Artist: Markus Rill
The Things That Count
A voice like sandpaper, skilful picking and songs that go under your skin. "Songs shimmering beautifully with ambiguity ... brilliant lyrics" (Rolling Stone/Germany), "If voices were highways, Markus Rill's would be gravel ... like Steve Earle, Tom Waits, and Lucinda Williams, Rill excels at songwriting." (PureMusic/USA), "Markus Rill has a Texas-style Americana growl shaken (not stirred) into the dusty dirt road of his guitar playing" (Northwest Folklife/USA), the magazines complement. Markus Rill writes about "The Things That Count". He sets intelligent, moving lyrics about dealing with the winding ways of life and love to atmospheric folk music, stark country, and driving Rock'n'Roll, infused with blues and gospel. His unique sandpaper-and-gravel voice adds another layer of depth and character.
The German-born singer-songwriter has won awards and accolades for his songwriting, he has toured all over Europe and played some of the biggest festivals and finest clubs in the USA (SXSW, Folk Alliance, the Bluebird in Nashville, the Cactus in Austin), he has recorded with the most in-demand players on the Americana scene (Duane Jarvis, Steve Conn, Fats Kaplin, Dave Jacques, Bryan Owings to name but a few), and he has shared stages with the incomparable Townes van Zandt, Dire Straits co-founder David Knopfler, Tom Russell, Chris Knight, Steve Wynn, Hal Ketchum, and countless others. Upon hearing him play at Northwest Folklife in Seattle, a movie director decided he needed Rill's music in his motion picture. In the meantime, three of Rill's songs have been used in American independent films. An impressive resume.
And yet “The Things That
Count”, Rill's sixth studio album,
is his finest work to date - even though its predecessor “The Price
Of Sin” ended
up on numerous year-end best lists. His songwriting packs punch and insight, Richard
McLaurin's production opens up new soundscapes, and Rill's vocal delivery goes
right under your skin. There are lines that will resonate, melodies you'll be singing
along with, and stories that'll keep you thinking. “Sarah Stein”, a
story song about a famous ballet dancer who escaped yet couldn't forget Nazi Germany,
is simply the most moving song you'll hear in a mighty long time.