Twilight on the Trail – Jen Mize & Mark Sholtez
Twilight on the Trail – 98.9FM’s Feature Album
Jen Mize and Mark Sholtez
Twilight on the Trail is a beautifully rendered collection of iconic cowboy songs from
the golden era of American popular music.
This collaborative work from Jen Mize and Mark Sholtez takes a fresh look at the
music of the great cowboy crooners (Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Sons of
the Pioneers), and like the landscape that inspired these songs, the album is rich in
musical detail, yet remains wonderfully open and spacious.
On first listen, it’s clear that Mize and Sholtez are the real deal. Building on their
existing bodies of creative work, and drawing from their rich and diverse musical
backgrounds, they bring new life and new meaning to this timeless material. From the
playful to-and-fro of “Lights of Old Santa Fe”, and “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me”, to
the understated “Wand’rin’ Star”, and unapologetically heartbreaking “Black Hills of
Dakota”, Mize and Sholtez’s vocal performances are charming, honest, and personal,
highlighting both their commitment and connection to these songs. As a result,
Twilight on the Trail feels equally nostalgic, and unexpected.
In the true spirit of collaboration, this project also brings together some of Australia’s
finest country and jazz musicians, including Danny Widdicombe, Glen Hannah,
Brendan Radford, John Parker and James Sherlock.
This year is looking to be the most productive yet for Queensland based, Native
American, Jen Mize. Since the 2014 release of her stellar debut album Fear, Pride &
a Few Stubborn Angels, and her widely acclaimed 2016 sophomore release, Warnings
and Wisdom (lovingly produced by Shane Nicholson), Jen has been busy touring,
recording, and earning the accolades that come with the hard work of being an Alt
“Jen Mize is more than a great singer-songwriter… she’s a true artist” (John Walker,
Music City Roots). Mize possesses the rare ability to live in a wide range of musical
worlds with absolute authenticity. Her music can be both commanding and subtle, and
draws on a diverse range of influences from Sarah Vaughan and James Taylor, to
Bonnie Raitt and John Prine.
The celebrated songwriter and recording artist is also the co-host of exciting new
national radio program Three Chords and the Truth, and is now being recognized as
one of the foremost authorities on Americana and Alt-Country music, in Australia.
Sholtez first came to the public’s attention with his chart topping, Tommy LiPuma
(Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Miles Davis) produced debut Real Street
(Verve/Universal). The APRA Awarding winning, ARIA Award nominated album
may have seen him topping jazz charts, but Sholtez has always been first and
foremost a singer-songwriter.
Mark’s second album, The Distance Between Two Truths (Warner), featuring
production by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin), saw his
dedication to songwriting craft bought clearly into focus. Since then Sholtez’ music
has become increasingly hard to pin down to one genre, crossing musical borders to
take in elements of 70’s pop, jazz, modern day Americana, and Laurel Canyon folk,
making for a consistently intriguing listen.
Sholtez’ also maintains a strong commitment to collaboration, with work that has
included Troy Cassar- Daley, Wendy Mathews, The Veronicas, Harmony James, Rick
Price, Shane Nicholson, Bill Chambers, and Don Walker.