Southern Light

by Mark Nelson

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"Mark Nelson's fine instrumental album "Southern Light" (****) will have you dancing about the room with a Planter's Punch in one hand and a ticket to Jamaica in the other." -- Fairfield County Advocate

Stepping away from an earlier focus on traditional American and Irish tunes, I wrote most of the songs on my third LP. Producer Danny Carnahan (Caswell-Carnahan, Wake the Dead) assembled a stellar cast of supporting musicians, including jazz steel pans player Andy Narell, violinist Dave Balakrishnan (Turtle Island String Quartette), string bassist Pat Klobas and hammered dulcimer virtuoso Robin Petrie.

I played several instruments from the dulcimer family, as well as lead and rhythm guitar, mandolin, melodeon, and electric bass -- my first instrument. Gotta love multi-tracking!

The record was picked up by Flying Fish Records, a major player in the emerging new acoustic folk scene, and was released to outstanding reviews.

Fish eventually put out a CD version, with a slightly different track listing and two new tracks. The LP shows up from time to time on collector's sites. I prefer the original, which you can hear now for the first time.

BTW: All though my songs are listed as being published by Flying Fish Music on the LP, I never signed a publishing contract with them and so I retain all the rights.

In spite of never agreeing to digital distribution - an unknown concept in the early 80s, I recently discovered that the album is currently distributed as a digital download by a label who shall remain nameless. In the thirty years since its initial release I have not received a single penny in royalties - mechanical, songwriting, publishing, you name it. Nada. In fact, I have never seen a single statement! Far too common story, I'm afraid.

Here, then, is the album as originally conceived for you to enjoy. Hell, if I ain't gonna make any money from my own damn record, I might as well give it away!


released October 31, 1986

Mark Nelson - dulcimer, hummel, cittera, mandolin, melodeon, Fender bass and vocals.

Danny Carnahan - fiddle, guitar, octave mandolin, synthesizer, percussion & vocals.
Robin Petrie - hammered dulcimer & vocals
Dave Balakrishnan - violin
Andy Narell - steel drums
Pat Klobas - string bass

Produced by Danny Carnahan

"Drizzle," "Fernando's,""The Morning Fog,"October," "Bouree Necessaire," "Bahia (Southern Light)," and "Chimpanzee Bounce" are © Mark L. Nelson, acme arts music BMI

"Bye, Bye, Benny" is © Mark Nelson & Danny Carnahan, acme arts music BMI

"Au Jardin d'Amour" is by Pierre Bensusan, Pierre Bensusan Music. All other songs are traditional.



all rights reserved


Mark Nelson Ashland, Oregon

I'm a multi-instrumentalist & author with a solo recording career going back to 1979.

Here are some samples of music I've written or performed over the years for various side projects.

Happy listening!
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