Mark Hanson was born and raised in Monmouth County, New Jersey. At the tender age of 10 he joined his first band, playing guitar and singing at school dances and such. By the time he got into High School he had already developed a love for various styles of music. The British invasion, Folk music, Motown, Big Band swing and the new sounds of Country Rock all had their influence on his writing and performances. The vocal harmonies of the Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Birds and others were another source of inspiration. Add to this a multitude of wonderful local musicians, coffee houses and other venues where under 18 year olds could play and listen to music, and you’ll get a picture of his early musical development.
In 1973 Mark spent a year in the English campus of New England College. There he met Paula Dudley and Angelo Petraglia. The three formed the basis of a band that later became The Paula Doo-Rite Band when they returned to the main campus in New Hampshire. With Billy Beard on drums, Jeff Papas on keyboards and vocals, Angelo playing electric and acoustic guitars, Randy Barbara on bass, and Paula singing; Mark found himself in rich creative environment ideal for expanding his songwriting and guitar playing skills. As is the case with most college bands their time was limited. Mark moved back to New Jersey in 1976. Faced with having to start all over, Mark teamed up with old friend and partner, Nancy Jones. Playing in clubs in and around Red Bank, NJ, Mark met a number of old and new friends.
When Nancy left for a year to attend college Mark joined forces with some of those new friends to form a band called Revelry. In its final format the members were: Dave McCarthy-guitars and vocals, Jeff Dalton-banjo and vocals, Derric Rowe-Drums, Mark on lead guitar and vocals and a number of different bass players.(The only name that Mark remembers is that of George Ebert an old friend from high school, who helped out for a few months.) This was Mark’s first experience with playing Country and Bluegrass. It was with this band that Mark shared the stage with recording artists such as Comander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, Lester Flatt, John Hartford, And the Flying Borrito Bros. There are some funny stories there, but ask him in person as they tend to be a little on the long side.
Nancy came back from Colorado about the same time Mark was looking to change things around again. Since his summer vacations from college Mark had been a great fan of Maureen McCrink, a singer with a beautiful soprano voice. He had always thought that in the right format that they could make a cool sound. With Nancy’s ability to invent and sing harmonies (along with fronting songs) Mark’s bass-baritone and Maureen’s soprano, he felt there would be no style of music beyond their reach. He was right. With the addition of Derric Rowe (from Revelry) on Drums and Norman Heilos on keyboards and vocals this was Mark’s favorite band to work with. When Mark’s son, Adam was born in 1981, the band realizing his new change of priorities, decided to finish off their bookings and part as best of friends. In 1997 they had a reunion show in Seabright, NJ and hope to get together again soon.
Lacking the time to rehearse a band and wanting to work closer to his home in Medford, Mark decided to try his hand at working solo. After years of working with bands Mark was ill equipped for this new undertaking. Within two years he was burnt out and decided to hang up the guitar. Maybe it was time for a "real job". He tried, but after a few years the need to perform caught up with him. After a lot of soul searching Mark realized that with the right attitude and expectations, working as a solo artist could be rewarding in it’s own strange way. In 1989 his new life as Country singer began.
With the explosion of new music coming out of Nashville, Mark had all the new material he could ever hope for. Featuring songs from Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr.... while including tunes by the Beatles, The Eagles, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffet and more, Mark has dedicated himself to providing his audiences with a fun and varied evening of musical entertainment. Stop by and see him sometime. You never know who might sit in. Maybe everyone’s favorite bass player Ray Fischer, or maybe Al Snider on guitar, or Pete Dalton or Guy Peterson or… Well you get the point. There’s a lot of great players out there. So come on out and join us, and if you’re a player, bring your instrument along. There’s plenty of room and lots of music for everyone.