

09 Beautifully Broken.mp3

Beautifully Broken:

Beautifully Broken is based on a night on December 8th, 2010 at an open mic at the "Leaf and Vine" in Troy, Ohio. I had gotten a call from my buddy Jason Rhoads that I was playing in a band with at the time. He said that he met this guy Bowen Chaney that was hosting an open mic on Wednesdays at the Leaf and really wanted him to come out and play. Jason said he really didn't want to go but said he would if I joined him. So I did. The evening ended up being one of those magical nights of music and people. The place was packed, all the slots were full and artist Jennifer Noren was at a side table drawing sketches of all the performers. That night I met cats that I play and collaborate with still today! That's the thing about open mic and open stage nights, you get all types of people from all walks of life to get up and play their 20 min set. And everyone has different reasons why they're there..... "A teacher, a cop and a junkie all waiting for time to play". Open mics have been a huge marketing tool for me over the years and after that night I decided to pay homage through song.

10 Crazy One.mp3

Crazy One:

Crazy One is a song about following your gut, going your own path and doing what you feel is right even if it causes a little friction. Nothing will split a friendship quicker than discussing politics and religion. I  don't need my friends to have the same opinions or think and feel the way I do about issues and ideology. I respect another's opinion and way of  life. I'm am tolerant, compassionate and understanding for those folks and situations that I may not understand. I just ask the same in return.

11 Long Live The Night.mp3

Long Live The Night:

Long live the night is basically and ode to simpler times of youth with less responsibility and the days when spontaneity and new experiences happened more frequently. This song was inspired by a movie I had just watched, I believe it was High Fidelity. Where the guy is constantly living in the past to where he always has one foot out the door in the present, scared thathe is going to miss something.


01 Another Small Town Song.mp3

Another Small Town Song:

02 Last Chance Johnny.mp3

03 Black Coffee & Cigarettes.mp3

04 Cutlass.mp3

05 Never Take Me Alive.mp3

06 That Guy.mp3

07 Ghost of Katie.mp3

Ghost of Katie:

Sometimes as a songwriter you hear, see or read something that sticks with you. A story or headline that stays in your conscious and  just needs written about. That was the case with this song. In 03 I read an article in Rolling Stone Magazine about a 13 year old girl from Manchester, New Hampshire that was raped and killed by a group of teens back in 1997.

08 Cock Rock.mp3

09 Troubled Times.mp3

10 Wreck.mp3

11 Cisco.mp3