“Music is a great jumping off point for conversation with patients. It builds trust and eliminates anxiety through establishing a human connection,” the Norwood, North Carolina-based dentist/artist says. “The common thread between my practice and my music is healing.”Drawn to music after dental school where he found catharsis in writing and composing his own work during a difficult stretch of life, Lassiter took to recording his music and, using the rising wave of social media, was able to share it with some of his favorite artists. Not long after, he found himself providing care for some of those artists as well as collaborating with them musically. His debut record, Living Past, boasted help from members of Blind Melon, Collective Soul, Foo Fighters, and The Wallflowers and garnered him a "Top 20 Indie Album of 2009" nod from website Mothpod.com.
Now Lassiter is back with his sophomore effort, the Endlessly EP, a smooth, effortlessly delivered set of four songs that shows the artist’s deft touch and warm, rich vocals. Lassiter kicks off the EP with the title cut, a track that shows off those vocals to good measure, the John Mayer-esque vocal tones resonant over a mid-tempo acoustic backdrop as the artist sings of encouragement through dark times. His lyricism is as solid as his delivery as he sings, “When you feel like/The world’s gone crazy/And the face in the mirror is looking kind of strange/When your hopes and your dreams/Are dying in the streets/I’ll be there for you/Endlessly.” That track is also treated to a remix which almost doubles the song’s length but the electro-pop vibes and fills do little to take the song to a better place. It’s an interesting experiment but the original in this case is the superior.Channeling some piano into the mix, “Life’s Like That” is a track that doesn’t shy away from facing the pain of life while again reminding listeners that hope is inevitably just on the other side. It’s a tale that rings true for the artist and is the glue to this three song vignette, capturing a slice of the artist’s true life as he moved from heartbreak to healing. “It’s unapologetic,” Lassiter explains. “It’s: ‘This is who I am. I’ve been through hell, but I’ve glimmered the other side.’ My biggest recurring theme is optimism after difficult events.”
“You’re My Favorite” delivers on that promise of hope with its upbeat lyric and embracing melody colored with buoyant electric and acoustic guitar, swelling B-3 organ fills, and bright percussion which support the artist’s vocals as he breaks into a joyous outburst of, “My heart is full, my heart is full!” It’s a satisfying ending to a solid selection of songs.Mark Lassiter is clearly a good dentist, testified to by his demanding list of clients, but he’s also shown that he’s got the chops to hang in the music world as well. Supported by his patients/rock star friends, Lassiter’s Endlessly EP is the type of album that you don’t want to stop listening to as the music is just as heartwarming and enjoyable as the message.