Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Word With Mark Jungers

Yes, I hero worship. There so very few people that combine integrity, style, talent, and love of work in music these days, so when I get a chance to talk to someone like Mark Jungers, it makes me want to share.

q. You are Texan start to finish, now, despite your origins. How did you come about your distinctive twang?

I've had a twang since grade school. Guys I was in bands with would tell me to drop the twang so we could do some more rock. I've lived in Minnesota, Florida, back to Minnesota, then Texas, up to Connecticut, then back to Texas... the result I think is a hybrid twang... I'm not exactly sure where it's from.

q. Texans love to talk about the weather. Did you see any impact of the Mid-West flooding in your recent travels?

I saw some large wash outs in some fields, some guys trying to replant, but I was on I35 and didn't really see the 4 million acres lost near Cedar Rapids. Here in Central Texas, all the farmers lost their corn to drought this year. I think we'll all see the impact on corn prices here shortly.

q. What do you think it is about the Mid-West, particularly Minnesota that has produced so many great song writers?

There are a lot of fine songwriters everywhere, but Minnesota has some long, long, cold winters. It probably makes for a lot of good writing time.

q. Many of your song's themes are rooted to time and space; traveling, movement, and change. If you agree, is this because of your outlook, or something else?

I do agree...time, space, change, actions, reactions. It's probably because of the way I look at the future and the past at that moment, and the things I've lived through as well as the things I may have to live through.

q. You and Adrian (Schoolar) are two of the strongest and confident flack pickers we've ever seen. Are you able to work with the Whistling Mules much these days?

I appreciate the kind words, Peter. The Mules (Adrian, Wes, Josh) and I work as much as we can together. Expenses on the road (namely gas these days, and hotels) and what kind of income we expect to make pretty much dictates the size of the band. That's just the reality of it. If I had my way, we'd all work 5 nights a week together.

q. Your work in co-producing Adam Carrol's new record "Old Town Rock n Roll" is excellent and garnering notice. Tell us what you thought of that experience. Did you learn anything?

Adam's a good friend. I always enjoy working with him, whether it's writing, recording, performing, whatever. The same thing goes for Scott Nolan and Adrian, we're all friends. It's a very comfortable atmosphere. And when it's that relaxed, it's that much easier to throw ideas around and get things done. Plus, we were all on the same page with Adam's CD, including my wife Joy and Joanna Miller. The six of us felt the same way about the sound and feeling the CD should have...we wanted a real natural sound to bring out Adam's songs and we were all very excited about the outcome.

The idea of good recording to me is to just plain capture the vibe, the performance, and the song. I learn something everytime because each situation is different. Likewise, every recording is an opportunity to experiment, as long as you put the song first. In other words, I think trying new things is great, as long as you haven't changed the essence of the song or created a distraction.

q. It's obvious you are one of the hardest working men in show business. How do you find time for yourself and your family?

I put a lot of effort into what I do, but I don't think I'm necessarily one of the hardest working men in show business. But as serious as I am about the music, family is the priority, more important than music. I try my best to remember that, to make time for family...I'm not sure I'm always so good at it though.

Thank you. It was a privilege to speak with you and best wishes.

The pleasure was mine, Peter. Thanks so much for your interest and for all the support.

Please, go out and buy as many records from Mark Jungers and the Whistling Mules as you can fit into your house. If you can't, go see his shows. If not, drop him a line and show some love.


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