Mark Bryan

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Mark Bryan (born May 6, 1967 in Silver Spring, MD, is a founding member, songwriter, and the lead guitarist for the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning band Hootie & the Blowfish. He has spent the last 25 years recording and touring and also plays the mandolin, among numerous other instruments, and helps with background vocals.

Early life[edit]

Mark William Bryan was born in Silver Spring, Maryland with his sister, Lynn. Bryan attended Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Maryland and received his Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1989. While attending the university, he collaborated with country artist, Darius Rucker to create an acoustic duo band called, The Wolf Brothers. From there they grew to form a new band named Hootie & the Blowfish with friends, Dean Felber, and Jim Sonefeld.[1]

Wolf Brothers[edit]

In 1986, the musical duo Wolf Brothers was formed with friend Darius Rucker, and eventually convinced Dean Felber to also join them.

Hootie & The Blowfish[edit]

"Hootie & the Blowfish" is an American rock band that formed at the University of South Carolina by Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Brantley Smith, and Mark Bryan. In 1989, Jim Sonefeld replaced Brantley Smith. As of July 2010, the band had charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts and recorded five studio albums; and their 1994 debut album, Cracked Rear View, was the 16th-best-selling album of all time in the US, having been certified platinum 16 times. They have sold over 21 million albums in the United States alone. Cracked Rear View went on to earn the band Billboard's Band of the Year Award in 1996 and the RIAA's Diamond Award for sales of 10 million units. Cracked Rear View remains the 12th best selling album in music business history, and all albums combined, have moved over 25 million worldwide.

By the time they graduated college, endless gigs at frat parties and local bars had built a major local buzz. "We'd started adding original material to our repertoire," Bryan recalled. "Our songs went over well, so we decided to see if we could make a career out of it. Even if we hadn't had a hit, I know we'd still be making music today, because it's exactly what we want to be doing." [2]

Although Mark has plenty on his plate, he and Hootie & The Blowfish still perform numerous times each year. They get together for concerts to play during their annual college golf tournament at Bulls Bay as well as the jam concert following the highly successful Monday After The Masters event the band host. And each and every year as they have done for over a dozen years they host their Homegrown Concert at the Family Circle Cup Stadium on Daniel Island to raise funds for area schools and students.

Solo career[edit]

Since moving to Charleston, South Carolina in 1999,[3] Bryan has produced full-length albums, as well as co-written, and produced countless songs, for other artists. He was also instrumental in founding the College of Charleston Radio Station, and is helping to develop a music industry concentration there.

In 2009, Bryan formed Chucktown Music Group,[4] a boutique music group that helps local and regional artists get their songs heard, assists with artistic counseling and guidance, and also releases the material he is constantly writing, producing, and recording. As a man of many hats, in early 2014 Mark partnered with Atlantic Records colleague, Ashley Flowers to elevate his vision. Bryan is quoted to have said: “I love helping newer or even established artists get their songs recorded. Charleston and surrounding area is ripe with singer songwriters and many talented musicians. Hopefully people are starting to notice what’s happening here.” [5]

He also founded Carolina Studios in 2001 and has remained an active board member there for the past 10 years. Carolina Studios is a local non-profit after school music recording and technology program that helps kids ages 8–18 thrive in music and the arts.[6] Each year, Mark Bryan teams up with Denny Hamlin for Pro-Am Jam, a yearly beneficial event for the Denny Hamlin Foundation, Carolina Studios, and Student Transportation of America Education Foundation, charitable foundations with a common mission in creating better opportunities for children.

When he was not busy playing music with Hootie, Bryan wrote his first solo album, "30 On The Rail", which was released in March, 2000 and produced by Don Dixon. Bryan has produced several albums for other artists. These include Thank You Mark for Danielle Howle, "Chances Are" for Patrick Davis, "Six Trips Around the World" by Django Walker, and "Doug Jones Everybody, Doug Jones", for Doug Jones, the former lead singer of Cravin Melon.

Bryan released his second solo album, "End of the Front" on March 11, 2008. "End of the Front" finds Bryan plunging into songs slightly harder, faster, and with more distortion than we know him to do in Hootie. Bryan recorded "End of the Front" at his studio outside of Charleston, South Carolina with the help of some close friends who lend their vocals and musical talents to the project. Whether it's a solo performance, a gig with his band The Occasional Milkshake,[7] or a Hootie reunion show for a charity event, Mark is always immersed and very active in the music scene. In Spring 2014, he went on a mini-tour with fellow 90's rocker and longtime friend, Edwin McCain.

Bryan is friends with the Sports Junkies on The Fan in Washington DC. He has appeared on their radio program multiple times and has called his friend golfer John Daly (golfer) on the air.

Bryan is currently teaching at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC and plays an integral role at the Arts Management Program there.[8] As of recent, he is spearheading the push to create a Music Industry concentration through the Arts Management program. He teaches an Introduction to the Music Industry course each year and has also crafted a monthly "In The Mix" speaker series open to the public, which features Q&A sessions with various music industry figures around the country.[9]

Discography[edit]

  • 30 on the Rail (Atlantic Records), Produced by Don Dixon (2000)
  • End of the Front Artist Garage/Fontana, Produced by Fred LeBlanc/Nick Brophy/Mark Bryan (2008)

"Production Credits"

  • "Doug Jones Everybody, Doug Jones" by "Doug Jones", produced by Mark Bryan (2007)
  • "Thank You, Mark" by "Danielle Howle", produced by Mark Bryan (2006)
  • "Six Trips Around the Sun" by "The Django Walker Band", produced by Mark Bryan (2005)
  • "Wrecked" by "Five Way Friday", produced by Mark Bryan (2003)
  • "Chances Are" by "Patrick Davis", produced by Mark Bryan (2003)

"With Hootie & The Blowfish"

References[edit]