Mark David Ashworth is a resident of San Francisco, by way of Austin, who is set to release his latest opus titled, Bright Is the Ring of Words, on February 23rd on the consistently solid Autobus. And Ashworth has outdone himself on this sophomore album: Bright Is the Ring of Words is beautiful, alluring and simply feels orchestral. It is the orchestral quality of this album that makes it a perfect pairing for the veggie burger recipe featured on eating/sf today. The recipe calls for a relatively wide-array of ingredients (beets, onions, beans, rice, Worcester sauce etc.) that blend together harmoniously to create a veggie burger that can please even a devoted omnivore like myself. And like this recipe, Bright Is the Ring of Words is surprising and satisfying.
Ashworth recorded the album in part in his “tiny room” in the Mission District in San Francisco and in part in the orchestra room of the middle school in San Rafael where his collaborator Tristan Arnold works. I note these locations not because they are merely interesting factoids, but because they contribute the album’s atmosphere which sounds both intimate and soaring. His lyrics and vocals are plaintive and thoughtful, and the musical arrangements here are warmly grand and include piano, acoustic guitar, drums, flute, bass, cello, trumpet, mandolin and more. It’s a rewarding album that remains consistent beginning with the soothing “Disappearing Ink” and “Sometimes It Turns Dry and the Leaves Fall Before They Are Beautiful” and winding like a foggy drive along a coast-side road until arriving at the track from which the album takes its name, “Bright Is the Ring of Words.” Check this one out when it is available at the end of the month.
Head back to eating/sf to read the recipe for the Northstar-inspired veggie burger.