The follow-up finds Zaden writing tougher hooks, singing more confidently, daring a little more humor and hubris. Far from over-whelming his music's tuneful, thoughtful character, Zaden has amplified it with a garage-band dynamic that makes Green Enough to Grow bracing and, at the same time, embracing."
Pop Music Writer
South Florida Sun Sentinel
"...Green Enough to Grow is paved throughout with the very best...quickly outlining Zaden's gift for crafting snappy, instantly memorable tunes...Zaden is obviously completely in charge of a natural talent."
New Times Broward
October 25, 2001
Green Enough To Grow: Coming of Age at the Turn of the Millennium
Mark Zaden's latest CD release, Green Enough To Grow, is an 11-song autobiographical account of the last two-and-a-half years of his life. But the stories Zaden tells could be anyone's.
That's what connects with audiences and why Green Enough is a powerful and touching statement about coming-of-age at the turn of the millennium.
Zaden's songwriting on Green Enough juxtaposes a sensitive view of the human condition with a hard roots-rock edge. This is evident on standout cuts such as "Here In My Mind," "Gabriella" and "Jade." Zaden also shows off his acoustic chops and soulful vocals on the plaintive "Making Other Plans" and the beautiful "Goodbye Avalon," which stunningly closes the recording.
"These songs look at relationships," Zaden says. "Relationships to one another, to the planet and to life."
Green Enough began to grow soon after the release of Zaden's solid debut CD Six Is Fine in October of 1998. By January 1999, he was back in the Crib -- the Brooklyn, New York studio owned by long-time collaborator Nunzio Signore -- recording initial tracks and brainstorming ideas for the sound on Green Enough.
Zaden reassembled the Six Is Fine band, a seasoned group of musicians including Steve Logan on bass; Dave Johnson on drums and percussion; Mino Cinelo on percussion; Anthony Robustelli on keyboards; Signore on guitar and vocals; and Zaden on lead vocals and guitar.
Each musician has had major label experience, playing with luminaries such as Aretha Franklin, Bo Diddley, Sting, Peter Gabriel, John Scofield and Brian McKnight, just to name a few.
Eschewing the "groovy kind of vibe "of Six Is Fine, Zaden desired a "more rockin' vibe" on Green Enough. This evolution in sound produced a focused and crisp melodic pop rock CD -- the arrangements are inventive and hook-laden; the lyrics are insightful, intelligent and accessible.
"The players really dialed into my writing on this record," Zaden says. "Over the years, we have all grown closer professional and personally. When I go out on the road, these are the guys that I will take with me."
Zaden says the studio records of Vertical Horizon, Jellyfish and Jimi Hendrix influenced the sound of Green Enough. "Nunzio and I would share ideas we got from records we liked," he says. "But when it came down to it, if we thought something felt right, we went with it."
That philosophy gives Green Enough an organic feel, resulting in a classic recording that will grow and evolve with each listening.
"I want these songs to affect people emotionally," Zaden says. "I want people's hearts to swell when they hear them."
Mark Zaden: Portrait of an Artist Breaking Through
Great musical artists are born with the ability to look within themselves and reflect humanity in ways that are both familiar and revealing. They present their art in memorable and moving ways, often providing the soundtracks for our lives.
From the time Mark Zaden picked up a guitar more than 20 years ago, the Florida-born singer/songwriter has been honing his ability to create and perform that soundtrack, touching many lives along the way.
With strong guitar chops, a deft songwriting touch and a beautiful voice that is both breathtaking and heartbreaking, Zaden has become a celebrated artist, playing to thousands of people each year.
A Musical Love Affair
Zaden's love affair with music was sparked in his childhood by his parents: his mother used to sing Beatles songs to him as a boy and his father is an accomplished vocalist. Like many kids learning to play their instruments, Zaden enjoyed the garage band days of his youth. Later, during his early years at the University of Alabama, he toured the Southeast as the lead guitarist in a rock -n- roll cover band. Soon, he put down the electric guitar and began performing acoustically. His life began to change and he started recording the songs he'd written. These were the first steps down the path of his musical future.
Green Enough to Grow
Influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, the Beatles and, most recently, Dave Matthews, Zaden's style of songwriting juxtaposes a sensitive view of the human condition - especially relationships -- with a hard roots-rock edge. On his two CDs -- Six Is Fine (1998) and the recently released Green Enough to Grow (2001), Zaden's soulful vocals soar over guitar work featuring his longtime collaborator Nunzio Signore.
The lyrics and arrangements on Green Enough to Grow are inventive while staying within the pop genre, resulting in songs that are insightful, intelligent and accessible. The CD is crisply produced, well played and professionally packaged. It includes soon-to-be-classics such as "Here In My Mind," "Gabriella" and the moving "Goodbye Avalon," which stunningly closes the recording.
Longtime friend and producer Nunzio Signore recorded the 11-song CD at The Crib studio in Brooklyn, New York. Signore joined Zaden on vocals and guitar parts, and the two shared some of the songwriting and most of the production.
Check out the artist's website:
1. No Worries
3. Here In My Mind
4. You're Mine I'm Yours
5. Sign of Love
6. Making Other Plans
8. The Broken Road
9. Everything (Taking the Steps)
10. Journeyman Nature
11. Goodbye Avalon