Mark Howard (producer)

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Mark Howard (born June 8, 1964 in Manchester, England) is a Canadian record producer, engineer, and mixer. He has worked with many artists including Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Willie Nelson, Marianne Faithfull, Emmylou Harris, U2, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M., Neil Young, and The Neville Brothers.

Mark Howard
MarkHowardBerlin.jpg
Mark Howard Berlin 2007
Background information
Born (1964-06-08) 8 June 1964 (age 50)
Manchester, England
Genres Experimental, rock, ambient, folk, country, blues
Occupations Record producer, Engineer
Associated acts Bob Dylan
Lucinda Williams
Tom Waits
Marianne Faithfull
Daniel Lanois
Neil Young
Avril Lavigne
Natalie Imbruglia
R.E.M.
U2
Emmylou Harris

Career[edit]

Mark Howard began his career in Hamilton, Ontario, mixing shows in local clubs, and touring across Canada with King Biscuit Boy. A motorbike accident left him unable to lift heavy equipment, so he began working as an assistant at Grant Avenue Studios.[1] It was in 1986 while working at Grant Avenue Studio that he first met up with Daniel Lanois and began working on his solo album, Acadie. Lanois invited him to New Orleans to help set up a studio and begin work on the Neville Brothers album Yellow Moon.

Then began what became a 23-year-long musical partnership. Howard handled the mixing, recording and engineering duties along with all the studio installations. They had studios in New Orleans, Kingsway, Emila Court on St Charles Ave, and a Victorian mansion at 1305 Soniat St, Mexico, and in San Francisco.[1] Each studio had its own vibe depending upon the artist they were working with. In 1987, Howard recorded the Neville Brothers,Yellow Moon at Emila Court.

In 1989, Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy was recorded on Soniat St, and coming out of his "born again" period, was regarded as the best album Dylan had done in years.[2] In Chronicles: Volume One Dylan talks about asking Mark Howard, who is a motorbike enthusiast, to find him a bike. Howard bought him a 1966 Harley Police Special from Florida, which he spent his downtime from recording riding on the outskirts of New Orleans.

This is the house on Soniat St, New Orleans where Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy was recorded in April, 1989 by Mark Howard.

Howard then recorded and mixed Daniel Lanois’ debut solo album Acadie. In 1990, Howard recorded Chris Whitley's debut album, Living with the Law at Kingsway Studio and in 1991 recorded and mixed Lanois’ second album For the Beauty of Winona. In 1991, Mark began work on R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People. Whilst at Kingsway Howard worked on records for the Neville Brothers (Brother's Keeper), Peter Gabriel (Us), R.E.M. (Monster), Harold Budd (By the Dawn of the Early Light), and Iggy Pop (American Caesar).

In 1993, Howard went solo as a producer, on the production for The Tragically Hip's Day for Night. He was nominated at the Canadian Juno awards for producer of the year. In 1994, Howard put the finishing touches on Emmylou Harris's Wrecking Ball at the studio he and Lanois shared in San Francisco. The record went on to win a Grammy award for best contemporary folk and was critically acclaimed by many.

Howard then created a studio called the Teatro, in Oxnard, California.[3] It was an old abandoned 1920s theatre. This is where the soundtrack to the movie Slingblade, was created, which Howard and Lanois co-produced.[citation needed] Howard then produced Chris Whitley's Terra Incognita.

In 1995, Howard shared production duties with Ian Moore creating Ian Moore's second studio album, "Modernday Folklore. Many consider this brilliantly written, performed, and recorded work to be Ian Moore's masterpiece; the production quality is on par with that that estimation as well.

In 1996, Bob Dylan began work with Howard and Lanois on Time Out of Mind at the Teatro,[4] and recorded at Miami's Criteria Studios for a month before returning to the Teatro to finish recording the album. The record went on to win 3 grammy's, including Album of the Year. Dylan's acceptance speech thanked Mark Howard saying, "and Mark Howard --- can't forget that. We got a particular sound on this record which you don't get every day".[5][6]

This is the Teatro studio in Oxnard, California. It was an old abandoned theatre that Mark Howard turned into a recording studio.

In 1997, Howard and Lanois recorded Willie Nelson's Teatro, which was named after the studio. In July 1998, Howard produced Marianne Faithfull's, Vagabond Ways, which was critically acclaimed. Marianne Faithfull credits Bob Dylan with leading her to Mark Howard, saying, "Bob has had a great influence, right to this day. I see him quite often. It was Bob who told me to go to Mark Howard for Vagabond Ways. He actually said to me - I was so proud - 'You know Marianne, people like us with funny voices, you have to be very careful who you let produce you.'"[7]

U2 was the last band to record with Howard and Lanois at the Teatro, recording some of All That You Can't Leave Behind.[8]

After the Teatro Howard created his own studio at the Paramour Estate in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.[9] The 1920s estate was originally owned by Antonio Mareno, who was an actor and film director from the silent film era, who acted alongside Greta Garbo. It was here in the 22 room mansion, Howard produced the Lucinda Williams album, World Without Tears,[10] which was nominated for a Grammy award.[11][12] Whilst at the Paramour Howard produced Vic Chesnutt Silver lake,[13] a track with Eddie Vedder for soundtrack of the movie, I Am Sam,[citation needed] and the beginnings of Tom Waits Real Gone. Howard finished Real Gone at an old school house in northern California.

The Paramour Estate in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. This is the studio where Mark Howard produced Lucinda Williams, "World Without Tears".

Discography[edit]

  • P=Produced / E=Engineered / M=Mixed / R=Recorded

Award nomination[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mark Howard". 
  2. ^ "bobdylan.com". 
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Times". 
  4. ^ "uncut.co.uk". 
  5. ^ "Youtube Video". 
  6. ^ "Bob Dylan 980225 at the Grammy Awards". 
  7. ^ "Marianne Faithfull-Sylvie Simmons". 
  8. ^ "U2 Discography-All that You Cant Leave Behind, Track list". 
  9. ^ "mixonline.com". 
  10. ^ "acousticguitar.com". 
  11. ^ "popmatters.com". 
  12. ^ "pastemagazine.com". 
  13. ^ "Vic Chesnutt-Silver Lake". 

External links[edit]