With eight albums to his credit and lyrics that have become increasingly intense and profound, Mark Jungers is fully in the roots-rock realm along with writing worthy of the best songwriters. "Sins & Plagues" with it's disturbing themes - moderated with great poetic attitude - is the distillation of all the musical passions of the Minnesota singer-songwriter long transplanted in Texas. Bob Dylan, authentic country music, 'uncomfortable' topics, blues, and rock are present here, thanks to a band that provides excellent support. David Goldsby and Dennis Merritt on bass and drums respectively, form a close-knit rhythm section, the solo guitar parts entrusted to Adrian Schoolar, a handful of guests to complete with their touch a fascinating and varied picture, with Mark Jungers to guide everything adding to a now mature interpretation, harmonica, a pinch of keyboards, some percussion here and there and a good guitar style and the album flows naturally reaching the purpose of telling our problematic and (often) dark times. The last few years have been the inspiration for the birth of these songs, often and unfortunately accompanied by climate emergencies ("Big Water" that I think would like very much to Joe Ely and "Tornado" in the first place) but at the same time the style has gradually been perfected and reaching with these songs a fullness of style that places Mark Jungers among the many 'best kept secrets' of American music. "One Day I Was A Millionaire (Down In A Hole)", "Running Out Of Time" reminiscent of the precious and extraordinary songbook by John Prine with their mix of country and folk, "Only Avenue", "Nowhere To Go" and "9N" drag the album up and "I Like To Think" shifts the balance towards more bluesy tones. "Sins & Plagues" confirms the solidity of Mark Jungers' work, to be quietly flanked by the best American roots musicians.

Remo Ricaldone (Translated)

Imagine Neil Young with a sense of humor or Jay Farrar on anti-depressants...welcome to the world of Mark Jungers, my favorite songwriter.

Jeremy Halliburton, KTXN, Victoria, TX

...he is a gifted lyricist with heartfelt, honest, meaningful stories to tell and the skill to tell them in an interesting way. Anyone into great songwriting with an equal mix of folk, country and rock is going to like this CD a whole helluva lot!

Scott Homewood, Freight Train Boogie

Dusty songs punctuated by harmonica, mandolin and fiddle, tales of every day folks and misadventures. This one's perfect for a long drive. Jungers writes from a personal perspective (not unlike the Silos' Walter Salas-Humara ) and when he sings about farm life in "Dig", the Minnesota native is writing from experience.

Michael Meehan, Freight Train Boogie

Play this record now! Mark Jungers is one of the finest Americana songwriters that we have & hit our radar at KNON in 2001 with his first record. Ever since then he has put out one wonderful record after another. This one too. We play the heck out of him. You won't be disappointed.

- Mark Mundy, KNON

In life and in art, Mark Jungers is a reality dealer. A trailblazing Americana singer, songwriter and musician with By God sod busting roots, Jungers lays out the perils, the pitfalls and the pleasures of life in equal measure. And, accompanied by a like-minded music-making crew, Jungers uses a mixture of country, folk, rock and more to get that reality across with soul, conviction and a solid backbeat.

- Jim Beal, Jr.
Freelance music journalist KSYM Third Coast Music Network DJ

The Texas highways are littered with the discarded Texan songwriters who failed the authenticity sniff test. But veteran singer Mark Jungers has survived, writing songs that fit the here and now of rural America without sounding cheap or pandering."

- Calvin Powers
TaprootRadio.com December 15th, 2011

Mark Jungers-Sins & Plagues

The United States finds itself deeply emmeshed in "sins and plagues," helping the aptly titled record from singer/songwriter Mark Jungers arrive like a psychospiritual postcard. The Americana artist leads his deft band through a strong collection of eleven songs, featuring music ranging from swampy blues to hillside country.

Acting simultaneously as a soundtrack and serenade of rural America, "Sins & Plagues" explores the frustrations, joys, and dramatic swings of experience in the bucolic precincts of a diverse nation. From tornados and floods to friendly neighbors and old dreams that die hard, Jungers gives an honest account the American, provincial, and ultimately, human struggle.

The downhome blues of "Only Avenue" eventually makes way for the country whimsy of "The Guy Down the Street." Jungers? harmonica is particularly effective, offering both the sound of authenticity and enjoyable musical ornamentation. A cover of "Dead Soldiers" closes the record with a moving tribute to the sacrifices that many nameless Americans have made, even as their stories often fall into the background of our ongoing national chronicle.

