MARK WATSON BAND’s sound can be traced back to the suburbs of Chicago when Mark Watson would sit in his basement and play his favorite albums on his parents’ stereo. The guitar rock of Kiss and Cheap Trick competed for airplay with the pure melodies and harmonies of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. Mark Watson Band showcases these influences to create the modern power pop sound that earned the band critical raves for “coulda…shoulda…woulda”, their full-length album released in 2000 on Big Blast Records. The single, “The King Of Big Mistakes” received airplay on over 80 college, public, and international radio stations from as far away as Australia, Portugal, and Turkey. The song drew praise from many DJs and critics. The Buffalo Beat said, "’The King Of Big Mistakes’ should be on power pop compilations for years to come.”
The band followed the release of the album by performing and perfecting their live show. The band played at the historic Park West Theatre in Chicago, numerous summer festivals, and completed mini-tours. They were also a featured performer at the International Pop Overthrow Festival in Los Angeles.
The band consistently wins over fans with their energetic and irresistible guitar pop. Audiences can relate to the sharp, intelligent lyrics about everyday life. Shake It Up adds, “Watson may turn out to be one of the more underrated writers in pop today – the man has remarkable pop instincts.”
The band is currently in the studio finishing up tracks for their upcoming release. The new music features bigger guitars and more bite while retaining all the tunefulness of their previous work. After putting together a new line-up and performing many of the new songs live, the band was excited to try and capture the energy and excitement of the music in the studio. Mission accomplished. The first two songs, “Beautiful” and “Falling For You”, can be
heard on the band’s advance promotional CD. With rock music containing irresistible hooks, memorable choruses, loud melodic guitars, and intelligent
lyrics, MARK WATSON BAND is looking forward to the future.
Mark Watson:Lead Guitar, Vocals
Todd Jones: Guitar, Vocals
Casey McDonough: Bass, Vocals
Dave Wilk: Drums
1995-"Riding The Big Grey Beast"- Big Blast Records
Guests include renowned Bassist Bob Lizik.
2000-"Coulda..Shoulda..Woulda..- Big Blast Records
Featuring keyboardist Scott Bennett(Brian Wilson), and Earl Talbot(Poi Dog Pondering) on congas.
2006-"From Here on Out"- Big Blast Records
The upcoming CD from MWB. Produced by MWB guitarist Todd Jones, the tracks feature the great harmonies and melodies of past songs with an emphasis on a bigger fuller sound. Guests include Keyboardist Doug Corella (The Verve Pipe). BIG GUITARS AND BIG HARMONIES PREVAIL...
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If there is one thing I can honestly say about Mark Watson, it's that the man has heart. Every song ...If there is one thing I can honestly say about Mark Watson, it's that the man has heart. Every song on his new CD coulda…shoulda…woulda simply overflows with honesty and conviction. The listener can't help but feel his pain, revel in his successes and smirk at his observations, all the while entertained by Mark's well-crafted, catchy pop songs. For every song about his failure to get on with his life after a break up, his regret over unfulfilled dreams or even his inability to play the guitar as well as Eddie Van Halen or Randy Rhoads; there is a song about new romance, conquering past heartaches or poking fun at others. Assuming that all of these songs are autobiographical, Mark wears his heart on his sleeve and lays out his life for all to see. A risky venture, but a necessary risk for any artist hoping to make great music.
And make great music he does. With the exception of a short 1:30 intro, Mark Watson wrote and produced all of the songs on this 14-track release. He performed all of the guitar and bass parts along with a little percussion and all of the vocals with the exception of a female part on one song. His backing band is mainly comprised of drummer Dave Wilk with an occasional piano/organ part by Scott Bennett and an even more occasional conga performance by Earl Talbott. Overall coulda…shoulda…woulda is a very professionally produced package and includes great performances all around. Although Mark's vocals can be gritty and in some cases hampered by a limited range, he overcomes this with the pure heart of his delivery and honesty of his lyrics.
Standouts include "The King of Big Mistakes" which kicks right into a great sing-along chorus, "All Right", "Can You Feel It" and "Fine". "Darwin Was Right" and "Eddie" are favorites for the pure entertainment value of the lyrics. Mark Watson can certainly paint a picture and lines like "Your mother was a nag / And you did it too, and it was a drag" are simply priceless to anyone with an ex-girlfriend roaming the planet.
