The Back Story
MARK WAS GIVEN HIS FIRST GUITAR FOR HIS 7TH BIRTHDAY… AND HIS LIFE CHANGED FOREVER.
10 years later, England had become the hub of world youth culture and music and Mark was playing in London Folk Clubs like ‘Bunjies’ on Great Litchfield Street (where Bert Jansch was the resident singer), ‘Les Cousins’ in Soho where Alexis Korner and Al Stewart were regular performers and The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, which from 1966 hosted everyone from The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, The Yardbirds and David Bowie, to Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin.
Mark was greatly influenced by folk guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch (the founders of Pentangle) and others appearing in the Clubs at that time, such as Davy Graham and Nic Jones. These same players also influenced everyone from Jimmy Page, Mike Oldfield and Donovan, to Neil Young.
Mark often played on the same show with artists such as Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and Long John Baldry. He played a mix of traditional English Folk music and his own original songs.
Soon after, Mark came to the attention of Roger Cook - lead singer of Blue Mink and one part of renowned songwriting duo Cook and Greenaway. This pair wrote hits like ‘Melting Pot’ and Bannerman’ for Blue Mink, but also the classics ‘Gasoline Alley Bred’ and ‘Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress’ for The Hollies. In fact, Cook has written hundreds of songs for a host of other artists and remains the only English songwriter to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York.
First artist to be produced by roger cook
Mark became one of the first artists to be produced by Roger Cook with two of his early originals (under the stage name Mark McCann) appearing on the soundtrack of cult film 'Extremes' (along with others from a young band called Supertramp). They appeared on the soundtrack album of the same name on the Decca Deram label.
In subsequent years, Mark wrote many songs with various collaborators including Rob Fisher of Climie/Fisher fame – writers of their own 1987 hit single ‘Love Changes (Everything)’, which won an Ivor Novello Award.
Several of Mark’s songs have been covered by other artists while he’s also written for radio and TV ads., most famously, an English ad. campaign for Heinz beans.
Since moving to the States, Mark has started writing and singing much more contemporary songs, collaborating with performer, arranger and producer Andy Wahlberg who is a master of the Harp Guitar – an instrument with six extra bass strings.
ANDY WAHLBERG - COLLABORATOR
Andy’s musical career has spanned over 25 years, more than 3,000 concerts and performances across America, seven albums and hundreds of television and radio appearances. He has performed on stage with groups such as Chicago, Spyra Gyra, Firefall, Hall and Oates, Don McLean and the Spinners.
While Mark sings on all his new material, Andy Wahlberg arranges and plays all the instrumental parts, notably playing his famous Harp Guitar (plus Slide and Electric guitars) for rhythm, riffs and any solos. In Mark’s own words: "Andy’s input is absolutely vital to the new songs, which simply wouldn’t be as good without him. He is basically the co-writer."