"Sins & Plagues" makes for fine accompaniment of America?s current troubles, but given the imperishability of the stories that Jungers tells through song, it will maintain its relevance for many years to come.

David Masciotra 12 February 2021 The Daily Ripple

I'll See You Again - Mark Jungers

Jungers has unassumingly built up a mighty catalog of original work since his still-stunning 2000 solo debut, Black Limousine.

He's working a niche within a niche, to be sure - folks who dig Robert Earl Keen and John Prine but want a deeper peek into literate, soulful modern folk would do well to start with Jungers - and seems to acknowledge it with his approach by shrinking things down to a spare-room studio vibe.

It served him well on 2011's appealingly swampy More Like a Good Dog Than a Bad Cat, and it strikes the right tone again on this relatively autumnal, even-more-Iaconic-than-usual set of songs. Thematically, "I'll See You Again" plays out like a veritable concept album, with the jilted lover of "I'll Be Home" forsaking said house ("Don't Want to Live Here Anymore"), ruminating over reconciliation ("Do You Still Care") and the heartaches of history both local ("Johnson's Farm") and personal ("Plywood & Strings") before giving in to a sort of stoic, resilient loneliness (the closing "Ran Out of Tears," perhaps the record's finest moment).

And though Jungers' drawl might be more Fargo than Fort Worth, it hits home just as surely as his better-known peers.


I'll See You Again - Mark Jungers (5 Stars)

Keeping up with Texas singer-songwriters is a full time job in itself, as fast as one fails, in FARster Calvin Powers' words, "the authenticity sniff test," two or three more take his or her place.

Even though I knew good people like David Obermann and Jim Beal Jr admired Jungers, he somehow never came up on my radar, even after 20 years as a songwriter, putting out seven albums. For this I apologize to him and you, because I really should not have been so remiss.

One reason, I won't say excuse, is that, based in Martindale, TX, Jungers mostly plays Hill Country venues with his long time band, The Whistlin' Mules, who back him here, along with Gurf Morlix pedal steel and baritone guitar, Gabe Rhodes accordion, all-purpose Canadian fiddler Jessica Hana Deutsch and Ben Balmer harmonica and vocals.

Even leaving the songs aside, the arrangements alone have a deeply satisfying organic feel, add in world weary vocals and gritty backcountry songs that cover betrayal, disillusionment, doings way too far back in the boonies for comfort, regrets, letting go, hocking mother's silverware to buy a cheap guitar, working and getting nowhere, well, let's just say that aren't too many unicorns and butterflies in Jungers' songs.

The opening I'll Be Home made me think of Lipstick, Lies & Gasoline era Fred Eaglesmith, but, with a rhythmic blend of country, folk and rock, Jungers easily passes Calvin's authenticity sniff test. JC

JC, Third Coast Music Network, 2014-08-02

Album Review: Mark Jungers : I'll See You Again

Mark Jungers' songs are full of finely developed characters, whose beautiful desperation shine through the authenticity of Jungers' voice. Texan, via Minnesota, Jungers has honed his rock tinged country songs for the last 20 or so years. His latest effort, I'll See You Again, has the sound of the mid nineties Fred Eaglesmith albums with a little Wildflowers era Tom Petty thrown in for good measure.

The album was recorded with some familiar faces to Jungers. His longtime backing band the Whistlin' Mules which features Adrian Schoolar on guitar and dobro, Wes Green on mandolin and Josh Flowers on bass have been recording and playing with Mark for years now. The comfort Jungers feels with these guys allows him to focus on writing great lyrics that he knows will translate well to recording and stage as Whistlin' Mules songs. In addition to his normal band, Mark enlisted the services of renown producer, and string player Gurf Morlix to add some pedal steel and baritone guitar on a few tracks as well as a few other guests to fill in the gaps of the tracks when needed.

One of my favorites from the record is "I Don't Want to Live There", a tale of a broken-hearted man who wants nothing to do with the home town where is former lover stays. Another shining moment of the album, is "Plywood and Strings" where the protagonist justifies pawning his dead mother's silver to buy a cheap guitar, stating that at least he wasn't buying smack like so many others who steal from loved ones.