To sum up, coulda…shoulda…woulda is going in my keeper pile. The rest of you can do what you want
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The Mark Watson Band plays pop. But not top 40, gooey teen-idol pop. No,no,no. This kind of pop incl...The Mark Watson Band plays pop. But not top 40, gooey teen-idol pop. No,no,no. This kind of pop includes guitar riffs. Some people call it power pop. This is because it is catchy pop music, but with loud guitar parts. Think about how Weezer sounds... The Mark Watson Band had a lot of success with its last album. The disc was called Coulda...Shoulda...Woulda...,and lots of college- radio kids liked it a lot. College radio kids also like sweaters and polo shirts and bedhead. But the Mark Watson Band is cooler than a bunch of stupid college-radio kids and you should go see them live.
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"Coulda...Shoulda...Woulda" is the album Joe Jackson forgot to make. That the Mark Watson Band made ..."Coulda...Shoulda...Woulda" is the album Joe Jackson forgot to make. That the Mark Watson Band made it for him bodes well for the Chicago trio, whose lead singer is an uncanny ringer for Jackson vocally and whose manic power pop sounds transported from the New Wave era.
Watson relishes catchy melodies and sharp hooks in prime loser laments like "The King Of Big Mistakes" and "A Reunion" and his crisp guitar playing, especially on "All Right," glows. His band- including drummer Dave Wilk and bassist Mark Konzen- fills in every space so tightly, they pummel home their influences so effectively that even "It's Gonna Take Patience" sounds like a lost track from Elvis Costello's debut over 20 years ago.
The songwriting economy coulda, shoulda been applied to the album length since a few songs tend to verge on filler. Watson isn't the angry young man Jackson or Costello were in their early days and songs about trash TV("Nobody's Business But Mine") or Van Halen hero worship are toss-offs. But for full-tilt pop energy, Watson delivers more than those two have in years.
Daily Herald Music Critic
Shake it up! The world of POP!
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Here's a talent worth getting very excited about. The Mark Watson Band, who recently released coulda...Here's a talent worth getting very excited about. The Mark Watson Band, who recently released coulda...shoulda...woulda, push their guitar/bass/drums format forward through fourteen solid Tracks. Look no further than Past The Grays, It's Gonna Take Patience, and Fine to satisfy your search for tough pop hooks. On top of all that, Watson may turn out to be one of the more underrated writers in pop today - the man often has remarkable pop instincts. Oh yeah, he plays a pretty mean guitar, too. A real find.
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Sound and style: Mark Watson is a very versatile guy. On his second album, "coulda...shoulda...wou... Sound and style:
Mark Watson is a very versatile guy. On his second album, "coulda...shoulda...woulda," he wrote all but one of the 14 tunes and handles virtually all of the vocal, guitar and bass duties. Of course, versatility is meaningless without talent, but Watson also has that in spades. His specialty is tuneful pop-rock with glorious hooks, as on the standout track "The King of Big Mistakes," which sounds like vintage Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello with more jangly guitars. In a similar vein is "It's Gonna Take Patience," a fab piece of '60s-inspired pop. Other cuts that showcase Watson's ability are the relatively gritty "All Right" and "Fine," a vitriolic kiss-off to an ex. There's some dross on here, too, but Watson's quality quotient as a songwriter is pretty high. Props also go to drummer Dave Wilk for lending some needed oomph to the proceedings.
This is a great sounding album, recorded at Velvet Shirt Studio by Danny Schaffer, and measuring up sonically to anything on the new releases rack at Tower Records.
If you're partial to Counting Crows, the aforementioned Costello or even Elliott Smith, chances are you'll like this album. As for Mark Watson's success in the music biz, let's hope it's not a case of coulda...shoulda...woulda.
Not Lame Pick
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Wow! I love when a really great power pop band arrives out of the blue and welcome MWB. Sounding a l...Wow! I love when a really great power pop band arrives out of the blue and welcome MWB. Sounding a lot like P. Hux, The Andersons, Joe Jackson(early) and lots of upbeat Midwestern power pop bands, the infectious melody-fest invites fans of almost any style of power pop warmly into its house. Here resides a versatile 3-piece band, all who sing, a spastic love-what-they-do energy and plenty of gritty tuneful pop universally appealing. (just skip the first song, the only mis-step here in 13 other wonderful songs). Big Time Recommended!
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Local singer-guitarist Mark Watson has a big voice that perfectly fits his cool pop songs. His work,...Local singer-guitarist Mark Watson has a big voice that perfectly fits his cool pop songs. His work, filled with catchy melodies, has an addictive quality. You keep wanting to hear just one more.
Original Material as well as various covers. Typically 45-90 minute set.
"No Matter What"-Badfinger
"The Middle"-Jimmy Eat World
"Good Times,Bad Times"-Led Zeppelin
"Hey Jealousy"-Gin Blossoms
"Times Like These"-Foo Fighters