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Carolyn Mark

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Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Canadian alt-country singer/songwriter Carolyn Mark was born and raised in Sicamous, British Columbia, growing up on her family's dairy farm. Taught piano by her father, himself an accomplished violinist, in 1991 she surfaced as a member of the Victoria, B.C.-based all-girl rock combo the Vinaigrettes, touring Canada and the western U.S. relentlessly over the next seven years. After the group's 1998 dissolution, Mark formed the Corn Sisters, a duo with fellow insurgent country diva Neko Case -- a Seattle live performance later constituted their 2000 debut, The Other Women. Mark also mounted a solo career, backed by guitarist Tolan McNeil and drummer Garth Johnson (her real-life housemates, hence their professional moniker the Room-Mates), and after signing to the Mint label, she again hit the road -- her 2000 solo debut, Party Girl, assembled 11 songs cut across Canada, at least one from each province. Mark's long-standing fascination with the classic Robert Altman film Nashville led to the 2002 release of an all-star tribute to the movie's soundtrack, with contributions from Case, Kelly Hogan, the New Pornographers' Carl Newman, and other stalwarts of the Canadian indie scene; her sophomore solo effort, the excellent Terrible Hostess, followed that summer. Artists such as Kelly Hogan, Pepper Sands' Greg MacDonald, Diona Davies of Po' Girl, and Paul Rigby joined Mark for her fourth album, 2004's The Pros and Cons of Collaboration. Mark didn't slow down, issuing Just Married: An Album of Duets in June 2005. In 2007 she released Nothing Is Free.