Teatro ZinZanni’s late night cabaret has a new curator and host, and you may have heard of him… You most likely know Mark Pickerel by now from his impressive output and performance schedule as frontman and singer/songwriter of Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands who have built one of the strongest reputations in Seattle as one of the most dynamic and musically sophisticated acts in the city … OR maybe you know Pickerel’s name from his most impressive resume as a drummer for acts as diverse as The Screaming Trees, Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Mark Lanegan, The Dusty 45′s… No? How about his drumming with… Nirvana? Impressive resume aside, recently what’s turning people’s heads in his direction is his voice, his lyrics and YES, maybe his patented and probably insured HAIR!
Pickerel has been winning audiences over and over again with his deep baritone, striking stage presence and a conviction in his performances that seem as inspired as a preacher who is down to his congregation’s last dollar with just a day to come up with rent!
Pickerel’s voice has most recently captured the attention of Mike McCready of Pearl Jam and Duff McKagan of Guns and Roses who asked Mark to join them on stage at their recent benefit concerts at The Moore Theater and The Showbox in Seattle where Pickerel’s performances were met with wild enthusiasm, McKagan was so impressed that he gave Pickerel a glowing review in his column in the Seattle Weekly shortly after.
You almost have to wonder if Mark was born with natural reverb in his voice when sounds reminiscent of early Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond or even the occasional vibrato of a heartbroken Roy Orbison come spilling from his body with such ease matched only by conviction! If one closes their eyes while Pickerel’s on stage for long enough (which they probably wouldn’t risk doing for fear of missing out on something magical) but if they did, they might suddenly find themselves transported in to a world where Leonard Cohen had suddenly joined The Doors or where Johnny Cash had suddenly found himself fronting The Clash! Either way, you would be a happy convert in a world where beauty and loss are often juxtaposed with passion, romance, confusion and chaos!
Recently Mark has been at work on new recordings as well as drumming with Lindsay Fuller, The Tripwires, The Young Evils and Carrie Akre and will be hosting, singing and curating Teatro Zinzanni’s monthly midnight series Mezzo Lunatico from May through June of 2011.