San Francisco, CA
American Music Club, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake
Somber and steady, Mark Kozelek weaves a plaintive and vulnerable swath between experimental indie rock and sonorous folk music that some have dubbed “sadcore.” But don’t let the melancholy title worry you, this prolific singer/songwriter is a true American original, an
influential and respected craftsman, and one of the strongest voices to emerge in the last 25 years.
Born and raised in Ohio, Mark Kozelek spent time in Atlanta before moving to San Francisco and forming the immaculately sorrowful Red
House Painters in 1989. The group fused Kozelek’s bittersweet baritone voice with deeply intimate compositions. Formed around an often experimental slant, Kozelek lead the group through several acclaimed albums over the course of nearly a decade before the band dissolved.
At that time, Kozelek moved towards more acoustic centered solo material, releasing his debut album under his own name, Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer EP in 2000. The album included masterful reworkings of classic songs by the likes of John Denver and even AC/DC, a feat Kozelek would continue throughout his career. In 2002, Kozelek again assembled a
close knit group of musicians, including some Red House Painters alumni, to form the more accessible and straightforward Sun Kil Moon. Their debut album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, signaled a true embrace of Kozelek’s Midwestern roots and featured country inspired rock songs that Red House Painters had so often skirted for more
haunting and atmospheric aesthetics.
Sun Kil Moon continues to this day, most recently releasing April in 2008. Kozelek has also kept a full plate on his table with the founding of his label Caldo Vera Records, and a steady string of solo
albums, including 2008′s Finally LP and last year’s Lost Verses Live, a collection of his works presented in stunningly stripped down live renditions. Now one of the most recognized voices in music, Kozelek
still leads a generation of songwriters with his poetic and gentle songs.