Mark DeRose & The Dreadnought Brigade is a rootsy, soulful, rock ‘n roll band from Lancaster, PA featuring Mark DeRose (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Jason Mundok (bass, guitar, vocals), and Aaron Gagne (drums, vocals). The band brings high-energy performances of DeRose’s upbeat, feel good music to stages across the tri-state region, but they’re happy to leave the amps at home and bring the same positive energy to acoustic settings, listening rooms, and house concerts. For fans of Van Morrison, Counting Crows, and The Band.
Patrick Kirchner of The Fly describes this engaging music as “thoughtful and provocative, laden with metaphors of hope and celebration for life – the stuff that makes feel good music feel so good".
With over a dozen years experience and five albums to his credit, DeRose began 2013 looking for a fresh start. He and four musical buddies rented a house overlooking the beautiful Susquehanna river for a long weekend in January to escape the distractions of everyday life and explore their love and passion for music. With no real agenda and a house full of gear, the group experimented with new ideas, explored older songs, and let the muse lead the way. The result of the retreat was the birth of The Dreadnought Brigade and a new direction for DeRose’s music that calls back to his love for rootsy blue-eyed soul and classic rock of the late 60s and 70s. Three songs from the weekend have been released on a digital EP called The Wonder Sessions, available for download here.
Over the years, DeRose has had the pleasure of opening for national touring artists Rusted Root, Gin Blossoms, Michelle Branch, Edwin McCain, Blues Traveler and Josh Kelley. He’s also had the unique opportunity to perform as part of an NFL halftime show for the Baltimore Ravens. Additionally, he has had the good fortune of having his music featured for use on daytime television.
Aug. 11th ’12 – performed at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA.
June 16th ’11 – “Carolina Smile” receives airplay on 88.5 WXPN.
March 11th ’11 – Fan funded effort Kickstarter.com to “Make Carolina Smile” raises over $7,500.00.
Nov. 4th ’10 – MDR and The Way Home open for Rusted Root (first gig with new line up and new name) at the Pullo Performing Arts Center in York, PA.
Jan. 8th ’10 – Open for national touring artist, grammy winner Michelle Branch at American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA.
Nov. 29th ’09 – Guest performance with the Marching Ravens at the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers halftime show.
Nov. 6th ’09 – Open for national touring artist Edwin McCain at the Pullo Performing Arts Center in York, PA.
June 24th ’08 – CBS signs contract for 8 original songs to be cleared for use on TV’s oldest daytime soap opera, “Guiding Light”.
June 14th ’08 – Open for national touring act Blues Traveler at Sovereign Bank Stadium in York, PA.
Mark DeRose - guitars, keys, Lead Vocals
Jason Mundok - Vocals, Bass
Aaron Gagne - Vocals, Drums
2013 - The Wonder Sessions - Mark DeRose & The Dreadnought Brigade
2011 - Carolina Smile - Mark DeRose & The Way Home
2009 - Hear To Listen - Mark DeRose Band
2009 - EP - Mark DeRose Band
2007 - Tales From the Sandcastle Kingdom - Mark DeRose
2005 - Good To Be Here - Erenst Goodlife
"You guys are FABULOUS!! Seriously, I had no idea about your group!"
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".... Mark and the band are truly amazing and a hidden talent! I am just sorry I have not heard the...".... Mark and the band are truly amazing and a hidden talent! I am just sorry I have not heard them before now!"
Aritst Spotlight - Mark DeRose
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I first met 31-year-old York native Mark DeRose on what was possibly the biggest night of his musica...I first met 31-year-old York native Mark DeRose on what was possibly the biggest night of his musical career.
He and his band were taking the stage to open for Blues Traveler at the Sovereign Bank Stadium, having recently won a battle of the bands competition for the gig at a York Revolution baseball game. DeRose was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, and a rag hat with the Life Is Good logo on the side. When he came to shake my hand, he greeted me with a smile that, I came to learn, he is never without. His personality was unassuming and decidedly down-to-earth.
After a brief conversation and introductions, DeRose and his band took the stage. DeRose performed that night as if he had been doing it his whole life. He seemed totally at ease with the large crowd. To jump from coffeehouse and bar crowds to a stadium show can’t be easy, but DeRose handled the transition in stride, joking with the crowd and talking about his music with humility and appreciation.
Having listened to some of DeRose’s music, I had a notion of what to expect. What I had heard reminded me of music by other popular singer-songwriters, artists like Gavin DeGraw, Marc Cohn and, most particularly, David Wilcox.
