These are the songs on Mark's first self-produced CD called
Boxer. Click on the song title to download and play the MP3 file, or
right click on it to save the MP3 file to your disk. Click on the big
arrow to play the videos.
Vocals by Mark Easley Guitars by Mark Easley Produced and Engineered by Mark Easley Recorded 2000, 2001 at GoldHat Music Morrisville, North
1969 Paul Simon. In 1969 I came out from the supermarket and got in my momís car,
flipped on the radio, and heard this song for the first time. I froze,
instantly recognizing my favorite duo of the day, Simon and Garfunkel,
singing their newest hit. This was very exciting, because I new it meant
their new (and as it turned out last) album would soon be released. But I
also knew, by the time the song The Boxer had finished playing, that I had
just listened to one of the greatest acoustic guitar songs ever
created. Over 30 years later, that is still the case. This is a monumental
classic, it doesnít get any better than this, and it remains my all time
favorite. My musical goal all these years has been to try to play it and
sing it a little like Simon and Garfunkel did back in 1969. So for our
musical journey, we will first go back to The Boxer.
original of The Boxer as performed by Simon & Garfunkel on Saturday Night
Live in 1975:
1966 Paul Simon. This one was on an
early Simon and Garfunkel album. It is a song that
every guitar player can relate to as it describes the lonely road life of
a musician trying to make it. We all had the dream at one time or another,
and most of us donít make it.
1966 Paul Simon. Here is one of the songs off of that first Simon and Garfunkel record I
heard. I have always liked it because it is a beautiful song with just a
guitar and vocal, which is often the best kind. The beginning was recorded
when I played recently at the National Guitar Workshop in Nashville, where
the great recording and session guitarist Matt Smith was kind enough to
introduce me. Afterwards I had many people come up and ask me to show them
how to play it. This is the type of song that guitarists want to learn
after the first time they hear it and is what I call a Guitar Classic.
1968 James Taylor. Here is a James Taylor song that I have found out since moving here is
the unofficial anthem of the State of North Carolina. You better not carry
a guitar around down here and not know this song. Lucky for us, itís a
1972 Pure Prairie League. In 1975 in I was living in the Sig Ep fraternity house while attending
Purdue University, and someone came up with the idea of doing a Tuxedo
serenade for the sororities. This was quite a concept, considering we
couldnít sing and had no money for Tuxedos either. But through lots of
diligent practice and a few fund raising car washes, we managed to put it
together. And we found out several of the guys had hidden talents that
would really shine during the show. This show went over so well that the
Sig Eps kept up the tradition for many years afterward. Amie was the first
big hit from that first show, and any of the guys from that era can still
sing along. This is for the Ep Lodge Brothers.
1972 Harry Chapin. Taxi is one of the great story telling songs ever. Itís a shame that
Harry died in 1981, but I have been singing his song for him lately to
keep it alive. This is not the elaborate version that Harry recorded, but
the one that he probably sang among friends.
1976 Al Stewart. When this song first came out I thought it was nice but not one of my
favorites. But then in the 80ís I spent several years traveling and living
in East Asia, and when I heard this song again one day I was overwhelmed.
Al Stewart catches the feeling perfectly in this song of a Westerner being
swept away by the mystery and culture of the Far East. I know I was. The
Year of the Cat is actually a Tiger in the Chinese calendar. My wife is
from Taiwan and our big years are the Year of the Dragon, when we got
married, and the Year of the Horse, when our son was born. Maybe we need a
1974 John Denver. Back Home Again was always one of my favorite John Denver songs, and I
used to like to sing it when I was out traveling around the world to
remind me of home. When my father passed away in 2000, I chose this song
to sing at his funeral. My whole family joined in and sang it with me. I
have been lucky to be able to feel all my life that my mother and fatherís
home is also one of my homes, because they are that kind of people. This
oneís for Jack.