Charleston City Paper


COUNTRY AMERICANA | Forty Mile Detour 

Charleston’s Mark Yampolsky is a full-time periodontist by day and musician by way of the weekend. “It’s just the kind of thing where I have gotten to the point that I can do both, and I have been doing both for a while,” he says. A musician since he was a child, Yampolsky began doing solo cover shows and open mics — gradually sprinkled with originals — before teaming up with drummer John Gross, bass player Pascal Bouquillard, and lead guitar player Eddie Phillips to form Forty Mile Detour. A great blend of country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll, Forty Mile Detour recorded its self-titled debut disc with Jay Clifford and Josh Kaler at Hello Telescope in 2010. That was only shortly after Yampolsky discovered Cayamo Cruises, a songwriter’s sea voyage frequented every year by the likes of Lyle Lovett, John Prine, and Brandi Carlisle — to name but a few. Yampolsky hasn’t missed a cruise ever since, which has helped him network his way into some cool friendships and collaborations. For example, the band’s latest, yet-to-be released record Ain’t No Devil features the incredible accordion playing of Grammy-Award-winning Joel Guzman, who regularly performs with artists like Los Lobos and Buddy Miller — and who Yampolsky met on board a Cayamo. “It’s because of that kind of support that I’m able to get my music out,” Yampolsky says. After he returns from his eighth cruise, the singer will begin hosting shows at his home for songwriters he’s met along the way. But what amazes him the most is not that he’s met Lyle Lovett on a cruise or that he’s gotten songwriting tips from a few of the greats — but that he has reached this exciting chapter later in his life. “People define success in different ways,” he says. “But I’m out doing music pretty much every weekend, writing all the time, and I just think that it’s never too late to do something like that, to live your dream. I never thought I would be songwriting and have an excellent band and just be out there playing my own songs that really resonate with people. So if you have something you want to do and you can kind of put the grit into it, you can make it happen. You can do it.” —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY, January 14, 2016