Mark Cunningham

Alumni Update: The Burning Angels

Mark Cunningham was one of our first features on Country Fried Rock back in 2010, when we were a fledgling online radio station. He plays with several bands, as many musicians in Athens, Georgia do, and fronts his own band, The Burning Angels.  He also does pen and ink drawings and digital collage, many of which are his album covers and posters.

Get The Burning Angels’ music here on Bandcamp.

burning angels cover

Beautiful Scars is not an album that The Burning Angels have made before. It is an album that two of the band’s constant members (Mark Cunningham, Andrew Vickery) decided had to be made immediately after the release of Love & 20 Pesos. A deeply personal album for songwriter Mark Cunningham, Beautiful Scars explores the frailty, darkness, emotions and stories set in a gothic Southern landscape.

Putting trust into their own hands as producers, the pair played all of the instruments, recorded and mixed all of the songs, learning and discovering new sounds along the way. Beautiful Scars was a 6 month labor of love for The Burning Angels and is the band’s 3rd full-length album.

The Burning Angels are an Americana band based out of Athens, Georgia, founded in 2008 by singer/songwriter, Mark Cunningham. Previous releases are the 2011 self-titled, The Burning Angels and Love & 20 Pesos released in 2013. Mark Cunningham has released Searching for the Smaller Gods in 2010.

Prevent Musician Suicide #1332

Yeah, not a fun topic…but one we should talk about more.

That’s why our album cover is a close-up of an elephant — major depression and musicians’ mental health are like the elephant in the living room.  It’s so close that you almost cannot figure out what it is.  We all know someone who needed help, but couldn’t afford it, was on the road all the time and couldn’t access care, or who self-medicated until they just disappeared.  Every friend in music knows somebody who needed help and couldn’t get it, either due to lack of access or the lifestyle challenges of being in this creative field.

So, we decided to help musicians get the care they need, and we need you to help, too.



Find out more about Nuci’s Space here.

If you need to talk, please click here or call a trained counselor to talk right now.


The Burning Angels: Leaked Tracks

One of the very first songwriters ever featured on Country Fried Rock was Mark Cunningham, of The Burning Angels (and also on guitar with The Welfare Liners). He has since become a friend and the connecting thread to tons of other bands we have featured or played on this program.

#1242 The Corduroy Road

The Corduroy Road’s fans sounded alarm bells when the band left their life on the road for a long hiatus, but after nearly an eight-month break, the core of the band emerged with some new players in the lineup, refreshed and ready for the next phase of the band. The Corduroy Road musically balances between Americana and bluegrass in the dance-able area we refer to as “upbeat string band.” Their songs make you move, and you might even miss the weight of some of their lyrics, such as a hunter stumbling upon a meth lab in the woods where the meth-farmer and sheriff are in cahoots. Southern Gothic lyrics to outsiders, perhaps, but just another day in the country to some of us enmeshed in baffling small-town alliances.

With a loyal regional following, The Corduroy Road regularly pack small clubs and local music festivals. Even when in a lineup with bands like The Steel Wheels, Hoots & Hellmouth, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, or Joy Kills Sorrow, they are one of the bands people remember and love, and return to see again. Drew Carman and his band are on the edge of stepping up to larger festivals and supporting national touring acts. The Corduroy Road brings their own crowd, but they also keep the audiences who have not yet heard of them engaged and ultimately, win them over with their set.

Two Step Silhouette, their latest record, reflects the band’s recent circumstances of doing it all themselves. The Corduroy Road was one of those rare bands whose first album was picked up before it was released and re-recorded with a legendary producer (John Keane), and having to revert to a full DIY model was overwhelming for the guys at first. Thus yielded their productive and creatively essential hiatus, from which they have emerged. They are still one of those bands whose energy is best transmitted live, and who is best appreciated from the dance floor or a lawn chair at a festival, but only because you are too tired from dancing to their first set!

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Country Fried Rock