In concert, DeRose’s songs shined. “Satisfied” and “In a Daydream” had the crowd’s attention – people were even singing along. But perhaps the highlight of the half hour show came when DeRose and his band sang their rendition of Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis.” The crowd erupted with applause. The band gracefully reproduced the classic, adding its personality to the music and lyrics.
The thing that struck me most was DeRose’s sincerity. When you encounter an artist – or any person, for that matter – who is upbeat and optimistic, it is easy to become cynical and think that they are hiding something. But DeRose’s performance, along with our subsequent conversations, proved to me that he was genuine and that his feelings and attitude about life are real.
For DeRose, music is less about despair and loneliness than it is about faith and finding peace though the journey of life. Listening to his music is a positive experience. His songs are upbeat and thought provoking. They address serious issues, both personal and political, but always with a message and a hopeful twist.
“Satisfied,” the opening song on DeRose’s 2007 CD, Tales from the Sandcastle Kingdom, is a confessional song. In the opening line, DeRose sings, “I flew to the moon.” This upbeat metaphor is quickly turned around when he explains that his extraordinary voyage only left him wanting for more. He continues to say that once he arrived, he began “wishing for the stars.” He knows and sings that he is “never satisfied.” Though the song does not include a resolution, it raises a question, just as all good art should.
“Satisfied” is representative of the rest of the disc. From “Brighter Day,” a song about a poor man who shares his thoughts on the richness of life, to “Let it Rain,” an environmentally conscious ballad, each song has something to say.
DeRose began playing music at a young age, beginning on the piano. But most of DeRose’s youthful energy was spent on athletics. He did well in high school sports, playing both soccer and volleyball. Music would not get a lot of Mark’s attention. No chorus. No band.
But when DeRose graduated from Dallastown High School and traveled to State College, things changed. The athletic competition was stiffer, and he found he could no longer compete. So, as DeRose says, “I looked for something else to obsess about.”
Accordingly, he shifted his focus to music. “At that time, I started listening to Dave Matthews, James Taylor and other great songwriters,” he explains. “It became my dream to write and sing music, and if I could move one person that way, it would all be worthwhile.”
After graduating from Penn State in 1999, DeRose decided that, if he wanted to be serious about his music, he needed some sort of formal education. He applied to and was accepted at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
It was at Berklee that DeRose got his first real exposure to songwriting. After putting together a few numbers, he enlisted a group of fellow Berklee students to back him and, in 2002, the Ernest Goodlife Band was formed.
The band met with modest success, but, DeRose explains, “Boston started to take its toll on the band.” After losing their bass player, the group decided in 2004 to relocate to Philly. Unfortunately, the band didn’t fare much better in the City of Brotherly Love. Not long after the move, the band broke up, and DeRose moved back to his hometown.
DeRose was close to giving up on his musical dream, taking a day job working as a graphic designer with York Graphics.
But the music wouldn’t let him go. After a brief stint leading a “normal” life, DeRose decided that he simply couldn’t not play music. He left his job, started to write music again and immediately began performing. For the last year and a half, he has slowly but surely been rebuilding his dream.
DeRose performs at venues in and around York County, both as a solo performer and alongside some or all of his band, consisting of Jay Baab (lead guitar) and Ben Eberts (bass guitar), both of herbie fame, and Dan Brenner (drums).
Life really is good for DeRose right now. And when asked about the future, DeRose brings things right back to the present. “We are still riding the high from the Blues Traveler show,” he says. “I’m not sure what benefits that performance will bring, but we will see.”
When asked directly about his take on life and his enduring optimism, DeRose seems perplexed. “I never really thought about it,” he shrugs. “I’m really not sure.”
Perhaps knowing why is not really that important. What matters is that DeRose has found his way through all the craziness and fear that permeates everyday life. He has chosen to see life differently, and he brings this refreshing outlook on life to his music and made it his life’s dream to share it with as many people as possible.
DeRose performs dozens of shows each month throughout Central PA For a full schedule and more information about DeRose, visit www.marderosemusic.com.
Not only was their music great...
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The Mark DeRose duo was fantastic. Myself and others at the Relay loved their performance and it was...The Mark DeRose duo was fantastic. Myself and others at the Relay loved their performance and it was very fitting for a college group. Not only was their music great but they were both so entertaining and fun just to talk to. I will definitely be asking them to return for our 2nd Relay For Life next year because of how awesome they were. Thank you for everything!
Relay for Life - Philadelphia University
Good Days Will Come Again
Every Song I've Ever Heard Of Love
4 and 5
Keep Me In Mind
All My Life
Across The Sea
All Fall Down
Walking In Memphis - Marc Cohn
When I Fall
Here Comes the Sun - Beatles
Let You Go
Let It Rain
In A Daydream
Find Me There
Table For Two
There are no upcoming dates at this time.