Mark’s musical journey began at an early age, copying his father on a toy guitar. Seeing this, Mark’s Dad gave him his old acoustic nylon string guitar.  Mark’s father saw he had to use three fingers to play one note, so quickly thereafter a smaller size acoustic guitar was made available.  His father taught him three chords and from then on Mark went to explore the guitar on his own.  A gifted ear and a natural understanding of chord progressions helped him to learn to play along with songs from his father’s records of artists like BB King, The Eagles, CCR, Eric Clapton, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Fats Domino,  The Shadows, Freddy Fender, John Denver and even The Beach Boys as earliest influences.

He soon realized that when you put microphones inside the body of the guitar and cranked up the volume, distorted notes would come out.  Soon the speakers of the home sound system were broken.  After saving money by doing extra choirs, Mark bought his first electric guitar, a red and brown Avora.  Now he was ready to perform at school and was also welcomed to the stage to play with his father’s band, starting out playing with his back toward the audience.

Then Mark joined the school band and started playing with other young musicians in town.  Around this time, he was first exposed to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix.  A new musical interest was sparked and soon Mark bought his first Jimi Hendrix vinyl, Live at Winterland . “Wow, these strange noises came out of that guitar?”  To much delight of the neighbors, Mark and his brother on drums started their own “Experience” in the attic.

Playing in local bands, Mark copied the gimmicks of Jimi Hendrix by playing with his teeth, behind his head and back and with lots of distortion.  The rock genre of the nineties and local musicians influenced his choice of music. His father was also a huge influence on him, explaining; “It is not about how fast you play or how many notes,  it is about playing with a feeling and hitting the right note at the right time.  Listen to the Blues.”  The Blues were always around and as Mark grew up, the appreciation for his father’s words grew with his appreciation for the Blues.

In 1995, Mark met Roy Roberts, a Bluesman from the United States.  Being a fantastic singer and performer, Roy was hitting the right note at the right time.  When acquainted, Mark and Roy jammed together at the local Blues Cafe.  Impressed with the young man’s talent, Roy invited him to come to the U.S. to play and record with him and other affiliated artists. Together they toured across the United States and Europe, where Roy often introduced Mark as his adopted son. Mark has had the privilege of playing music with artists such as; Roy Roberts, Taj Mahal, Barbara Weathers, Floyd Miles (featuring Gregg Allman), Skeeter Brandon, Priscilla Price, Chick Willis, Sandra Hall, D.C. Bellamy, Tom Browne, William Bell, Willy “Big Eyes” Smith, Yahzarah, B. B. King’s AllStar Band, Howard Tate and many other fine musicians.

Being in the U.S. and working with so many fantastic musicians exposed Mark to the roots of music styles like Blues, Jazz, R&B, Soul and Funk, which he has incorporated into his own style. Mark has recorded his own albums entitled Passages and Dutch Guy Playing the Blues, which have had airplay across the globe.  Mark currently resides in the Netherlands, where he has started his own Blues band.  Please be sure to check him out for yourself,  he plays “the right note at the right time”.  You’ll be glad you did!