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Mike Younger and the Marksmen – Hustled by Squares


So sometime around 1998 music from a musician working in New Orleans crossed the Nashville desk of Rodney Crowell and in 1999 Rodney produced Mike Younger’s first album Something in the Air fast forward a few years and I too discovered the music of Mike Younger, in the budget bin of my favorite used CD store. The album looked interesting and when I took it home and listened I was blown away by the album! I felt that comparison to Dylan or Springstein were right on and the album stayed in my CD player for a long while! In 2005 Mike released his second album Every Stone You Throw while it was a good album I didn’t think it measured up to the first album. This summer Mike has a new band The Marksmen and has released a really strong album Hustled by Squares . The album is a little more rock than I remember Something in the Air being (and I have to remember because the CD cover is empty and I think the ripped CD is on an external hard drive that decided not to work!) Anyway from his biography on his website:

At the age of seventeen Younger took to the road, traveling by thumb, rail, shoestring, bus etc… Though his origins lead back to Atlantic Canada, his musical journey has passed through many towns and cities….his stages have been piers, sidewalks, doorways, town squares, coffee shops, bars, saloons, joints, nightclubs and theaters. He has never aspired to performed on American Idol and never will.

For Hustled by Squares Younger again teamed with producer/engineer Rob Clark (Willie Nelson, Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal, Neil Young) and like I said the lyrics, vocals and music all work on this album from the rocking numbers “The Chase”, “Can’t Hardly Wait”, “Key to My Heart” to the social comment numbers “We’re Still Hanging on”, and the closing track “Where Do We Start” with the powerful lyrics (you can check out all the lyrics for Hustled by Squares here):

We carry no malice,
At the hour of our birth,
But we gather up stones,
With each step on this earth,
May we soon find a reason,
To try and relate,
And lay down our vengeance,
Before it’s too late.

Like normal almost every track on this album has grown to be a favorite, but “Dead End Street” may be be the most favorite. I love the chorus:

You’re not the first to leave your mark on me,
I’ve got scars that you wont ever see,
You’re just another dead end street that I wandered down,
There’s nothing but ashes where there once was flame,
So find someone new to play your childish game,
I’m not here just for you to kick around

Younger’s band mates The Marksman include:

Chris Autrey – Bass,
Dave Colella – Drums / Percussion,
John Wallum – Keys / Vocals

Darn, I didn’t mention “Dreaming All Alone” another great track and I can go on and on so just check him out!!

Here’s Mike and the Marksmen with “The Chase” the opening track from Hustled by Squares