In 2000, Mark began to gravitate back to his acoustic roots and the studio became his classroom. After making a decision to pursue a solo career, Mark took all of the lessons that he had learned over the last 25 years and began constructing his solo show. The premise was to develop an act that was as hard hitting as the band, but all in a one man show.
After returning to the East Coast, Mark dug deeper into the blues playing electric guitar and listening to Johnny Winter, Roy Buchannan, Albert King and many others. When he was playing progressive Newgrass, his style had the influence of the blues. Now delving into the blues, his playing has the razors edge and speed that was developed from years of flat-picking. The combination of the lightning fast bluegrass style and his soulful blues playing are the key components of Mark’s style today.
The band ranged anywhere from 3 to 10 pieces on a given night. Regardless of the situation, Mark managed the band, the crowd, and all aspects of the gig, making sure
that the crowd and club owner received more than their money’s worth for the night. Showmanship, taste, professionalism and great music were the adjectives that club owners cited over and over as reasons to book the band in a regular rotation.
In the late 1980s, Mark started his own Chicago style Blues band, The Lonesome Strangers. The band was a staple on the New England club circuit for over a dozen years. The band worked all of the clubs due to Mark’s ability to transform the band to adapt to any venue. Many of the gigs were played as a “power trio” with Mark singing and filling the band out with scorching electric Blues guitar. Other times, the band included a keyboard player and / or the addition of the Newport Navy Band Horn Section.
AMERICAN MUSIC CONCERTS
(PRESS FOR: non-club shows)
Mark is a internationally recognized musician and entertainer who has performed in numerous venues throughout the United States & Europe. His CD was named BEST Acoustic Blues Album in 2014 and his recordings have reached the top 20 on National Music Charts.
Mark is an extraordinary accomplished guitarist. His concerts include instrumentals and singing and playing music from the early 1800s to the late 1950s. The show includes Mark's signature, foot stompin blues, boogie, early rock and honky-tonk selections. Instrumental selections include: America The Beautiful, Amazing Grace, Autumn Leaves, Maple Leaf Rag, and many other dazzling, fancy guitar arrangements.
Mark establishes a personal connection with his audience by discussing the origin of music and providing the listener with insights into the history of the guitar and other instruments that have become critical to the development of American music. Listen and learn that the oldest guitar was discovered in Egypt and is over 3500 years old; or that Benjamin Franklin was a guitarist. You might even find out what affect the Spanish American War has on American guitar players, or why and how fiddle music impacted the development of guitar music.
SHORT COPY FOR VENUE PUBLICITY
Mark T. Small
American Roots Music
Mark is a internationally recognized musician and entertainer who has performed in numerous venues throughout the United States & Europe. His recordings have reached the Top 20 on National Music Charts. He was the Winner of Best Acoustic Blues Album 2014 by Blues Blast Magazine and also won the Boston Blues Challenge in 2016. He has opened for and played on the bill with such names as; Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Emmylou Harris, Robert Cray, and many others.
Mark is an extraordinary accomplished guitarist. His shows include Honky Tonk songs, some Blues tunes, as well as, compositions from some of Americas greatest composers, ranging from Josef Wagner to Scott Joplin and more. All of the music is hi-lighted by Mark’s blazing acoustic guitar work. Hot guitar, smooth vocals, classic American songs: All in a one man show. Info and videos @ www.marktsmall.com
The show includes many great traditional Delta Blues numbers with a Chicago Blues slant that transforms each tune into a “tour de force”. Included are: the blazing flat-picking techniques that grabbed audiences in Mark’s Bluegrass days, the hot slide guitar playing that creates a mood and timbre change in each set and the showmanship that was developed from 25 years of experience as a band “Front Man”. These components combined with the sense of a sharp businessman who possesses a keen understanding of the venue goals and objectives, assures a happy client regardless of the situation. biography
Mark T. Small has been playing music for over 40 years. In his early teens he began listening to Old Time Music. He learned to play fiddle tunes on the guitar in the styles of Doc Watson and Norman Blake and also learned to play the Dobro. In 1981, this music took Mark to Indiana to play and record with a 5 piece Newgrass Band called The Brown County Band. At the same time, Mark was playing harmonica and listening to the likes of Junior Wells and Charlie Musselwhite.