In the end, I'll See You Again emerges as yet another fine record filled with engaging stories, presented with the tightness we've all come to expect from Mark Jungers and the Whistlin' Mules. Albums like this are a testament to the fact that more folks should be aware of Jungers' work and hopefully it will find its way to new ears across the country. I'm not sure when the official release date on this one is, but make sure you keep your eye out for it by visiting Mark's website: www.MarkJungers.com

the broken jukebox

In life and in art, Mark Jungers is a reality dealer. A trailblazing Americana singer, songwriter and musician with By God sod busting roots, Jungers lays out the perils, the pitfalls and the pleasures of life in equal measure. And, accompanied by a like-minded music-making crew, Jungers uses a mixture of country, folk, rock and more to get that reality across with soul, conviction and a solid backbeat.

Jim Beal Jr., freelance music journalist, KSYM Third Coast Music Network DJ

30 Albums of the Year: The Top Ten

Mark Jungers, More Like A Good Dog Than A Bad Cat
If Jungers was ever writing for the masses, he's probably said to hell with it by now. His budget's relatively tight, his approach is stripped-down and his Midwestern twang hasn't lost any of its bite after over a decade and a half in the Texas Hill Country. He's also one of the best roots-music songwriters in the world, and on this self-produced, largely-unheard gem he finds a sweet spot between swamp rock and farm-to-market folk for his new crop of lyrical inventions.

Texas Music Scene - Mike Messick January 6th, 2012

Mark Jungers * More Like a Good Dog Than a Bad Cat * American Rural Records

Released in 2011, More Like a Good Dog Than a Bad Cat is the sixth CD from Mark Jungers since the fabled Year 2000. That whole Y2K thing seemed to barrel in on us with a sense of trepidation, particularly as the computer geeks told us the world was gonna end. Now in 2012 it's the Maya who are calling out from their graves, warning us of either impending doom or an ancient alien invasion, depending on which History Channel show you watch when you're bored. Those prophetic declarations of cataclysm serve as interesting bookends for Jungers' career thus far; his music has historically mined many a vein of solemn, destructive, at times eviscerating fool's gold. This record follows suit, chock full of tales of doubt and loss and the sometimes brutal death of love. Take these lines from "Wasn't Thinking:"

When I finally woke up in the middle of my dream
I was thinking 'bout the way that some people scream
In the middle of the night when you're holding them tight
And you can't figure out what's wrong or what's right
What was I thinking
I wasn't thinking too much
And I finally wasn't thinking of you

Ouch. But another Jungers trademark is the ability to maintain some level of bubbling (if at times misplaced) optimism in the face of Fate's wrath. As an example, the lyrics above are delivered in a flowing, funky, rolling melody with a driving backbeat reminiscent of the most saccharine and friendly of '50s doo-wop. It's a weird combination of substance and sound, but somehow it works, makes you think it's all gonna be alright anyway. So light up and enjoy the ride.

Mark's an interesting songwriter as a result of his ability to seamlessly incorporate all of the above. His music in many instances seems rooted in familiar sounds, and his lyrics often cover well-trod ground. "Riverdown," for instance, is close both lyrically and stylistically to Springsteen's chestnut "The River." Both songs center a challenging lifecycle around a river's healing power, although Bruce's protagonist struggles with choices he made himself while Jungers' attempts to face a life built in the void of a father who left. But in the end, the resonant sax of the late Clarence Clemons notwithstanding, the Boss's song is fatalistic and teetering on the edge of defeatist. Jungers takes a different tack, however. In the early verses, there's a need to run from the darkness and just drive until the fuel runs out. Later on, after some hard-won maturity sets in and some tough accountabilities are owned up to, there's this:

Everything that seemed so important back then
Is lost like it never meant a thing
But sometimes late at night when I get to hold you tight
I remember running out of gasoline

If it's true that there ain't no future living in the past, it's also true that there's no smart future without a bone-deep understanding of what we screwed up along the way. The trick is to find a place where we can be honest with ourselves about the past and the screwups, the all-star fuckups, without beating our souls to death with a stick carved from the cold, dark heart of guilt. Jungers throughout his career seems to recognize this truth, and with this latest record reminds us once again that yes, sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it sucks because we're dumb and made it suck, and sometimes it's just the way it is. But there's still a reason to hope, and there are still the wonderful seemingly small but ultimately timeless things to treasure. "Daisy," a song about a loved and now lost dog, makes that case superbly.

