Attitude With Gratitude
(Blues Lion Records)


Based in Upstate New York, in the Syracuse region, guitarist Mark Cloutier is doing a great job releasing a barrage of CDs on his Blues Lion Records label. Much of Mark’s 2009 CD Attitude With Gratitude is instrumental in nature and with that unique element front and center, his guitar work sounds also greatly inspired by rock legends like Hendrix, Jimmy Vaughan, early Buddy Guy and T-Bone Walker. Likewise, much the same could be said about Mark’s 2008 CD with his group Stratattack, entitled Blues In My House. Featuring solid support from an adept rhythm section, Cloutier’s guitar takes on a number of sonic guises on different tracks. For instance, track 8 on Attitude With Gratitude, “There’s A Place”—a great atmospheric instrumental that mixes rock and jazzy styles to great effect—is one of Cloutier’s finest and most memorable tracks. One look at Cloutier’s web site and you can really see a guitarist who is quite prolific, with each of his CD's being strongly recommended to both blues and rock fans, as well as guitar instrumental fans.


Guitars Center Stage
Guitarists making waves in the music world,
their new recordings and gear!

Musical Background

I started playing guitar when I was 14 years old. I saw this fella playing a Halifax Les Paul copy guitar in the school hallway and it caught my attention. I remember him playing “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen and I thought it was the coolest thing. I approached him and asked about the guitar and he told me he was selling it. I went home and begged my parents for a week or so and they finally gave in and gave me the money to buy it! Very exciting for me as I was tiring of athletics and need something new—a new challenge! I had a friend who played guitar so he started teaching me basics and eventually I studied with a fella by the name of Dana Klipp. He turned me on to the blues and all the great guitar players! I have been playing for 30 years now and everyday I am still learning something. I also enjoy playing bass and on some of my early solo guitar recordings you can hear me playing the 4 string!

New CD

As you may have noticed I am very busy recording my works. It really is an ongoing documentation of all my ideas and influences. I really love turning on the record and sometimes just tapping into my stream of conscience. Lately I have really worked on themes and dynamics to build off of and then come back to. Seems to be a very good formula of late. The new CD Attitude With Gratitude was based on that formula. I received some helpful tips from the legendary Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records. He has listened to some of my recordings and made mention of paying a bit more attention to melody and themes to bring out my soloing more. I took that advice and think I am heading in the right direction for sure! Attitude With Gratitude is the result.

I record at home in a very simplistic manner. I use Cakewalk software with a Lexicon Lambda usb. The bass guitar and drums are from a fellow by the name of Lawrence Fritts, a professor from Iowa University. He had posted some backing tracks to be used by musicians such as myself. I asked him if it would be okay to use the tracks for my CD’s. He said no problem and mentioned he really liked what I was doing with them! I have embellished many tracks with rhythm guitar and in some cases double lead work. I just plug my SRV Fender Strat into either my Crate or Hughes and Kettner amp and run it direct into my computer by way of mic-ing my amp. It’s a cool formula that allows me to work efficiently during my usual two hour stints of recording per session. I work and have a family and gig often so I am very busy. I do much of the online advertising with our web site and everything else involved. Essentially, I am my own recording label. I do think these recordings are influenced by my many years of gigging and reading people. The people’s response-reaction to what you do and what you don’t do are important. I tend to lay back quite a bit to set the crowd up for my attack. Some say it’s a form of blues shredding when I get excited. I would say Buddy Guy has influenced me in that manner—I love how he attacks. Of course SRV had the same effect on me along with Hendrix.

Favorite Guitars

Yes my favorite guitar is my SRV issue fender Strat. I use that on about ninety percent of my recordings. The track called “Delta Down” on my newest is an old Schafer guitar with these killer Japanese pickups. I tuned down to D on that to get the real swampy sound—totally Hendrix inspired. I also made my slide guitar debut on a couple tracks. One of the three songs I sing on is called “Everything I Do Is Wrong.” That’s me on the slide guitar. It’s inspired by the married life. If you are married or have been married you will relate for sure. Had a really good reaction this past Saturday night at our show, especially from the guys. They were laughing and new exactly what I was talking about! Having a sense of humour when playing blues is just as important as tearing it up!

As far as pedals or effects. Just a Zakk Wylde overdrive. That’s it along with a bit of delay or reverb. Also, on a few tracks a rotary sound from my Cakewalk software.

Musical Influences

Yes I will mention my most influential guitar players in a bit of an order depending on the day. Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, SRV and Jimmy Vaughn, Freddy, Albert and BB King, Jeff Beck, Duke Robillard, T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton to name a few. I would say as far as albums: Band of Gypsies - Hendrix, Texas Flood - SRV, Stone Crazy -Buddy Guy would be my top three. So many I could go on and on though...

Upcoming Plans

I'd like to take this time to give credit to my friends and band mates in the Double Barrel Blues Band. John Hart on vocals and guitar, Bill Satterly on bass and vocals and Garnet Grimm on drums. We have recently hooked up with Valerie Scotella owner of B.E.B.E Booking Agency and are currently working very hard to set up some short tours for 2010. The first is already in place. We are playing Daytona Bike Week February 27th and 28th at the Seminole Harley Davidson in Sanford Florida just outside of Daytona as part of bike week. Really looking forward to that. So many Harley riders saying they will be there! Have a fella trying to work Michigan as well. He is doing some footwork to get us some airtime and bring attention to clubs and festivals around the area hoping we can infiltrate and bring our energetic rocking blues style to the people!

The Double Barrel Blues Band has some exciting new material we have written and plan on recording early 2010 when we can find the opening in all of our schedules. Stay tuned as I will let you know when our CD is complete! Some notable performances in central and Northern New York would be Blues In The Bay-Alex Bay- labor day weekend, Robert Thompson Massena Springs Blues bash 4th of July weekend, Sacketts Harbor Battle State Park in August, a series of dates at the Iron Block Harley Davidson in Adams New York just to name a few. Many cool shows in the makes and waiting confirmation for 2010!

Web Site

Our web site is
My E-Mail is:

(attention all festivals and blues clubs) our booking agent is

Visit us on MySpace!
Visit us on StarNow!

New Port Richey, FL 34655
866-531-4551 fax


Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by
Send to
: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249
CD Reviews Feature Reviews & Features Archive Photo Archive Contact MWE3 Home


Copyright 2000-2010, Inc. All Rights Reserved