Review of Mark Truss' CD

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Mark Truss & The Secret Service Band
Mark Truss
You can have your Australians and you can have your million and a half Ohio bands, I still say there's more happening on Long Island. Mark Truss, and the Secret Service Band have produced a gem of an EP and when they catch with a major distributor, they're going a long way.
Consisting of 4 song, it is an EP of considerable depth and countless influences, all of them good. Side 1 opens with "The Price You Pay For Rock N' Roll", a flawless exercise in boogie. Truss, a jack of all trades, contributes lead and rhythm guitar, piano and bass, while mustering up a peak level of excitement in his vocals. What could have been a cliched song is instead a rambling jam that has an almost Grateful Dead feel to it. Horns rip in and out, compliments of Stan Czaplicki and Randy Naegle, over a tight backbeat by Craig Olsen and guitarist John Sochinski. "Scenes From a Four-Star Movie" is a clever piece, highlighted by a nice duet between Truss and female vocalist Karen Leden. It's in Billy Joel's style and certainly in his league.
The flip side offers more pleasantries. "The Plot Thickens (Act II: Scene III)" could easily pass for a movie soundtrack, which it sharply pokes fun at. There are arrangements here that could lighten the load of Steely Dan's loss, and Bob Ciampi's guitar solo fits into the pacing with perfection. "Times Are Changing" closes the package wistfully, with a sentimental but not overly mushy song about growing older and wiser.
Keep the name in the back of your head - Mark Truss. He's a good arranger and one of the more diverse talents to pop up in a long time. With a little push, his Secret Service Band won't be a secret very much longer.
- John Blenn, Good Times®, September, 1983
Mark Truss
Nine Song Demo
In the barren wasteland we call contemporary music, God bless the songwriter. I don't speak for everyone, I know, but I'm tired of every third album having the "Desmond Touch" and I'm bored to tears by the legions of similar sounding hard rock acts that rely on pretty boy features to clutter up the top of the charts. So where are we gonna find a real craftsman at this late hour?
We can start with Mark Truss, a man I've maintained is one of the smartest and most gifted songsmiths on the Island the last six years plus. This keyboardist knows how to create timeless music and the nine songs in this flowing package proves it minute after minute. A lot of influences are among the finest writers in the business.
The nine songs here will call everything to mind from the sensitivity of Billy Joel to the hipness of Steely Dan to the tell-it-like-it-is of Bob Dylan. Truss doesn't aim low, he quite clearly wants the thinking man's audience and if heard, he's gonna corner it. The picks are the rollicking "Price You Pay For Rock N' Roll," the jazzy "The Plot Thickens," and any of several ballads here would no doubt do quite well on the singles charts. Nobody is going to confuse Truss with Bon Jovi (thank God), but for a BMI or Famous Music Publishing, the man is a goldmine waiting to happen.
In the slums of current musical patterns, Mark Truss is a national landmark that will hopefully persevere. Ageless music, sensitive lyrics and well-executed musicianship, this is a definition of class.
- John Blenn, Good Times®, June, 1990

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