Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions: Alive At Brushy Mountain

Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions: Alive At Brushy Mountain
Set For Release May 1 on Wilbanks Entertainment
 
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Ten years after it was recorded at one of the state’s most notorious prisons,  Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions: Alive at Brushy Mountain, will be released by Wilbanks Entertainment on May 1, 2012.

Produced by Collie with Tony Brown & David Z, a group of stellar musicians was assembled on Oct. 17, 2001 to record a sheaf of new original songs about crime and punishment before an enthusiastic audience of inmates at Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, the forbidding Eastern Tennessee facility that had numbered James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King, among its hardcore prisoners.

Collie’s Reckless Companions included Austin-based critics’ darling Kelly Willis, acclaimed writer / artist Shawn Camp, guitarist David Grissom, keyboardist Mike Utley, guitarist-mandolinist Tommy Burroughs, bassist Willie Weeks, accordionist Hassel Tekkle and drummer Chad Cromwell. Late blues legend Clarence Gatemouth Brown also showed up as Collie’s special guest.

Inspired by his close relationship with country icon Johnny Cash – whose prison recordings at Folsom prison and San Quentin were pivotal live albums — Collie saw this project as one that might make a difference for the inmates at Brushy Mountain.

“God gave me the opportunity to get in there and share something that might make a difference,” Collie said. “I believed the songs could matter.  I thought they could be important, and I wanted to share ‘em. I wanted to make something that people could find hope in, or redemption, or restoration, or forgiveness.”

After the album was recorded, changes in MCA Records leadership halted plans to release Alive At Brushy Mountain.  But Collie believed the album to be important, and after ten years found support in Tim Wilbanks, an Alabama entrepreneur, who formed Wilbanks Entertainment and cleared the way for the album’s release.

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