Mark Austin

Mark Austin


Mark Austin's contemporary acoustic sound fuses a broad spectrum of genres: from smooth jazz to acoustic funk. Add to that his agility with a pen and a six-string, and the result is a collection of songs that move gently and groove powerfully.


Mark Austin’s six-string beginnings in a sleepy Idaho town are quite a contrast to the urban chaos he now calls home in the DC metro area. But it’s that broad spectrum of experience and diverse environment he’s been exposed to that has shaped the artist and his music today.

His love for guitar began at age 11, but it wasn't until much later, during Mark’s graduate studies in Boston, where that love turned to passion. There, his songwriting began to take shape under the influences of legendary guitarists and songwriters such as Richard Thompson, Janis Ian, Bruce Cockburn, and Leo Kottke. With the encouragement of friends and other local musicians, he began to cut his teeth performing in the subways and on the famed street corners of Harvard Square. His years of guitar training combined with lessons from the streets of Boston soon paid off. Mark was being invited to play in local clubs, legendary music rooms, and on live radio programs, honing his skills on stage.

A year later, with a Harvard degree in one hand and a guitar in the other, he made his way from Boston to DC, where he put his degree to use in the field of international health. Where most jobs would have dampened his musical drive, this job fueled it. With opportunities to see the world, Mark's songwriting flourished, leading to the 2005 release of his powerful debut CD “Cool Water,” which should turn more than a few heads in the industry.

Mark’s debut CD "Cool Water" (produced by Marco Delmar, Recording Arts, Fairfax VA) includes a refreshing arrangement of original songs highlighting a clean blend of acoustic guitar, upright bass, and percussion. But don't let the lean lineup fool you. This CD is packed with an ultraclean punch. And thanks to Mark's tightly-woven lyrics and skillful guitar work, that musical punch is full of substance. “Cool Water” is sure to capture the attention and imagination of any listener.


Mark has shared stages with Janis Ian, Peter Mulvey, Brooks Williams, Daniel Lee, Susan Greenbaum and has performed at well-known venues such as...

The Birchmere: Alexandria, VA
Ram's Head Tavern: Annapolis, MD
The Burren: Somerville, MA
Club Passim: Cambridge, MA
Jammin Java: Vienna, VA
Westside Cafe: Frederick, MD
Washington DC Folk Festival
Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival


Texas Summertime

Written By: Mark Austin

It's another sleepless night / Another day without a morning / The cock crows outside / Radio sends out a warning / The murcury climbs as the sun shines in the dawing / Of Texas summertime

The night has flown away / And left a day with no beginning / The earth is cracked and dry / Beneath the sun so unforgiving / Not the slightest little sound / Not a soul to be found / on this August afternoon

In a West Texas town the neverending days / Drain life in so many ways / Until the clouds roll in / And people start to wondering...

Will heaven shed a tear on the land / Quench this aching feeling / Or is there some lesson to be learned / A lesson God's revealing / But each day that goes by / The more desperate our cry for some healing / From this Texas Summertime

But in this town the neverending days / Drain life in so many ways / Until the clouds roll in / And soon it starts to thundering / And then it rains!

We're singing Glory Hallelujah!

Well it's another sleepless night / Another day without a morning / Another day without a morning

Cool Water

Written By: Mark Austin

Cool water rush over
Like a wave wash this weight off my shoulders
Take me back to the days when I was younger and free
From this past that follows me

I never told you I was an innocent man
I never lied, I never tried to deceive you about who I am
I only wanted your love and laughter
And your ever after

But when I look into your eyes I see the man that I’m supposed to be
And he’s staring right back at me
There’s a look on his face, it’s a look I can’t erase from my mind
And I’m afraid of what you’ll find

I can hear the thunder rumble in the distance
How far behind me I don’t know, but if it finds me
All the love I’ve known might crumble in an instant
So I keep on running faster
Chasing my ever after


If you wait patiently
The more of me you know
The more these skeletons will show
So I walk carefully from day to day
And I breathe quietly and hope you’ll stay

Until after the years have blown away
You’re still by my side will I still have so much to say
I never knew, never felt this way before
Can you really love me forever more

Cool water rush over me
Take away these fears and wash away my insecurities
I want to run, I want to find you next to me
Where the little things in life will never bother me

Jacques Mathurin

Written By: Mark Austin

My name is Jacques Mathurin / I’m a slave upon the sea / 15 months an oarman off the shores of Tripoli / I lost my lover to a noble / my mother to a knave / my father lies fathoms under in a cold and lonely grave / and I want my old life back again

my name is Jacques Mathurin / I was raised upon the sea / fishing icy waters near my home in Brittany / life was humble living just sea and salted air / my wife a good woman with looks beyond compare / no other in the land was so fair.

our home was build by my father / laid every stone by hand / he fought for king and country and the baron of the land / the baron knew no mercy and he coveted my wife / so he threw us off our land and he took my father’s life / sold me into slavery / then took my wife to prove his bravery / now here I am back on the seas once again

though I’m shackled at the feet and rowing to the beat they’ll never break me / rocking to and fro in this prison down below they’ll never break me / and I fight every day just to survive / to see my bride again.

a life upon the seas can take its toll on a man / bring the bravest to his knees / but a life below these decks will take the whole of the man / fill his days with agony and monotony / as we row to an unknown destiny / and we row in to a dream…and we row / my life is but a dream or so it seems to me

I gonna sail the seven seas and find my destiny / once again / once again / I’m gonna break these chains that bind me / leave this slave ship far behind me / once again to home and then / to the baron’s I will ride and thrust my dagger deep within his side / dear God be my guide / all I want is to be with my gentle bride / once again!


"Cool Water." Produced by Marco Delmar. Published by Wandering Man Records (ASCAP)

Set List

Typical set lists vary based on the type of venue and include songs from his CD "Cool Water" and other originals (over 2 hours worth of original music). Sets may also include covers from influential artists such as Lyle Lovett, Janis Ian, Leo Kottke, Bruce Cockburn, David Wilcox, and Jeff Buckley.