The following is the complete text of an interview with Mark Southerland that was published in Vol. 2, Issue 4 of Mugshot Magazine
It's the dead of winter in the Midwest. Kansas City, Missouri is the blue collar underdog formerly known as the "Paris of the Plains," back when Charlie Parker got his triumphant start here - way before he and Count Basie hopped a bus to New Your City. The air is clean and there is still and active jazz scene seven nights a week.
This is a bowling town. People here eat beef. We went to a late night show at a downtown spot and the doorman was actually eating BBQ ribs while he stamped my hand.
I first associated Mark Southerland with an 8-track player when he gave me a ride in his old-school Cadillac. We cruised through the artist colony called The Bottoms in downtown Kansas City. the area is filled with light industry, art galleries and 5000-square-foot floors where musicians play and live.
I was impressed that this man, whom I knew as perhaps the best sax player in the city, had a Cadillac with a factory-installed 8-track. Little did I know of his intentions with this format. Although the 8-track has been revitalized by a small funk populace and people like Rosie o'Donnell, they're generally relegated to popularity rankings valid only on the garage sale circuit.