Mark Harrod
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Mark Harrod

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"A Matter of TIme Before the Masses Take Notice"

Mark Harrod has been ever-present on the local music scene for years now. To many, his name and positivity are well-known and respected. Those unfamiliar with him need only know that, unlike so many who never truly pursue their dreams, Harrod jumped out of the rat race with both feet, landing squarely in his destiny.

Talk to Harrod for two minutes and you'll discover, not only his passion for his own music, but that he's probably the most genuinely good person you've ever met. When I was organizing a concert to benefit The Blood Center, he donated his time and immeasurable talent, his only request to know how long I wanted him to play.

Harrod's music is equally as personable as it's writer. "Searching For Love" and "Maggie" are as emotionally bare-bones as a song can get. Adding to the mix the masterful way that he's surrounded by his supporting players, the results are undeniably substantial.

Always a sucker for a great Christmas song, the standout track for me is the pretty "Christmas Song." It wouldn't surprise me in the least to hear this one regularly, come holiday time every year. Mark Harrod may be quietly marching, but it's only a matter of time before the masses take notice. Music this wonderful will surely find a way to make itself known. - Dan Pavelich, Kenosha News

"Harrod's Personal Playfulness Finally Makes It Into His Recordings"

Three songs into Mark Harrod’s new CD Quietly Marching I had to smile. You see, I’ve known Mark for quite a while now. Harrod’s previous CDs – for me at least – never quite seemed to synch up to Mark Harrod the man or Mark Harrod the live show. Don’t get me wrong. The previous 3 discs were all quite good enough. They just seemed a bit weighty, too singer/songwriterly. They didn’t have the joyfulness of someone who so obviously loves to make music.

In person and on stage Harrod is a man with a near constant smile. Even on songs of loss and heartbreak, Harrod’s joie de vivre shines through. Seeing as how Harrod had upended his life, quitting his bankers’ hours day job, moving from the Kenosha area and effectively becoming a full-time solo musician and songwriter I wasn’t sure what to expect when I popped Quietly Marching into the CD tray. Would it be more of the same? Would it be a radical departure to prove he was a new man?
By the third track “body & bones” Harrod’s personal playfulness finally made it onto his recordings. Trombone, snare drum, bass drum, trumpet, sax, clarinet and sousaphone all join Harrod’s vocal and piano. The result is a breezy feeling number that still showcases Harrod’s deft turn of a phrase. “There’s been times when I would doubt my mind but when you feel this strong it’s got to be all right to be alone,” Harrod sings. “This body these bones we’ve got places to go.” The rest of the CD is an equal treasure trove of enjoyment. For me, this is the Mark Harrod I’ve been waiting for years to hear on a recording. Kudos also go out to the CD’s Engineers, Scott Lamps and Steve Hawkins (along with Harrod). It appears that Harrod while still a bit cautious of the water level is ready to dive right in. If you’re looking to hear Mark Harrod live you just missed him opening for Taylor Hicks. That’s the guy with short grey hair from American Idol not the girl with long blond hair from everywhere else. Mark Harrod will be performing this weekend in Stevens Point with a Friday show at The Garage at Emy J’s and a Saturday show at Ruby’s Red Eye Grill. Check out to check up on Harrod and to sign up for his newsletter where you can get special deals. - Paddy Finneran, Racine Journal Times/Kenosha News

"MadTracks Review - Quietly Marching"

Madison singer-songwriter Mark Harrod isn't big on the idea of fate. At least he wasn't until he competed in the Project M songwriting contest hosted by 105.5 FM earlier this year.

Harrod went through quite a lot without the cushion of "everything happens for a reason." After graduating from UW-Madison in 1999, he moved to Chicago to work in finance and make some music, too. However, just a few months later, he found himself in a titanium halo, recovering from fractured spine.

The result of a diving accident, the injury made him slow down and take a hard look at what he wanted to be doing with his life. He decided in favor of music. He still hadn't made a decision about fate, though. That took until this spring, when he was chosen as a Project M finalist.

Harrod didn't win the competition, but he gained a host of new collaborators and the resources he needed to record his debut album, Quietly Marching, which came out Dec. 6.

"I've never been a believer in fate, [but] getting to know the musicians and staff involved in Project M was as close to fate as I'll admit," he says.

While the album features other Project M songwriters such as Scott Lamps, Nick Matthews and Whitney Mann, it digs deep into the Madison music scene to find some other gems as well. On the track "Body & Bones," these gems take the form of horns and clarinets thanks to members of Mama Digdown's Brass Band and the Youngblood Brass Band.

A poppy, jazzy horn line kicks off the tune along with Harrod's Midwestern croon and a touch of piano before the band breaks it down, adding unexpected twists at all the right moments. A vaudevillian clarinet solo even finds its way into the song near the end, bringing with it images of trained tigers, acrobats and burlesque dancers.

Harrod's vocal stylings don't sound like those of a minstrel or a cabaret performer, but they work because they provide an interesting contrast. They're a bit reminiscent of Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, but it's the Rob Thomas of "Smooth," his legendary duet with Carlos Santana, Harrod is conjuring. There's a bit of desperation in his voice, but also a sultry bite. And though he's delivering a love letter with his lyrics, Harrod lets the melody do most of the talking. It's a brilliant approach: By the end, you're wondering not only if he got the girl, but also if his message was destined for you. - Jessica Steinhoff, Isthmus Daily Page

"Gods of Music Review"

The MAHP or The Mark Allen Harrod Project is a basic rock band. They’re under a band name that is forgettable; it doesn’t have the flow of DMB (Dave Matthews Band). Their basic website contains pictures of ordinary looking fellows, no pretty boy models hiding in this group. And here they serve up an ordinary titled track, “Shadow”.

Just goes to show you that spending time being ordinary is just what it takes to make music that’s extraordinary! The MAHP have obviously put their focus on being a music-making band instead of a band making music, because the emphasis is on the MUSIC.
The MAHP are not original in their sound (see Matchbox 20) or their message. But rather they are refreshingly familiar as an of old pair of jeans. Just slip them on, they feel just right and put you at ease. The music comes to you and doesn’t ask you to work to get it.

Like approaching a woman at a bar, the first lyrics of a song are so important, as this is what draws you in; “Boy now dry your eyes / Didn’t daddy tell you big boys don’t cry / And watch your tongue / The words that you say can’t be undone / Don’t scream or shout / It doesn’t even matter / Your not the boy they all talk about / But in your mind, you’re holding on to what you thought was unkind and unfair and untrue / Don’t let them get to you.”

The music that carries these words is just as likely to score with its familiarity of acoustic guitar to overdriven shifts. Organ chords, and walking bass lines along with crisp drums are played with a careful touch bringing structural changes, which allow “Shadow” to breathe and be just as organic as the lyrics they dance with.

The vocal performance is easy and unforced. Words come out in a musical conversation with the listener. Hints of Rob Thomas (from pre-mentioned Matchbox 20) are easy to note, but we are still left with enough original style for MAHP to claim ownership.

Since I have to pick on something, here goes two minor points. One – the song, through my speakers, needs some delicate fine tuning in its levels and mixing to allow every possible essence of the it ring out. Two – as good as “Shadow” may be, its six-minute length will have record companies asking for a radio-edit trim. Just something to keep in mind for the four-minute limit on the Letterman Show.

“Shadow” is ready for primetime. Its as good as any rock song gets. MAHP don’t dry to divert your attention with flash and special effects. They offer it up in raw form. So MAHP present “Shadow” right out in front of you, out of the shadows, in the light and I think you will and should listen in to a basically extraordinary song.

~ Joops ~
GOM Reviewer

[There's a million stars in the sky
and we have yet to reach just one]
- Joops

"Racine Journal Times Review"

Sounding Board: Catch the MAHP live or on CD
By Paddy Fineran

Although the band has recently made it a point to call itself more of a regional band, many here prefer to call the MAHP one of Racine's own. To be honest more and more of the shows have been in places like Chicago, Minneapolis, Madison and Milwaukee. While it takes shows away from Kringleville fans, it's a great thing for the four-piece to stretch its wings. While the MAHP has been away, fans have satisfied their cravings with listens to the band's 2004 debut CD, "In The Rye." Well, this just in from the good-things-to-those-who-wait camp - you have a double bill of the band just around the corner.

"Stories," the follow-up to "In The Rye," was released a few weeks ago. The fourth, and final, CD Release show is Saturday at McAuliffe's Pub. Now you can cure that MAHP crave two ways: Buy the CD or listen to the band live. Apparently there was a lot of material bubbling in frontman Mark Harrod's head as the disc runs through 15 songs at nearly one hour in length.

"The songs on this CD are meant to relate to anybody, anywhere," says Harrod. "No two songs are the same, yet the entire CD feels as comfortable as your favorite pair of blue jeans."

Joining Harrod, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, are bass player and backup vocalist Chris Jakubiak; drummer Brad Hawes; and Scott Cannaday on electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, percussion and backup vocals. Engineered by Steve Hawkins and David Tomaloff (both of the local band The Dammitheads) and George Renner at Renwood Messenger Recording in Kenosha, "Stories" harkens back to the debut's winning formula for a framework.

In person Harrod is a very engaging fellow, and that characteristic shines through on CD as well. The vocals are placed right up front in the mix so you can understand Harrod's stories (hey, there was no way around that one). An hour's worth of music by most artists can get tedious. The MAHP gets around this by placing small song-ettes judiciously to break things up. Another way Harrod and band keeps listeners engaged is by alternating dreamy, lush soundscapes with a rat-a-tat vocal and snare attack by Harrod and Hawes. Throughout the disc as in live shows, Cannaday calls upon his arsenal of effects as well as tasteful keyboard parts. Finally, an often-overlooked person in most bands, Jakubiak keeps things interesting with his rolling bass parts and as an additional timekeeper. I only wish his parts breathed more in the mix.

Over the years the MAHP has experienced quite a bit of success. Some of the band's accolades include a 2004 Wisconsin Area Music Industry nomination for Best New Band and 2005 WAMI nominations for Best Bassist and Best Male Vocalist. A piece of paper is all fine and good, but what matters is what happens on the stage. It's there that Harrod, Jakubiak, Hawes and Cannaday back up what others have said about them. The MAHP has the last of its CD Release shows Saturday at McAuliffe's Pub with openers the Dammitheads and Ryan McIntyre. Showtime is 9 p.m. Bring a few extra bucks for a CD.

- racine journal times

" Interview"

Racine/Milwaukee band maps out collaborative route
By Bobby Tanzilo

Mark Allen Harrod is excited by The Mahp's move toward collaboration.
Although frontman and leader Mark Allen Harrod, who plays acoustic guitar and sings, is based in Racine, his band, The Mahp, is a Milwaukee band, he'll tell you. Harrod is also eager to say the band, which started as an outlet for his music, is rapidly becoming more of a band effort, more of a among between four talented musicians.

For proof of all that, one need look no further than The Mahp's melodic and rootsy sophomore CD, "Stories," which will be launched with a quartet of release parties in Milwaukee, Racine, Chicago and the Twin Cities.

The band -- which also comprises drummer Brad Hawes, bassist Chris Jakubiak and guitarist/keyboardist Scott Cannaday -- is firmly rooted in modern American rock, and Dave Matthews and Matchbox 20 are clearly touchstones for a band whose members claim influences as diverse as Ani DiFranco, Miles Davis, Genesis, Chuck Mangione, Radiohead and The Cure.

As the band preps for those CD release parties: Saturday, March 26 at the BBC in Milwaukee and Saturday, April 30 at McAuliffe's Pub in Racine, we talked with Harrod about the disc and how the band is changing.

OMC: We have to ask, what's with the name?

