Mark McKinney, born and raised in Big Spring, distinguishes himself from the typical “rockin’ country” artist by drawing from a wide range of influences. He credits his father for instilling in him an appreciation for upbeat, energetic songs.
McKinney is performing in Alice Saturday night at Club Desperadoz.
McKinney blends his musical tastes as easily as drinking beer and eating barbecue, and he admits to a diverse musical background. “Although I grew up listening to country legends like Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels, I was also heavily influenced by rock and pop.” This blend of influences has helped secure Mark a unique place in the country music/southern rock scene– and helped keep him from getting boxed into one genre.
For his debut solo album, Get It On, Mark took from his own experiences (as well as those of his closest friends and family) to produce a collection of songs that has been appropriately described as “foot-stompin’, sing-a-long, feel-good country with a strong melody.”
The album is, in Mark’s own words, “a journey through the mind of a Southern man.” And yet something in the fun and honesty applies to everyone – we can all relate to and take a little something from his music. Mark’s four singles from his debut album were all well received by radio and the Texas Music Chart. Comfortable in This Skin, Party Foul, Bonfire and Stompin’ Ground are radio and fan favorites. In addition, the Bonfire Music Video is playing on both CMT Pure and GAC, and Get It On was the featured country album on iTunes recently for four weeks. For Get It On, Mark teamed up with his best friend, Nashville-based producer Rob Dennis, whose production credits include Lynyrd Skynyrd and Cross Canadian Ragweed.
Along with producing Get It On, Dennis founded the independent record label Super Loud Music – the label Mark now calls home. A new album, Middle America, is scheduled for release early summer 2009. The album is jam-packed with songs written by Mark and his friends. Kevin Fowler even makes a guest appearance in County Line. The lead-off single from the new album is the title track, Middle America, already playing at radio stations to rave reviews. Mark’s high energy live show has won over a legion of fans and earned him a reputation as “The Entertainer” of the country/rock scene.
Whether on the radio or on the stage, Mark McKinney is proving himself a force to be reckoned with. Honesty, energy, home-grown country and a little bit of rock-n-roll are hard to argue with – and Mark is quite comfortable in that skin.