Amazon iTunes Facebook Youtube Twitter Spotify

Mark Barnwell


Ventura - By Mark Barnwell
Written by Fiona Gosnell

"With equal measures of luscious lyrical Latin and evocative Eastern exotica, Mark's new masterpiece mellows you into a mirage of melodic meanderings with a musical narrative. Each composition seamlessly merges to create the fortune that is Ventura! Both serendipitous and splendiferous."

Infinitus - By Mark Barnwell
Written by Steve Sheppard

"From the very start of this latest release by Mark Barnwell you will set course for gloriously warms regions of the planet; what follows is one of the most exciting performances on guitar you have heard for a long while, one that will literally set your very soul alight.

Starting with the effervescent and rhythmic opener Jalapeño we feel the pull of the sun kissed realms of Spain, a more vibrant start you could not wish for, and a piece that contains the energies of Incendio's Liza Carbé on a sumptuous bass, accompanying the incredible performance on Spanish guitars by the artist in a breath taking beginning.

I played this one the other day on one of my shows, and it is so deliciously tempting musically, it is a track with such colour and textures called Exotica. The added instrumentation of Maria Grigoryeva on Violin can be heard here, plus a very rhythmic percussive performance by Larry Salzman, all of which make up one of the most sensual offerings from the album.

This next track is one of the most beautiful on the release, and here within lies some very clever interplay built into the construction of the piece, with two guitars, bass, keyboards and percussion. A name I had not heard of for years is within this offering in one Kit Morgan (Glidepath 2006) and when you add Barnwell's fluency on Spanish guitar, heavenly magic is created in the name of one of the most outstanding arrangements off the album in, Forever.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's now officially time to just chill, and you can do this by sipping your cocktails by the pool and listening to the artist perform Sambana. This is one of those pieces you cannot help but fall in love with, it has a real lightness of touch and the energy is so calming and relaxing, a true chill out masterpiece.

Now, as someone said, it's time for something completely different, we now cross the borderlands of a new genre with Celtic Dreams. In what maybe a first for the artist, Barnwell explores this new musical narrative with all the skill and professionalism of someone who has been doing it for years, the net result is a composition that has a sense of narrative that is both compelling and fascinating; it is noteworthy to mention the interplay between the violin and guitar here.

As I started to listen to this next piece I felt a Santana moment come into view, La Habana is truly something special and I loved every second of it, but how could one not just adore this musical gift of magic, especially when Incendio's Jean-Pierre Durand joins Barnwell, and once again gifts us a sublime moment of duel guitars on a truly evocative composition indeed.

Infinitus is a sparkling album packed full of glistening musical gems like this one entitled Montecito Shores, a track that contains the tempting warm sea's lapping up to the even more tempting warm sands, and what comes from this most delightful of places, is as laid back as you would expect it to be.

Time to emphasise the global fusion and world element with this next offering called Kaftan, this is a piece crafted cleverly and inter woven with a deftness of touch, can you note the performance on Greek Bouzouki here by Barnwell, a first I believe, this is a true eastern delight that you cannot help but allow yourself to get pulled into.

I was most eager to hear this one called The Sage and the Sorcerer, here was Mark Barnwell going long form and gifting us a near on ten minute composition. This manifestation of genius is well worth multiple listens and contains the work of Francesco Ganassin on Armenian Duduk and Clarinet in one of the best examples of east meets west from the release. This is the longest work that I can see from the artist to date, and the interplay between Barnwell and Ganassin is truly splendid and very memorable indeed, in what was one of my personal favourites from the album.

We arrive at the very last portal of the release, but before we make our leap home, the artist has one more musical gift for us entitled Enchantment. There was a colourful New Age energy about this one that I particularly liked, especially the addition of flute from Ian Smith, this performance was utterly transcendent and added a wonderful texture to the track that really enhanced the quality of the composition greatly.

In my view I rate Infinitus by Mark Barnwell as his best work so far, the artist has taken a lot of time and care on this project and it clearly shows, the addition of quality musicians on the release creates a wonderful colour and musical dimension to an already classy album, and this has to be the best acoustic release of the year so far with ease, easily one to recommend and even easier to listen to again."

"Infinitus" - Review by One World Music - January 2020

"This music transports you to another world, and does so with some excellent musicianship and captivating song structure. Barnwell's style is very traditional, but his speed and lyrical poise adds a nice bit of flash at times. The song that best exemplifies this bravado is "Potchka". Potchka is a Yiddish word meaning "to fool around," and this song supplies that clownish playfulness in spades. Sounding a bit like a Romanian-style polka at times, "Potchka" is a fast-fingered foray into one of the most lyrically expressive pieces of music in the genre."

"This is a record that puts your rear end in a first class seat and transports you to an entirely different world. It may not always be the taste of sangria on my lips after going on this journey, but it is definitely something very unique and oh so tasty. "

"Mandala" - Review by Dr. Music - June 2017

"There were a couple of instrumental albums that arrived last year from independent artists Mark Barnwell and Strat Andriotis. Both musicians have been climbing up the independent artist ladder with their latest releases. First up is Flamenco guitarist Mark Barnwell and his new album "Mandala."

It features 10-tracks that capture the timeless tradition of World and Flamenco guitar. With the help of a dozen other artists, Barnwell showcases his talents on the Latin-flair of the album's opening track "Tierra del Fuego." He delivers the sweet shuffle of "Surco Latino," before displaying his heartfelt tones on the emotions of "Moonstone."

The short, 2-minute "Sundance" is a beautiful piece of Flamenco guitar, while "Moroccan Skies" captures the essence and passion of Barnwell's songwriting as the musicians deliver a stunning piece of music. The album finishes with the epic journey of the seven-minute "Sahara" and the relaxed, gentle flow of "Mandala." "

JP Asinski, JP's Music Blog - April 2017

"On his 2016 CD Mandala, guitarist and composer Mark Barnwell has shaped a fascinating instrumental guitar album that is a musical homage to the timeless Nuevo Flamenco guitar style and brings the guitar sound forward into the new millennium."

"Throughout the ten track Mandala CD, Mark Barnwell's expertise as a Spanish / Flamenco guitarist is first rate as his melodic approach to composition. Tasteful piano work by Chris Magrath and percussion by Bryan Brock and Ramon Yslas keeps the sound tempos moving briskly, while other players add in flutes, sax, strings and more. Adorned with cover art that is quite stunning to behold, the music is totally fascinating and the CD also features the work of esteemed music producer and mixer Bo Astrup. With ten memorable original instrumental compositions, Mark Barnwell's Mandala features some of the finest Nuevo Flamenco guitarists recording on the planet today."

Robert Silverstein, MWE3 - November 2016

"This is a killer album, this is great"

"All of this stuff is really really good, I recommend you get this"

"This is amazing, all the playing on here is just incredible"

Jeff Floro, LA Talk Radio - October 2016

"Mandala is easily Mark Barnwell's best work so far, the decision to include Incendio band members was a move of pure genius and the added instrumentation and collaborations have created a truly stylish and extremely listenable release, that I for one will be playing for many years to come, if you're a fan of acoustic guitar based music, that has both passion and flair, you really need to get Mandala by Mark Barnwell, it's guaranteed to brighten your day and lift your spirits and leave you totally chilled."

Steve Sheppard, One World Music - September 2016