Track By Track

Track By Track: An Inside Look at Mark Karan’s Walk Through The Fire

We’re starting a new column today called Track By Track in which an artist shares a story or factoid about each track on their latest album.


Ever since guitarist Mark Karan joined The Other Ones in 1998, he’s been winning over Deadhead after Deadhead with his soulful lead guitar work. Mark followed his stint with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart in The Other Ones by spending the last 11 years as a member of Bob Weir and RatDog and also started a band called Jemimiah Puddleduck. For all of Karan’s work as a crucial member of a number of bands, he’s never made a solo album…until now.

That album, Walk Through the Fire, comes out tomorrow on Quacktone Records and will be available in stores, on Itunes, Walk Through the Fire and at his website The album features special guests Delaney Bramlett, The Persuasions, Billy Payne, The Rowan Brothers, Mike Finnigan, and Pete Sears. Each of the tracks on this disc has deep, personal meaning for Mark, a throat cancer survivor, including the title track which he wrote on his hospital bed after starting chemotherapy so we wanted him to tell us about them in his own words…

ANNIE DON’T LIE – This is a really fun, party sort of song by my friend Alex Call. I played in Alex’s band for quite a while. I hadn’t heard it in years when my friend Teresa James pulled it out at an LA blues gig as “Eddie Don’t Lie”. I remembered I always loved the song and started doing it myself. I love the singalong party vibe and the tex-mex quality the accordion brought to it. JT Thomas’ piano playing is great on this track.

LEAVE A LIGHT ON – I wrote this song when I was a songwriter and producer at Studio 56 in LA. It was poppier and more overblown back then, but I always thought it had something. I revived it for the record and tried pulling it into a more authentic, organic space. I had to twist JT’s arm to play the insistent quirky keyboard part, but it really makes the track for me.


READ ON for Mark’s take on the rest of the tracks…

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