Gregg Allman & Friends
1995 - 2004, 2007
As lead/slide guitarist with RocknRoll Hall of Fames "Gregg Allman", Mark toured in the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan. After a decade of shows together, Mark remains the longest running guitarist in Greggs solo career. To be cemented in Gregg's historic legacy is an honor and is most appreciated! It's also a testament to Mark's musical diversity.
In the summer of 1995, Mark performed shows with Bay Area hotshots the Alameda All Stars. As it turned out they were connected with Gregg Allman & Friends. Soon there was an invitation to audition for the band and by the Fall, Mark was in the guitar seat and the rest is history.
With Gregg he captivated audiences with his fiery style and wicked slide playing adding an exciting edge to the band's classic sound. A special bond was forged between them as Gregg fondly dubbed him 'Big Mack'! During their years touring together, the band went through many changes which allowed an opportunity to play with a talented cast of musicians. During his time with the band, Mark was the only member to perform on every GA & Friends show. In their last few years together Gregory would even strip it down to just one guitar with the addition of extra horns, allowing Mark even more freedom to stretch out as a featured member. Playing with Gregg was an unexpected turn of events but in it brought Mark great joy and he absorbed every possible detail into his musical perspective. Moving from metal music to this was a complete contrast and provided great insight and experience which only broadened his musical skills.
In 1997 Gregg and the core of the band (McGee, keyboardist Tommy Thompson, bassist Tom Miller & drummer Preston Thrall) went into the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Ca and cut tracks for 2 songs that would be included on his 'Searching for Simplicity' release. Starting Over & Memphis in the Meantime. The sessions flowed nicely and everyone gelled. Producing was Gregg's longtime producer Tom Dowd (Allman, Bros, Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Ray Vaughn , Lynyrd Skynyrd) and as it turns out, these were the only songs from the album produced by Tom. It was an exciting moment but bizarre in some ways as well being that Mark had recorded many Vicious Rumors albums in the very same studio. The final mixes didn't quite capture the true quality and tones of the actual tracks and in some ways sound more like they were recorded in 1970 rather than the mid nineties.
Next was 2001's 'No Stranger To The Dark/The Best of Gregg Allman' which features a live version of 'These Days' from a earlier GA & F tour.
Being that Gregory was always the headliner, on the road GA & Friends welcomed opening acts such as Bad Company, Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Dave Mason, Joe Bonamassa, Kansas, Devon Allman, The Spinners, John Mayall, Jimmie Vaughn, Robert Randolph, Wilson Pickett, David Crosby, Derek Trucks Band, Molly Hatchet, Jeffery Gaines, The Outlaws, Cyndi Lauper, Neville Brothers, Steel Pulse, Edwin McCain, Loverboy, The Romantics, Jefferey Gaines, & Aquarium Rescue Unit. And also shared the bill or played on stage with Dickey Betts, Jeff Beck, Warren Haynes and Govt Mule, Joe Cocker, REO Speedwagon, 38 Special, Randy California and many others.