The only thing terrible about Carolyn Mark is that we don't see enough of her here at Mint HQ. Her second full length effort, Terrible Hostess is a noteable step up, both musically and stylistically, from her debut Party Girl. This time Carolyn gets by with a little help from her real-life roommates Tolan McNeil and Garth Johnson for what would become the first of many studio albums. Building on her rock solid foundation as one of the country’s most entertaining and engaging performers, Mark knocks things up a rung or two (or ten) this time around. Breezing between tipsy duets and delightfully dark diddys, there's no denying this iconic islander knows how to throw a good ol' country party, whether she admits it or not.
Carolyn Mark may be a terrible hostess, but, damn, I wanna be at her next house party. Judging by her new disc, shindigs at the Mark household are a helluva trip. Terrible Hostess has the unsteady feel of post-bacchanalian revelry - you know, that wobbly sense of trying to get your bearings by drinking water and black coffee the day after - with sweet tunes that veer between stripped-down bluegrass, brassy torch songs and anthems to depression that make you want to drink red wine and slit your wrists. She consistently channels the spirit of Patsy Cline, particularly on the sultry “Chumpville”, and at the same time deserves props for capturing the nauseous insanity of a true house party. - NOW