Mesmerizing and Endlessly Surprising - a songwriter's songwriter. Playfully prodding the human condition through an idiosyncratic pop ingrained with folk and NOLA jazz instincts, the singer/guitarist/pianist tosses off tunes with a mixture of simplicity and gravity." - Austin Chronicle
"Tone poems - a cure for auto-tune" - no depression
"A prolific singer-songwriter who draws heavily upon jazz overtones, Marks makes music that is refreshingly all over the map" - Austin American Statesman
Wilson Marks studied jazz in the city of New Orleans but is based in Austin Texas- His songs cross genres and often feature word play, alliterative turns of phrase, harmonic twists or furry chords.
When not playing with his own trio, most often comprised of Daniel Durham (bass) or Josh Flowers (bass) and Aaron Parks (percussion), he works as a side-man for a variety of other projects in live or studio endeavors - including The McMercy family Band, Matt the Electrician, The Aaron Parks Project, Sarah Sharp, The Love Leighs, Datri Bean Band and more. He has an ambient, or hambient side project by the moniker The Pig Loopowski which has one release. By day he teaches elementary general music in Hays CISD.
2020's True Beauty is in the Random - tracked at King Electric with Justin Douglas enginEARing at the helm - with Daniel Durham (bass) and Aaron Parks (drums)
2018's Peregrine engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's in Lockhart,- and came out in spring of 2018. The cover features a photo taken by his grandfather around WWII. Largely tracked straight to tape, it features a handful of piano songs and is a more electric-based endeavor than the prior album
2015's "What Was Made for Weathering," featuring the talents of Janie Cowan and Aaron Parks - tracked and engineared by Grant Johnson
There've been a few other singles and an inbetween song collection, Gifts of a Magpie, the product of writing for a weekly songwriter's group - which is is only available on bandcamp.
Buck Meek of Big Thief (about True Beauty is in the Random)
“Marks is a pioneer! Lush guitar interplay and an elegant use of harmony in emotionally cathartic songs”
Lindsay Verrill aka Little Mazarn
I don’t know what Bill Frissell’s life is like.. but what if it was darker. I mean, what if he was just as badass but also secretly tortured just enough to ice his guitar genius with true heart wrench. Oh, and also a penchant for puns. Then I think he might make a record that could sound a little like Wilson Marks.
Justin Douglas (King Electric head honcho / Royal Forest)
“This album, and the way these three musicians interact and create, can be better described by a definition of Chaos Theory rather than anything I could think up: an interdisciplinary theory stating that, within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, interconnectedness, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, and self-organization. --”
Seela (On Burn It)
“One of the best tracks I’ve heard in a while - like Ry Cooder ate Bill Frisell plus brilliant lyrics.”
This record is like a modern day Harry Nilsson revival - seriously, this is an interesting, compelling and unique record. The sounds are dreamy and ethereal and the lyrics are nimble and capricious.
Matt the Electrician
My favorite thing about Wilson Marks is his ability to take simple and beautiful melodies, and deftly surround them in all the harmonic complexities of a masterful player, while never losing the string of narrative that ties it all together. He is a storyteller at heart, instrumental or otherwise, and “True Beauty Is in the Random” is another testament to his own true beauty.
Wilson Marks’ new album sounds like a retaining wall, patched together with copper wire and plugged with license plates, holding back the full terror and heartbreak of the world to present us with scratchy lullabies and fairy tales. The result is that we know there is still much darkness out there, but so comforted to finally have an ally.
Mark Addison “This album is as subversive as they come. You think you’re listening to standard (albeit brilliant) songwriter fare, but you are being led by the nose into the unique jazz, yes, jazz world of Wilson Marks. Beware listener, beware. You are being hoodwinked. Gloriously.”
“Super beautiful and expressive”
Doug Freeman (AUS CHRON)
“Really love this album. Your stuff always turns my head, both beautifully soothing and ripping me out of comfort zones.
I teach songwriting to teenagers and one of my fondest Wilson Marks memories is hunching around a phone with half-a-dozen precocious theater kids, listening to one of his songs. I was proud of them for tuning in and loving it, and proud of him for catching their picky ears. His music stretches MY picky ears like one of those massages that hurts just enough to know it’s doing something. It always catches me off guard, in the best way, to hear those Frisell-wide chords supporting phrase-turners worthy of the Kinks...did I mention his Lucinda-level phrasing and delivery?? It’s so satisfying to hear, on “True Beauty," his writing matched with such beautiful production.
Jon Dee Graham
The guitarwork here is fucking spectacular. The voicings in the opener made me dizzy and that theme/motif in ‘burn it’ has a mean spirited thing to it. Great playing…