With Zen like focus he walked onto stage three 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 grandmothers 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?"
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 Mark's debut CD, Sympathetic Groove in the closing months of 2005. The CD is a strong representation of Mark's ability to wrap frantic acoustic riffs around unforgettable melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Whether it's a groovin’ pick-me-up to a friend (Angela), a bluesy woman-done-me wrong tale (She's a Landslide), or his power-funk anti-war cry (America). Sympathetic Groove perfectly captures Mark's talents. Radio stations around the US found reason to spin Mark's rocker "Don't Speak" launching it to the number one spot on 15 stations!
While he may have strode onstage only recently Croft began his study of music at the tender age of six, plunking out tunes on his family's old player piano. His first piano teacher quickly recognized Mark's talents and dropped the rest of his students to focus efforts on developing Croft's burgeoning abilities. Mark began experimenting with writing by composing some of his first works on the piano. But it wasn't 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 Croft's talents as a songwriter and performer became obvious.
Croft started 2006 with a bang taking home top honors in the Midwest Song Contest (Don't Speak) and the Inaugural American Idol Underground Rock Contest (America), and his home town saw fit to name him "Best New Artist" and "Best Male Vocalist" at the 2006 Madison Area Music Awards in March. While not yet a household name Mark Croft is quickly becoming a favorite of radio stations and performance venues around the country. Give him a listen; we think he'll become one of your favorites too.