Marc Silber, “Test Tracks”

Songs highlighted below are links to listen to that song.

  1. 99 Year Blues
  2. One Dime Blues
  3. Cannonball Blues
  4. Berkeley Blues
  5. You Gonna Quit Me Baby
  6. Sorry Mama to My Heart
  7. Mercury Ford Blues
  8. Hesitation Blues
  9. Hot Dogs
  10. Easy Rider
  11. Alberta
  12. Matchbox Blues
  13. Mississippi Slow Blues
  14. Guru Boogie
  15. Streets of Laredo

For more than 40 years, blues guitarist and songmaker marc Silber has been known as a “musician’s musician” by an elite circle of players. Originally from Michigan, Marc hit the road in 1960 for Berkeley, eventually ending up in New York City in 1963 just as the burgeoning folk revival was hitting stride. There he founded and ran Fretted Instruments, the legendary Greenwich Village music store, with Izzy Young of the New York Folklore Center.

Before it closed in 1967, Fretted instruments was the gathering point for the great musicians who shaped the era. A typical day might find folks like Mississippi John hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Bob Dylan, John Sebastian, Maria Muldaur, Elizabeth Cotten, David Grisman, and Mance Lipscomb hanging out and jamming, and Marc was right in the middle of it with his guitar.

As one of the first to recognize the intrinsic beauty and value of vintage instruments, he chose not to pursue a professional music career and returned to Berkeley, where he opened a music store (currently located at 2547-8th Street) and museum. Through the years, he has continued to play his own deep-rooted music, making new songs and rewriting old ones, teaching blues guitar, and collecting, building and repairing musical instruments. This is his first album, and it’s about time the rest of the world gets to hear this wonderful musician. – Suzy Thompson

CD Reviews- April 24, 2002 From

Marc Silber, “Test Tracks 1”, Marc Silber Music, Berkeley, CA

Every now & then, if you are lucky, you meet a musician who is completely dedicated to his craft. Marc Silber is just such a singer-songwriter, or more appropriately, a song-maker, who plays many blues styles. Marc plays “Old Style Blues” like the original “Bluesmen”, such as Leadbelly, Reverend Gary Davis, Mance Lipscomb, K.C. Douglas, Son House, Bukka White, &, from the Bahamas, Joseph Spence. Marc had one of the first vintage guitar stores in the US, in Greenwich Village in the early 1960’s. As these great “Bluesmen” would venture “up North”, they would stop to play, visit & hang out at Marc’s shop. The result of this “musical education” is that Marc is able to keep their memories & styles alive with an authenticity that must be heard to be believed. If you are a fan of “Old Style Blues”, I have 2 words for this 15-song homemade CD: BUY IT!!! It is without a doubt the most genuine, sincere & heartfelt CD I have heard in quite some time; it is truly a rare CD that deserves to be treasured.

Rating: Excellent (See rating scale below)

John Sebastian (formerly “Lovin’ Spoonful”) talks about Marc’s CD:

Comments on Marc Silber’s CD &#147Test Tracks, 1,” by John Sebastian

“When I first heard ‘The Test Tracks’ I called my pal Marc to tell him he’d made the best CD of the year. More than just your average finger picker, Marc brings a unique background and depth of swing and understanding to this set of blues and folk goodies.

Starting at Fretted Instruments, New York’s first ER for troubled instruments and folk singers, Marc Silber has been friend, aid, and student to that great first generation of acoustic bluesmen who made their ways to the big city during the 1960s ‘folk scare.’ Marc has logged more time in front of John Hurt, Skip Jones & Victoria Spivey than most of us who brag about it. It shows.”

Pioneering guitarist Artie Traum ‘s lavished praise on Marc’s CD:

Comments on Marc Silber’s CD &#147Test Tracks, 1,” (9/2001), by Artie Traum

“I can sit for hours listening to Marc Silber play Cannonball Blues, Alberta, Matchbox Blues and other country blues. Marc has always been a fan of Skip James, Mance Lipscomb, and Robert Johnson — and he absorbed their driving bass lines and complex finger style playing. Over the years Marc’s playing and singing has evolved into a powerful style. He is a Master Fingerpicker who put his personality into every tune while staying true to the country blues and high-lonesome tradition.

“I love this CD. The interplay of the guitar and singing is great. I realized while listening that Marc has had a profound influence on all of us over the years — the subtleties of his style really comes across.

“Marc Silber had a huge influence on guitarists and musicians during the Greenwich Village folk revival days … and beyond. All these years later I am feeling that anything I do right on guitar is because Marc showed me how to do it, especially when it comes to touch, tone, and the subtle stuff.

“I am very thankful to have this CD. I am going to listen to it some more right now.”

Artie Traum, Woodstock, New York. (May, 2002)

Guitar Nation Rating Scale:



Very Good


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