About Mark Croft
With Zen like focus he walked onto stage four years ago, an untried songwriter and performer. Armed only with his acoustic guitar and the songs he had been perfecting for the last year in his grandmother’s attic. The first thing people noticed were his hands… frantic yet disciplined, the percussive right hand attacking the strings as the left glided effortlessly across the fretboard, creating that driving hypnotic groove. Next they heard his voice… a soulful combination of humility and joy delivering every sage lyric and stunning melody with heartfelt honesty. Baffled looks crossed the faces of the music industry professionals assembled. Each asking the same question, …. who is this guy?
this is one of the best new musicians we’ve seen in a long time. Definitely check out his music.” Roy Elkins, Broadjam Founder and CEO
Mark Croft is a Madison, WI based singer/songwriter, whose talents as a writer, performer, and acoustic guitarist have garnered him critical praise and public attention quickly gaining him recognition as one of the rising stars of the Midwest music scene. Known for his unforgettable melodies and infectious grooves, Croft breaks the genre barriers to create a mainstream sound from the heart of a folk musician.
One of the A&R reps in attendance that night quickly signed Mark to record label Abacus-Music who released Marks debut CD, Sympathetic Groove in the closing months of 2005. The CD is a strong representation of Marks ability to wrap frantic acoustic riffs around unforgettable melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Whether its a groovin pick-me-up to a friend (Angela), a bluesy woman-done-me wrong tale (Shes a Landslide), or his power-funk anti-war cry (America). Sympathetic Groove perfectly captures Marks talents. Radio stations around the US found reason to spin Marks rocker Dont Speak launching it to the number one spot on 15 stations!
Croft debuted his much-anticipated 2nd release “Permanent Ink” in June of 2007. The 5-song EP displays Mark’s maturity as a songwriter as he explores genres like reggae (Crooked Line) and funk (Is It Gonna Be Funky?) while managing to keep feet firmly planted in his acoustic roots. The album also demonstrates Crofts mainstream appeal with the title track finding its way into the queue for several hit TV shows including Greys Anatomy.
Croft began his study of music at the tender age of six, plunking out tunes on his familys old player piano. His first piano teacher quickly recognized Marks talents and dropped the rest of his students to focus efforts on developing Crofts burgeoning abilities. Mark began experimenting with writing by composing some of his first works on the piano. But it wasnt until he joined his friends in a garage band in high school that he picked up a guitar and realized he possessed a talent and love for the six-string as well. After taking a songwriting class in 2003 Crofts talents as a songwriter and performer became obvious.
Crofts songs have just enough grit and substance to keep even the simplest of them grounded in the listeners ear. Rob Thomas, Wisconsin State Journal
Not merely a solo performer, Croft began assembling his current band in the summer of 2005 when he teamed up with violinist extraordinaire Juila McConahay. Croft and the former Madison Green fiddler quickly developed a repertoire of lively acoustic jams and engaging duo performances. In early 2007, Croft joined forces w/ guitarist Dan Kennedy, bassist Matt Rodgers, keyboardist Jaye Barbeau and long-time drummer Robert Boyd to form the latest version of the Mark Croft Band.
The last few years have seen Mark taking home a slew of awards and honors. Croft started 2006 with a bang claiming 1st place in the Midwest Song Contest (Don’t Speak) and the Inaugural American Idol Underground Rock Contest (America), and his hometown saw fit to name him “Best New Artist’ and “Best Male Vocalist” at the 2006 Madison Area Music Awards. More recently, Croft was voted Madison’s “Favorite Singer/Songwriter” by Isthmus Magazine’s Reader’s Poll and was again honored at the 2008 MAMA’s for “Pop Artist” & “POp Album of the Year.”
While not yet a household name Mark Croft is quickly becoming a favorite of radio stations and performance venues around the country. Give his new CD Permanent Ink a listen; we think hell become one of your favorites too.
“…easily some of the best songs and one of the best performers I’ve worked with in the past 10 years.” – Mike Zirkel, Chief Engineer, Smart Studios
“Mark Croft,…is a really talented singer/songwriter.” Butch Vig, Record Producer