Mark Ceaser is a Yorkton boy now in Saskatoon, where he is very much involved in his music. Ceaser is part of Sexually Attracted to Fire, whose self-titled debut was reviewed here last July.
Now with the release of Burma Road, Ceaser has ventured out with a solo effort.
The CD is an EP, only five songs, but they are at least five wonderful songs.
This is soft rock, although Ceaser clearly has a folkie sensibility in how he approaches writing.
When you combine that, there is an option for Ceaser to get a definite country feel going at times.
For example; Highway 16 is a song that is as Western Canadian in nature as any song you are going to hear. It is a song that resonates because of the imagery. Musically, the song is reflective of the song Copperhead Road, itself something of a cross-over hit, and Highway 16 is a direct descendant in a sense.
One of the strengths Ceaser manages is to sing about here. He has found places such as Highway 16, and Saskatoon as influences worthy of using in his songs.
The result is a beautiful effort such as Willow Tree. The song has its share of emotion which resonates beyond any one locale, yet Ceaser weaves in typically Saskatchewan images; a summerfallow field, a willow tree, that as a listener you relate. Nicely done, as a song which could cross from country radio to soft rock quite easily.
Knife and Key is less about Saskatchewan, but is no less compelling. It's another example of Ceaser's ability to capture emotion in his work.
This is a highly credible calling card as an EP, and one that makes you wish there was just two, or three more songs fleshing out the effort.
Check it out at www.myspace.com/markceaser
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper May 20, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada