mark cool

mark cool


Fresh, organic, timeless, folk/americana songs and fingerstyle guitar.


Mark Cool is an American classic whose musical honesty is fresh, organic, and timeless. True to the last name Cool, his licks come partly from what he learned from singers such as Holly Near and Chris Williamson when they stayed with the collective family he was raised by in Syracuse, New York. Now a North Carolinian, Cool shares the kind of talent and values he learned from his roots in live shows worldwide.

Cool's passion and style has already won him acclaim throughout the US and Europe. Selected by Americana-UK magazine as one of the top 20 of the year, his first release Introducing Mark Cool and the Folk Stars is getting airplay on a few hundred radio stations.

. . . honesty, integrity, simplicity, humour, understatement,
restraint, a ‘joire d’vivre’ that can only be found in folk
who know exactly where the bottom and the top can be found . . .
this is a rootsy, country, bluesy exposition of the highest order.
Paul Villers, Americana UK magazine

Cool’s self-produced Folkstar Recordings are authentic and he keeps a strong ear to the earthy textures of real life. His voice is rich with depth and compassion, often compared to Woody Guthrie and Townes Van Zant, and his finger-style acoustic guitar is a testament to the music of Elizabeth Cotton, whose accompanist was one of Cool's guitar teachers.

A slice of Cool’s new CD Pie will get you six new acoustic original songs, four finger-style instrumentals, and a cover of the classic country tune, Delta Dawn. Pie was recorded at Overdub Lane in Durham, NC where Cool is the hometown favorite, backed by other local stars Greenie Marley, Art Champagne, David Shore, and Scott Laird. His first release featured special guests Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Ben Palmer on stand up bass.

Headed for his third Euro-tour in May with new CD, “Pie”, in hand, Cool is making his own mark in the limelight as an American Classic. His 100-House Concert Tour is in full swing and despite the downturned economy, Cool will be touring the eastern seaboard and southeast throughout the coming year. Nowhere to go but up for Cool, who just signed Jesse White, School for Wonder founder of Authentic Voicework Records, to book his tours. Ann and Mike Dwyer are doing promotions, street team organizing and website consulting.

Mark grew up listening not only to classic folksingers, but also to his father spin Johnny Cash albums and his grandpa playing banjo in a bluegrass trio. Cool found his own way around the guitar early in his teens, creating a living portrait on his own record label that has nearly bloomed into a full time touring career.


dry well blues

Written By: mark cool

intro- 4 bars

the well's run dry it's empty and dark

i can't see a thing i need a spark

to shed some light to help me see

where the truth lies inside of me -

i can not feel, i'm like a stone

i want to be left all alone

i'm happiest when there's no one around

I once was lost, now i'm found -vox low

inst. 16+ bars

the well's run dry it's dark and deep

i hear a cry, please rescue me

a voice that haunts me, grabs at my throat

reverberates around my soul

i run and run i can't escape

there's not enough road to take me away

not enough leather in my shoes

to out run these dry well blues

inst.- same as previous


the ballad of mike and mary

Written By: mark cool

intro- 16 bars

mike met mary at the top o' the inn
a cocktail waitress, smoked virginia slims

she'd left her home in west virginia
moved up north, to start again

mary met mike, she liked his green eyed smile
thought he could be her salvation

mike was divorced, he lived by himself
his high school sweetheart, took the kids and left

he threw himself into his job to forget
lived on coffee and cigarettes

break- 16 bars “lie...”

on the nights she was workin' he'd stop by the inn
between trays of martinis she'd talk for a bit

she seemed so shiny and bright to him,
he thought she could be his everything

they got married fast and she moved in
peroxide curls and her son named tim

frou-frou lap dog, a bowling ball that was pink
red mustang car, and the rest of her things

instrumental -24 bars (“lie...” 16 plus 8 inst only)

the honeymoon didn't last long
mike found out she'd done him wrong

he couldn't stand to see her, didn't wanna go home
slept in the la z boy downstairs all alone

she went on like there was nothin' wrong
drinkin' cheap wine, spendin' hours on the phone

cancer took mike, he was 43
oh his friends they couldn't believe it

he seemed so young he seemed so strong
but within a year his race was run

instrumental -16 bars “lie...”

he'd wanted his ashes scattered,
at the river where they went in summers

but she put him in a cheap pine box
and buried him 6 feet under

she sold the house and all his things
moved to another town to start again

yeah she left town to start again,
disappeared like cigarette smoke in the wind

lie... 16 bars and end

i hate lovin you so much

Written By: mark cool

i hate lovin you so much/ you creep into my thoughts

i drink, and i can't forget you/ i'm writin' songs about you

refrain 1:
even when i'm tryin' to be mad at you

you entangle me like kudzu

i hate lovin' you so much

you don't get your way and you pout/ it turns me inside out

i leave you and my heart clenches/ i lose touch with my senses

refrain 2:
your cheeks flush and your tears overflow

my insides melt like spring time snow

i hate lovin' you so much

inst break


i've been in love before, my heart still wears a scar

you say you feel safe in my arms

well i've still got one eye on the door...

i hate lovin you so much/ you creep into my thoughts

i drink, and i can't forget you/ i'm writin' songs about you

refrain 3:
i get suspicious when it feels so easy

not sure I trust anyone who would love me

i hate lovin' you so much



mark cool songs -ep, 1999
dawn- lp 2001
introducing mark cool and the folk stars- lp 2007
pie- lp 2009

Set List

typical set list is primarily original tunes, with a few old-timey finger-picked instrumentals sprinkled in. occasional covers of artists like cash, the carter family, john prine, and mississippi john hurt.