"Most of the romance is rusted away, dust on the roadside day after day. Been on the road so long. Now you feel like you wanna go home and be protected. Place where you know you belong, where you're not rejected." Mark Ripp is a musician from Toronto, Ontario. He started playing in folk clubs during the eighties and started his first band, The Bel-Vistas (see blog 12/1/10), by the end of that decade. Getting your hands on anything from that band these days is very difficult which is too bad because they were really good. Mark actually posted some old footage of the band doing a stripped down cover of Springsteen's Brilliant Disguise at a show backstage in Edmonton that is worth checking out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5azkL0sZSNQ&feature=related). The Bel-Vistas had some successes during the nineties, touring the country and opening for acts like The Tragically Hip, Tom Cochrane and Blue Rodeo. Their music was a blend of country and rock. The band also secured a publishing deal with Sony Music Canada. Mark Ripp is a hugely underrated lyricist and he continues to write and record some wonderful songs today with his new band, Mark Ripp & The Confessors. They released their first album in 2002 and Long Story Short is their sophomore release from 2010. The album was self produced by Mark and it includes some strong tracks like this one entitled, Protected. You can check the song out on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_dHwhyZdgw&list=UUppSJ2-WmKhVgELd07MXO3w&index=2&feature=plcp). Mark is currently working on releasing a follow up album in the coming year. You can keep tabs on him at http://markripp.com/. Mark also has his own You Tube channel where he has posted some of his work. An edited version of the CD release party for this particular album from 2010 which was held at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto is posted on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFH-FpHUdDk&feature=bf_next&list=UUzgZubjm5G0I1WIlIKAZg7A&lf=plcp). The song, Protected, closes out the video montage. You can purchase the album, Long Story Short, on Itunes. Thanks for reading and enjoy!