The Lost Trail

album cover

The Lost Trail is a new instrumental folk album born from the imagination of twin brothers Mark and Bran. This album brings together both brothers’ musical talents and unique, down-to-earth styles to create something that’s both comfortable and daring.

This album is a story of adventure inspired by the natural beauty of their homeland of Kansas. From homespun upbeat melodies that sound like back porch jam sessions, to somber, reflective guitar ballads, this album will take you there and back again. Put on your hiking boots, grab a back pack, and get ready to get lost.

Watch the “making of The Lost Trail” video!

Track listing and info:

1. Gravel Under Foot
Mark- mandolin, guitar
Bran- djembe, bass

I wrote this song in the car right after I bought my first mandolin. I would end up playing this piece as we walked down the dirt back roads of Kansas, the gravel our percussion. The road to adventure starts in your own backyard.

-Mark

2. As the Rooster Crows
Mark- harmonica, banjo, snare drum
Bran- guitar, jaw harp, bass, cowbell

This song was born from an improv session in the sunroom, with Bran on guitar and me on harmonica. As we would hit the chorus, the family rooster would answer back with a crow. You never know what you’ll encounter!

-Mark

Jam session with a chicken? What could go wrong?

-Bran

3. Old Man River
Mark- guitar, banjo
Bran- guitar, bass, mandolin, bouzouki, buffalo drum

The guitar part of this piece will forever be remembered as the simple rhythm our dad would play on his guitar when we were young. We put this song together in honor of our father. His determination and dedication has inspired me. By many of his colleagues, he is known as Old Man River; I know him as Pops.

-Mark

4. The Lost Trail
Mark- banjo, mandolin
Bran- bouzouki, bass, percussion, Native American flute

Just as Gravel Under Foot was Mark’s first mandolin song, The Lost Trail was mine. Playing it, I always felt as if I was standing in a forest on the side of a mountain, embarking on some epic adventure.

-Bran

5. Argenstock
Mark- hammered dulcimer
Bran- guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, electronic bagpipe chanter, bass, percussion

This song is heavily inspired by a piece called Grimstock, a traditional English tune. It’s such a fun tune. The name, Argenstock, is a nod to our old band name; it sounds similar enough to Grimstock, in both name and in tune, that I thought Argenstock would be a fitting title.

-Bran

6. Green Window on Auerbach
Mark- guitar

While in Israel, I meditated upon a window illuminated by a greenish light. This average room in this normal building across the narrow alley revealed something to me about my adventure. The feeling of being in a distant, mystical desert land gave way to a familiar feeling: the comfort of home. Though I was thousands of miles away from home, I was staring into someone’s place of comfort and safety.

-Mark

7. A Memory of Air
Bran- guitar

This song was inspired by a moment spent in silence, just the sunlight, the air, and me. How beautiful a simple moment can be.

-Bran

8. Same Day Shipping
Mark- guitar, snare drum
Bran- bass, keyboard

This fun song started with a silly song title Bran came up with for a school project. I originally wrote lyrics and a tune for this song years ago. We revived this old treasure to bring a bit of light-hearted fun along this journey.

-Mark

This song is quite possibly one of the first songs we played together. I’m thrilled to share it with the world! 

-Bran

9. Stranded
Bran- djembe, percussion, thumb piano, didgeridoo, Native American flute

This brief, energetic song was recorded for a short film we had made, so when we brainstormed ideas as to what should go on this album, I suggested it (as a joke). Mark loved the idea. I think this song embodies the intensity of journey: the wild, dangerous unknown. 

-Bran

10 A Snake Sees the Ghost
Mark- bells
Bran- mandolin, bouzouki, bass, thumb piano, djembe, percussion, Native American flute, didgeridoo, bagpipe chanter, Tibetan singing bowl

I have always admired the structure of this piece from Bran. The simple repetitions layered one on top of another reveals the unreal reality of bizarre, unexpected encounters. 

-Mark

This song started as an experimental electronic piece years ago–one of my first songs ever recorded. I acoustified it with an eclectic mix of world instruments to give its unique life. The world is a weird, weird place. You’ll see stuff that will bewilder, awe, and puzzle you.

-Bran

11. Ad Astra
Mark- mandolin, vocals, harmonica, lyrics
Bran- guitar, slide guitar, bass, vocals, lyrics

Kansas is a beautiful place. In the style of the state’s official song, we wrote what Kansas means to us. To me, it’s the comfort of home.

-Mark

I feel so at home in the expansive, majestic skies of Kansas and long stretches of land spanning to the wide horizon. It may be flatter than a pancake, but its beauty is vastly underrated. Kansas complements a clear head and an open heart.

-Bran

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