Mark Kroos

Mark Kroos

 
SoloFolkAcoustic

Highly Explosive Instrumental Guitar Music

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Biography

Mark Kroos plays 2 guitar necks at the same time. Originally from Lansing, MI but currently based in Charlotte, NC he is one of the only people in the world touring his trade. His primarily instrumental style is characterized by open harmonies, polyphonic textures, incredible tapping technique, and is as entertaining to watch as it is to listen to. Live performances burst with energy and magnetism not typical of solo guitar music. Drawing influence from folk, Celtic, indie, and even punk rock artists as well as other great guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Tommy Emmanuel and Leo Kottke, Mark Kroos has developed his own edge to the acoustic guitar.

In July of 2011 Mark competed in Guitar Player Magazine's International Guitar Superstar Competition in Nashville for host Larry Carlton and renowned judges Muriel Anderson, Reeves Gabrels and Carl Verheyen, taking 1st place out of 5 invited competitors and thousands of others who had submitted online.

"Mark Kroos plays with a sensitivity to the music and positive energy that is truly refreshing."

Muriel Anderson
1989 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion

Mark has since shared the stage with guitarists Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour, Phil Keaggy and Stanley Jordan among others during his past 4 years of extensive touring through the US and Canada.  He has also picked up full sponsorships with D'Addario Strings, Planet Waves Cables, Genz Benz Amplifiers, Ovation Guitars, Kopf Percussion and Kyser Capos.  

In March, 2013, Mark's Dueling Banjos video exploded on YouTube presenting many new performance opportunities.  Mark continues to tour throughout most of the year, giving concerts primarily in churches, schools, music stores and theaters.  

Mark released his debut DVD, Music Videos and Live Studio Performances last Fall (2013) which includes 16 beautiful videos of Mark's original arrangements.  He has also released 2 full-length instrumental guitar albums: Down Along the Lines of Joy (2012) andAnd Grace Will Lead Me Home (2010) as well as a 4 track vocal EP titled The Sound of Snow (2011).

Mark's touring began in May, 2010 when he embarked a sparsely-booked road trip, giving up his apartment in Williamsburg to play coffee shops and bars, relying on donations, human kindness and the grace of God. This road trip blossomed into a year-long concert tour filled with performances, clinics, and a multitude of new friends.  While still on the road more often than not, Mark has reclaimed a place of residence and occasionally takes breaks for writing, arranging and recording.  

Mark Kroos attended Bowling Green State Universitys school of music from 2004-2006, majoring in Jazz studies and guitar performance where he studied under Chris Buzzelli and Matthew Ardizzone. He developed a greater understanding of the instrument and improved his technique immensely but also found that his ability was lacking in the jazz idiom and left the music school to tour with his ska/punk band, The Argonauts. When the band stopped playing regularly in 2009, Mark began teaching and picked up the acoustic guitar. A whole lot of writing, practicing and 2 guitar necks later there was the musical madness that is Mark Kroos. 

Lyrics

Hope Floats

Written By: Mark Kroos

Hope Floats

And we asked if any gold could stay
And when we pass, do we only pass away?
And I was not alone in being unaware
That you were calm that you were confident, composed
And anything but scared

We, by 2002 or 3 were done with innocence and insolence washed over me
I, by 2004 or 5 had found that insolence breeds nothing more than ignorance
And foolish, foolish pride

And as we stood there in the light
I swear I saw your faces shine and you said you thought so did mine
And when the night came down we were the same three stupid kids
But even stupid kids are smart enough to know
It wasn’t us or what we did

And she asked “do you love the sound of snow?”
I put my ear against the glass and whispered “no”
How do you love a place so cold, all but 4 months of the year you spend inside?
She said I don’t, but some of us look at the heart
We make angels in the snow and we light candles in the dark
And when she laughed, then I knew
She was the only one I’d seen since you had died

Stretched out in the lifeboat staring at the sky
And the sky stretched back and looked at me my dear
And I asked Sam if Hope Floats to which he replied
Well Mark, there isn’t much that doesn’t float up here

Sweet New England Sound

Written By: Mark Kroos

We said low and behold, these weary hands are cold
Headlights won’t light and street lights never get warm
I remember I was breathing fog and I was not alone beneath the trees
Water in the distance was as clear as the water at my feet

Boston shines tonight
Regardless of how we steer our sights
Regardless of our driven minds
Boston shines tonight
Regardless of the clouds between here and the sky

But I want your hope

So long Florida sun
You were lovely in your own right
Lovely as the only one to burn so bright against the blue
We believed that we could joke away the guilt, the pain
But people rarely laugh out loud as often as they tell you that they do

But I want your hope

Boston shines tonight
Regardless of how we steer our sights
Regardless of our jaded driven minds
Boston shines tonight
Regardless of the clouds between here and a moonlit sky

Forgive Me, Savannah

Written By: Mark Kroos

Rain came down
I felt a loss for words at all the words that I had found
And Carolina held me like a child
And in the sunlight for the first time since the Spring time I was back on Southern ground

95 to 26 was open with the windows
And the Wild was on the stereo and I
Cut the chords where vocal chords constrain
Us from the notes that we can never ever find

But I drove home

Light came down
And I heard a voice say never lose the sound
We humans have a wandering need as humans are a faulty breed
And I’ve found it’s an easy sound to lose

But oh my dear Savannah if your majesty was mine
We’d never have to feel September’s chill or see its sky
Cause I’ve found a place where I can see the stars
Just fine

But I drove home

This southern rain is soothing on my skin
But this soothing southern rain cannot compare
To hearts and strings that pull apart my doubt
Your Jersey lips and Jersey eyes and Jersey hair

So I drove home

Discography

DVD: Music Videos and Live Studio Performances (2013)

Down Along the Lines of Joy (2012)

The Sound of Snow EP (2011)

And Grace Will Lead Me Home (2010)

Set List

Sets usually run from an hour to an hour & 30 minutes consisting of mostly original instrumental work.

Flight Attempt
The Demons Were Gone
Kroos on the Loose
Hope Floats
Amazing Grace
Smoke & Mirrors
Indigo Child
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Sketchy Tomatoes
Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft
Dueling Banjos