Mark Harrod: In 2002, after separating from my first band, Copper, I started playing solo shows featuring local artists around Racine and would advertise the shows as the Mark Allen Harrod Project -- the M.A.H.P. After about six or eight months of that, I started playing regularly with bassist Chris Jakubiak. After another few months, drummer Brad Hawes became a Mark Allen Harrod Project regular and the name, The MAHP, just seemed to stick with us the whole time. After adding Scott Cannaday on lead guitar and releasing the first CD, "In the Rye," we started talking about changing the name to something more band-worthy, but we couldn't agree on anything. We finally decided to keep the name, The Mahp, but get rid of what it once meant. In other words, we are no longer the Mark Allen Harrod Project. We are The Mahp.

OMC: The band appears to have pretty diverse influences, but the band's music seems to be most reflective of your tastes. Does the rest of the band have a lot of input into songwriting?

MH: Up to this point, I've written a vast majority of the songs. That's changed a bit recently. I'm still the primary songwriter, but our focus for the third album is going to be collaboration. We're very excited about that. You can get a sense of the direction the songs are going in with a couple of the songs on "Stories" that we collaborated on: "Turtle" and "Shimmer." We're very proud of these songs and can't wait to start writing the next album.

OMC: Does the new record differ from the first one? Did you try to take a new approach?

MH: Yup. More songs on the album. More tracks and instrumentation on each song. More time in the studio. More money out of the pocketbook. More band input. People will notice a slight shift in our music. As we are no longer the Mark Allen Harrod Project, we are focusing on us as a band and trying to collaborate more and more. Fans are going to start noticing other band member's musical influences in our recordings. That keeps us all excited for what's going to happen. I'm surrounded by three of the most talented musicians I know. I'd be stupid not to collaborate with them. Songs like "Turtle" and "Shimmer" are just the tip of the iceberg for us.

OMC: This disc is quite lengthy, did you consider holding back some of the material toward disc number three or are there so many songs in the can that you could afford to splurge?

MH: I'd say we could afford to splurge. We actually did leave a few songs off the album. A couple songs that we play live we just don't feel comfortable with putting on an album. We like the idea of having something at the live show that you can't hear on the album. If the demand gets crazy high for recording these songs, that's a good thing, right? I've also got a ton of "back-up" songs for future recordings if we struggle with collaborating. It won't be a problem coming out with a third album, but we're going to do it right and grow as a band writing music together before tapping into the "back-up" songs.

OMC: What's the scene like these days in Racine? Are there a lot of bands out there and enough venues?

MH: The scene is good down here. I didn't grow up here, but I call Racine home. I broke a vertabrae in my neck in 2001 and spent a lot of time here recovering while staying at a friend's house. I met so many great people that I couldn't leave. Four years later, I'm still here and still happy. There are a lot of good bands in this area: The Dammitheads, Cosmic Railroad, Bascom Hill, Mean Jake. So many more, too. Racine has great clubs and great festivals for the bands too. George's Tavern, McAuliffe's Pub, Yardarm Bar & Grill and Shilling's Pub are some of our favorite places to play.

Racine also has Thoughts for Food in the winter, a multi-venue, multi-band night benefiting the Racine Food Pantry, and Harborfest during the summer. But let me say this, we are not a Racine band. I'm the only member of the band that lives in Racine, and it would be unfair to the other band members to say that. All of the members of The Mahp live in or near Milwaukee. We are a Milwaukee area band and are very proud to announce that fact when we travel outside of this area.



2009 - Quietly Marching
2005 - Stories
2004 - In the Rye



A diving accident in 2000 left Mark Harrod with a broken vertebrate in his neck. After 4 months of recovery, Harrod vowed then devote his life to one single pursuit. Music. And it shows in the words he chooses for lyrics and the actions he takes on stage. It is his outlet, and he wants it to be yours.

Described as a hybrid clone of Dave Matthews and Rob Thomas, Mark Harrod's music conveys struggle and hardship with and unsurrendering layer of hope and resiliency. In an uncertain world, Harrod confesses his imperfections and accepts them. And this revelation gives him and his onlookers tremendous energy. Harrod calls it, "Pop with a purpose."

Playing solo or with a supporting band, Harrod, who plays both acoustic guitar and piano, has over 15 years of performance experience.

A must see, Mark Harrod is arguably one of the most uplifting musical acts in the Midwest.