GREGG ALLMAN & FRIENDS
1995 - 2004, 2007
After a decade of shows together, Mark remains the longest running guitarist in Greggs solo career.
As lead/slide guitarist for RocknRoll Hall of Fames "Gregg Allman", Mark toured in the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan.
In the summer of 1995, Mark performed a few 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 come audition for the band and by 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 and Gregg fondly dubbed him 'Big Mack'! During their 10 years touring together, the band went through many changes which allowed him the opportunity to play with a talented cast of musicians. However as the lead/slide guitarist, Mark was the only one to perform on every GA & Friends show during his time with the band! In their last few years together Gregory even stripped it down to just one guitar with the addition of extra horns. This allowed even more freedom for Mark to stretch out. Playing with GAF was an unexpected turn of events but in it he found great joy, absorbing every possible detail into his musical perspective. Moving from metal music to this was a complete contrast and with it brought great insight and experience which only broadened his musical skills.
In 1997 Gregg and the core of the band (McGee, Tommy Thompson, Tom Miller & Preston Thrall) went into legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Ca to cut tracks for 2 songs that would be included on his 'Searching for Simplicity' release. Starting Over & Memphis in the Meantime. The tracking went great and everyone gelled nicely. Producing was his longtime producer Mr. Tom Dowd (Allman, Bros, Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Ray Vaughn , Lynyrd Skynyrd). As it turns out, these were the only 2 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 tracking went great yet the final mixes didn't quite capture the true quality and tones of the actual tracks. In some ways the songs 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 the 'These Days' from a GA & Friends tour.
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.
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.