Mark Croft, Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter, is one of the most distinguished musicians to ignite the Acoustic Pop/Roots scene. A seasoned performer, Croft has been serving up exciting and emotional performances to unsuspecting audiences throughout the nation. His ability to navigate his six-string with superiority, wrapping frantic acoustic riffs around unforgettable melodies, has garnered him praise from press outlets, industry professionals, club owners, and fans alike.
“[He] isn't afraid of strong rhythms, which is part of the reason his polished singer-songwriter material is ready for prime time. Funk, blues, folk - it's all here. Croft is NOT just another guy with a guitar in the corner of a coffeehouse.” - Isthmus Magazine“This is one of the best musicians we’ve heard in a long time. Definitely check out his music.” - Roy Elkins, BROADJAM Founder & CEO
Croft began his musical journey at the tender age of six, plunking out melodies on his parent’s piano. Recognizing his potential, his parents quickly enrolled him in lessons. He continued his study of the piano for more than a decade, composing some of his first original works while still in his teens. A self-taught guitar player, Mark’s love affair with the acoustic began in college; rarely traveling without his guitar and practicing 3 to 4 hours a day. After taking a songwriting class in 2002, Croft began seriously pursuing music; honing his songwriting skills and regularly performing live."Croft's skill as a rhythm guitar player distinguishes his music. His up-tempo strumming and rapid-fire chord changes fill his songs with energy." - Katjusa Cisar, Capital Times
Since turning his attention to music full-time in 2005, Mark has claimed 1st place in the Midwest Song Contest and the Inaugural American Idol Underground Rock Contest, and was designated “Favorite Singer/Songwriter” by Isthmus Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. A ten-time Madison Area Music Award winner, he was again honored in the spring of 2010 with five awards for his EP The Possibility of Disaster (Slothtrop Records, 2009), taking home “Pop Album”, “Pop Song”, & “Pop Artist” of the year, as well as “Best Male Vocalist” & “Best Music Video”. Croft has shared the stage with a variety of well known artists including Kelly Joe Phelps, John Eddie, and Edina Menzel. A popular guest artist on numerous local network news affiliates including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox Morning News in Chicago, Croft’s tunes are being spun on the Clear Channel Radio Network, Pandora, college campuses, and Triple-A & non-comm. stations across the United States and Canada.
In the fall of 2010, Croft released his latest CD, Evening Flood, to rave reviews; raising his songwriting and studio work to a new level of sophistication. Recorded and mixed at Masters Recording Studio (formerly Flyte Tyme Studios), under the guidance of producer Anthony J.W. Benson and Grammy AwardTM winning engineer Tom Tucker (Prince, Sting, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt), Evening Flood was mastered by mastering wiz Dominick Maita (Herbie Hancock, Glee Soundtracks, Curtis Stigers, Til Tuesday, Billy Joel) and features a bevy of talented musicians and vocalists including drummer Noah Levy (BoDeans, Five for Fighting, Peter Frampton, Brian Setzer).
Always unafraid to break the genre barriers, Croft takes inspiration from a variety of musical styles and blends them into his own Pop/Roots approach to songwriting. The CD features the rousing funk-infused single “The Gas Is On” written in the wake of the gulf oil spill and reflects on its global impact and aftermath. In a repertoire brimming with memorable pop singles, Local Sounds Magazine called the title track, “Evening Flood”, “the best-written, most succinct pop song he’s done yet", while his Top-40-Country-tinged, "Good Enough", "comes in a close second." Croft incorporates genres like southern funk (”If She’s Gonna Shake It”), swampy blues (”One Mississippi”), gospel (”Amen and Hallelujah”), and gypsy swing (”The Crow and the Raven”), in the process, he demonstrates his versatility and maturity as a songwriter, storyteller and performer. Mark also recorded one of his favorite Peter Gabriel songs “Washing of the Water”, which closes the album and will surprise many fans, old and new, as he gives a profoundly intimate and emotional performance of this moving song. Peter Gabriel himself, upon recently hearing Mark’s version exclaimed, “Great version - wonderful voice”.” Croft hit one out of the park with Evening Flood. It’s not very often you find 10 songs on a CD of this caliber! [Evening Flood] shows his best work to date and deserves to be heard by the masses.” - Andy Zielhi, Americana Gazette
As someone who loves to perform live, Mark plays more than 120 live shows a year, and has taken the stage at a variety of prestigious venues across the country including festivals, theaters, and music clubs. Continuing to build on his professional music foundation as an exciting recording artist and gifted songwriter, Croft balances studio time with touring and performing live as a solo act, or with his full band.“Croft can hold his head high on the basis of his solid reputation, four fine albums, and a loyal fan base…” - Local Sounds Magazine