We buried her last fall 'neath the shade tree in the back
I talk to her from time to time she never hollers back
Yeah she's just a dog no one knows it more than me
But she thought I was the hero that I always want to be

Lyrics like those are a key part of Jungers' longstanding and growing reputation as a songwriter possessed of skill, nuance, and passion. There's a reason people like Adam Carroll, Owen Temple, and Susan Gibson often collaborate with Mark.

May 1st, 2012 ~ Dave Pilot, Outlaw Magazine

It has been said that Mark Jungers & the Whistling Mules play real Texas music, and not that brand of slick Texas music passed off by so many posers. Although he was born and raised in Minnesota, Jungers made his way to Austin, Texas, in the mid-1980s and was soon immersed in that city's burgeoning music scene. After a sojourn to Connecticut, Jungers returned to central Texas in the late '90s where he concentrated on refining his version of Texas Americana music, writing about the American spirit and playing like the devil. Jungers comes to White Water Tavern for a night of music with Little Rock's own The Libras kicking off the night with their bar rock.

S Stewart, Sync Weekly, July 13th 2011

Just a few months into 2011, and it has already been a bountiful music year. Mark Junger's new release More Like a Good Dog Than a Bad Cat just might sit at the top of this list so far. If you are not yet familiar with Mark Jungers = where the hell have you been? As stated on his own web site www.markjungers.com:

Mark Jungers is no stranger to the Americana roots music scene. He's been playing it for years- since well before the term "Americana" was coined- because in his world, country, roots rock, folk, and bluegrass music need not be mutually exclusive. Mark and his band play what is the heart of Americana: gutsy, unpretentious music filled with spirit and spontaneity.

This free-wheeling spirit and spontaneity are certainly on display in his new CD. The 13 songs here get you involved by sucking you into the energetic flow... leaving you tapping your toes and singing loudly before you are even aware what is going on.

The opening song, Show Me a Sign, fringes on southern gospel and immediately gets you off your feet and moving. The full set of instrumentals are amazing, with Adrian Scholar opening on guitar, Wes Green playing a mesmerizing mandolin which carries the energy, Josh Flowers on bass, and Matthew Briggs capturing the beat on drums. Junger's mouth bow adds another essential quality to this one.

Jungers provides most of the writing here as well, showcasing his broad talents. He did get some writing help on 3 songs from a couple of other Texas artists you should check out Owen Temple and Adam Carroll. Temple helps with the writing on Can't Take It With You, while Carroll assists on the final two cuts... It's All You and the tongue in cheek Swinging In The Wind. The lone cover song is the smooth old rocker Heel To Toe, written by Phil Stevens. This one reminds me of a classic Buddy Holly/Chuck Berry tune, with the similar smooth 50's vibe.

Susan Gibson, another established Texas musician who wrote the hit Wide Open Spaces plus has a new release of her own out recently titled Tightrope, also contributes here with harmony and vocals on Riverdown and Tired of Being Lonely, in which Adam Carroll makes a vocal appearance as well.

The highlights here are numerous, as each song takes on a life of its own. It is truly not often you can say there are not 1 or 2 songs that are fillers. Each song is vibrant and captivating ...flowing seamlessly throughout the record.

John Walker, Americana Roots

Whistle This is a new release of rather old live recordings from 2006 at Gruene Hall and 2001 at Cheatham Street Warehouse. Make no mistake, though: This is the good stuff! Jungers and his Whistling Mules sound great singing and playing many of their best songs, like "Conviction," "We Talk," "It Ain't Funny," and their better-than-the-original cover of Jason Ringenberg's "Price of Progress." Wes Green's mandolin is always a pleasure, Adrian Schoolar's lead guitar is a skillful, Josh Flowers's bass is clean and on time. I really dig that Jungers plays without a drummer; the sound is full enough. The tracks from 2001 are interesting, because you can detect the relative youth in Jungers's voice, however many beers and cigarettes ago. Plus, it's nice to hear Dave Ray playing bass on those older tracks, but then, maybe I'm just a "Sentimental Gu".

Steve Circeo, Texas Music Times

Mark Jungers writes and sings about the type of human condition that is the true reason this country is able to stay on the course of greatness. He's got grease on his hands and dirt and blood on his shirt. He connects. And that is what music is supposed to do. If you have listeners that actually have to work for a living, One for the Crow is for them. Grab a shovel and dig. Mark does.

Mattson Rainer, KNBT Radio, New Braunfels, TX