On Stowaways, his 10th CD, musical madman Paul Mark sinks his teeth into another body of work and, vampire-like, comes at us fully refreshed. The multitalented multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar, acoustic bass, organ, etc.) sidesteps from the rock ’n’ roll/blues stage and thrusts us into a Victorian-era music hall. In company with a four-person string section, Mark urges us, on the title track, to stow away with him. Just like that, we’re aboard and away we go, riding on the tide of his fertile imagination. On track two, after wondering how the blind become so famous, he turns his wandering eye to the deaf and then the dull (“who spout as revelation the tritest observation”). The highlight is his fascinating version of the “Ballad of Mack the Knife,” in which he uses a 1976 translation of Brecht/Weill’s The Threepenny Opera with considerable effect. The saddest song for me is “Animal Cruelty,” about bringing home a pet that becomes a loving family member then ultimately passes on—“It’s devotion then desertion, why must animals be so cruel?”