The Lost Trail is a new instrumental folk album born from the imagination of twin brothers Mark and Bran. This album brings together both brothers’ musical talents and unique, down-to-earth styles to create something that’s both comfortable and daring.
This album is a story of adventure inspired by the natural beauty of their homeland of Kansas. From homespun upbeat melodies that sound like back porch jam sessions, to somber, reflective guitar ballads, this album will take you there and back again. Put on your hiking boots, grab a back pack, and get ready to get lost.
You can find more of Mark’s music by visiting his site at markvanunenmusic.com
Track listing and info:
1. Gravel Under Foot
Mark- mandolin, guitar
Bran- djembe, bass
I wrote this song in the car right after I bought my first mandolin. I would end up playing this piece as we walked down the dirt back roads of Kansas, the gravel our percussion. The road to adventure starts in your own backyard.
2. As the Rooster Crows
Mark- harmonica, banjo, snare drum
Bran- guitar, jaw harp, bass, cowbell
This song was born from an improv session in the sunroom, with Bran on guitar and me on harmonica. As we would hit the chorus, the family rooster would answer back with a crow. You never know what you’ll encounter!
Jam session with a chicken? What could go wrong?
3. Old Man River
Mark- guitar, banjo
Bran- guitar, bass, mandolin, bouzouki, buffalo drum
The guitar part of this piece will forever be remembered as the simple rhythm our dad would play on his guitar when we were young. We put this song together in honor of our father. His determination and dedication has inspired me. By many of his colleagues, he is known as Old Man River; I know him as Pops.
4. The Lost Trail
Mark- banjo, mandolin
Bran- bouzouki, bass, percussion, Native American flute
Just as Gravel Under Foot was Mark’s first mandolin song, The Lost Trail was mine. Playing it, I always felt as if I was standing in a forest on the side of a mountain, embarking on some epic adventure.
Mark- hammered dulcimer
Bran- guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, electronic bagpipe chanter, bass, percussion
This song is heavily inspired by a piece called Grimstock, a traditional English tune. It’s such a fun tune. The name, Argenstock, is a nod to our old band name; it sounds similar enough to Grimstock, in both name and in tune, that I thought Argenstock would be a fitting title.
6. Green Window on Auerbach
While in Israel, I meditated upon a window illuminated by a greenish light. This average room in this normal building across the narrow alley revealed something to me about my adventure. The feeling of being in a distant, mystical desert land gave way to a familiar feeling: the comfort of home. Though I was thousands of miles away from home, I was staring into someone’s place of comfort and safety.
7. A Memory of Air
This song was inspired by a moment spent in silence, just the sunlight, the air, and me. How beautiful a simple moment can be.
8. Same Day Shipping
Mark- guitar, snare drum
Bran- bass, keyboard
This fun song started with a silly song title Bran came up with for a school project. I originally wrote lyrics and a tune for this song years ago. We revived this old treasure to bring a bit of light-hearted fun along this journey.
This song is quite possibly one of the first songs we played together. I’m thrilled to share it with the world!
Bran- djembe, percussion, thumb piano, didgeridoo, Native American flute
This brief, energetic song was recorded for a short film we had made, so when we brainstormed ideas as to what should go on this album, I suggested it (as a joke). Mark loved the idea. I think this song embodies the intensity of journey: the wild, dangerous unknown.
10 A Snake Sees the Ghost
Bran- mandolin, bouzouki, bass, thumb piano, djembe, percussion, Native American flute, didgeridoo, bagpipe chanter, Tibetan singing bowl
I have always admired the structure of this piece from Bran. The simple repetitions layered one on top of another reveals the unreal reality of bizarre, unexpected encounters.
This song started as an experimental electronic piece years ago–one of my first songs ever recorded. I acoustified it with an eclectic mix of world instruments to give its unique life. The world is a weird, weird place. You’ll see stuff that will bewilder, awe, and puzzle you.
11. Ad Astra
Mark- mandolin, vocals, harmonica, lyrics
Bran- guitar, slide guitar, bass, vocals, lyrics
Kansas is a beautiful place. In the style of the state’s official song, we wrote what Kansas means to us. To me, it’s the comfort of home.
I feel so at home in the expansive, majestic skies of Kansas and long stretches of land spanning to the wide horizon. It may be flatter than a pancake, but its beauty is vastly underrated. Kansas complements a clear head and an open heart.