So the man you know as Mark Edgar Stuart – the acclaimed bassist-singer-songwriter whose smashing debut album was followed up by a record the Commercial Appeal just called one of 2015’s local best – is known to me by another name. For the past 15 years, I’ve known him only as D-Day. I have no idea where that nickname came from, but it was already deeply ingrained in the Memphis music scene when I tagged along to watch Mark back up some Mississippi boy on Letterman.
None of that is really relevant except for the fact that, for over a decade, I only knew Mark as the quiet force behind many of Memphis’ bands and performers. I’m honestly not sure if I ever heard him say a word. So it was all the more shocking when I turned on the radio, listened intently to the funny, poignant song “Remote Control,” and then heard Mark Edgar Stuart named as its creator. It was the most I’d ever heard him say, let alone sing! But really, it all made perfect sense. Mark plays other people’s songs with grace, intelligence, and humor, and all those things were revealed in his own work.
Mark’s path to the middle mic has been a winding one, and he’s more than paid his dues on-stage and off. It’s such a huge pleasure for me to welcome him as our first local performer at Folk All Y’all. I’ll admit, I’ve been hesitant to have Memphis folks play, because they’re better than anyone else at getting gigs in town, but Mark came to me with a sincere request to play in a room where people would actually listen to what he has to say. After waiting all this time to hear him, I can tell you it’s more than worth it.