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Can I Tell You Something? [MP3 Download]

Mark Lettieri

Can I Tell You Something? [MP3 Download]

$ 9.99

Mark Lettieri: Telling Us What We Want to Hear

Unlike many guitarists on today’s crowded stage, Mark Lettieri treats his fretboard as a runway. Before liftoff, he ensures every calibration, setting, and bolt is as it should be before grabbing a piece of sky. In Dragonfly, the riff-heavy opener off his latest full-length, Can I Tell You Something?, he makes good on that promise of flight. With Jason “JT” Thomas (drums), Daniel Porter (keys), Wes Stephenson (bass), and Bobby Sparks (organ) in the control tower, he has a dream team to get him off the ground without the slightest worry of a malfunction. From the moment his landing gear leaves the tarmac, he soars with the fullest confidence.

Canyon Run keeps the flyover sensation going. This aerodynamic rocker eats forward motion for breakfast, never letting up until the final spoonful. Like the set as a whole, it stays its future-bound course without forgetting the past. Such is Lettieri’s genius as a performer and songwriter, and his bandmates understand how the slightest change in wind direction can affect the entire flight. Their vision elevates Blankworld, a highlight for its vivid imagination, to another level. Fiery yet cool to the touch (as is so much of Lettieri’s output), it is a fearless act of skywriting. 

Though some tracks surpass the six-minute mark, including the dynamic slow dive that is Black Iris (with added shred from violinist Zach Brock) and the richly infused Shimmy Tiger, there’s not a wasted note, solo, or arrangement. The latter is also a bridge between what essentially are two albums in one. Whereas the first half explores the more anthemic side of the coin, Saturday Stuff polishes the other with a focus on groove, followed by Greenspace, a mysteriously bluesy spell on autopilot. Neural Net is one of two funk-outs for baritone guitar, a trusted navigational instrument in the captain’s arsenal that anticipates every moment of turbulence with style. This dichotomy is at the heart of Can I Tell You Something?, the title of which speaks of Lettieri’s desire to express the breadth of his compositional palette.

While the 80s vibes lean more toward the Prince and Jeff Beck bands of the influence spectrum, Cyndi Lauper gets her rightful nod in a luscious take on Time After Time. Despite (if not because of) the artful restraint and sparkling acoustic touches, none of the power is lost here, as the passionate climax would attest. Even the album’s sign-off, Gemstone, embraces the magic of pop sensibilities. A finely cut and precious thing, it shimmers with love and major-key bliss.

Lettieri’s tone is juicier than ever, with just enough tartness to keep us from thinking we’ve tasted it all before. His self-assurance is devoid of pretentiousness—a balance that is increasingly hard to come by in the guitar world. He gets more flexible with time, this being his most acrobatic release yet. And once he throws the trapeze handle our way, it’s up to us to wrap our ears around it and trust that we’ll make it to the other side.


  1. Dragonfly
  2. Canyon Run
  3. Black Iris
  4. Blankworld
  5. Time After Time
  6. Shimmy Tiger
  7. Saturday Stuff
  8. Greenspace
  9. Neural Net
  10. Gemstone
5/17/2024 - Dragonfly
6/21/2024 - Shimmy Tiger
7/19/2024 - Can I Tell You Something?

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