The Edge of the Known World
Inspired by an extended period spent living and working in Southern California, The Edge of the Known World finds Mark Sholtez exploring the outer limits of interpersonal relationships at the mercy of distance and time, touching on both the actual and imagined consequences of pushing beyond those limits. Set in a largely organic and conversational musical landscape, the album strikes a delicate balance between the hopeful and the hopeless, painting an open and honest picture of real life and real love.
The Edge of the Known World sets its sights on the rustic peak of the singer-songwriter movement of the 60s and 70s while remaining very much in touch with the sounds of today. An irresistible collection of simple yet well crafted songs the music is hard to pin down to one genre as it crosses musical borders to take in elements of 70’s pop, jazz, modern day Americana, and Laurel Canyon folk, which makes for a consistently intriguing listen.
Sholtez first came to the public’s attention with his chart topping, Tommy LiPuma (Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis) produced debut Real Street (Verve/Universal). The APRA Awarding winning, ARIA Award nominated album may have seen him topping jazz charts, but with 11 of its 12 tracks self-penned, Sholtez has always been first and foremost a singer-songwriter.
Mark’s second album, The Distance Between Two Truths (Warner) saw his dedication to songwriting craft bought clearly into focus. Featuring production by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin) who bonded with Sholtez over a shared love of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Springsteen and Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’ the critically acclaimed album featured collaborations with Aqualung’s Matt Hales, Iain Archer (Snow Patrol), Alex Lloyd and Shane Nicholson.
Having honed his skills watching two legendary figures at close quarters, Sholtez has taken over the producers chair for this third album, where his propensity for musical subtlety seems perfectly paired with the simplicity and honesty of his songwriting.
“I have been fortunate enough over the course of my career to work with some incredibly talented and generous people, including two of the most amazing producers, Tommy LiPuma and Larry Klein. Almost everything I know about making records I learned from my experiences working in the studio with these two gentlemen. In their own ways, both have a wonderful ability to balance attention to detail with the preservation of imperfection. This has had a huge effect on my own practice as a producer. I remember LiPuma saying to me, 'if it feels good it’s good'. It’s that human quality that gives music life.”
The result of Sholtez’s most recent effort is a beautifully rendered album that speaks with a gentle authority, and is possibly the most personal, thoughtful, and cohesive album of his career.