Mark Monaco
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Mark Monaco

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Country Rock


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American Highway (2002)
Alternate Frequency (2005)
Overdrive (2009)
Empty Glass (2011)



Mark Monaco Bio
What do you get when you take a south Texas boy that was steeped in Country music, trained in Classical music, and is a disciple of Rock ‘n Roll? You get Mark Monaco, of course. The multi-instrumentalist singer songwriter from the Alamo City has spent the last decade building a fan base and amassing a catalog of music that crosses stylistic boundaries from acoustic Country to hard-driving Rock to upbeat Pop. But to Monaco, a self-described “Musical Schizophrenic,” it’s simply the different sides of his artistic DNA.
From an early age Mark shunned the “hair bands” du jour of the 80s and turned his attention to classic artists like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson. After getting his first guitar at age 7, Mark quickly began picking up as many instruments as he could get his hands on including drums, piano, bass, and harmonica. When he was just 11, Mark begged his dad to set up a show for him at a local festival he was involved in and was told by the committee that he had to have a “real” band in order to perform. So, just 4 days before the show, Mark assembled and rehearsed a group of teenage musicians to back him and he made his debut in front of some 5,000 people at La Villita Hall in his hometown of San Antonio. It was his first taste of the spot light and he was hooked.
He began playing every chance he could, ANYWHERE he could. Over the course of his early years Monaco admits he played everything from weddings to a funeral…a Tejano Music Festival (can you guess who didn’t belong there?), and even a few front porches. When Mark’s future brother-in-law introduced the family to the bearded stranger that would be his Best Man in their wedding, Mark got his first up-close encounter with Rock royalty. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who was friends with Mark’s sister’s fiancé, flew into San Antonio for the wedding in the winter of ‘89 and a young Monaco was fascinated with the famous guitar virtuoso. “If it weren’t for the pictures I have, I think people would think I’m making it up…it’s hard for me to believe even now. But yeah, Billy F-in’ Gibbons was at my house and, yes, I got him to give me some tips on my cheap-o Harmony brand guitar” Monaco muses. “The sad part is that even after that I’m still a mediocre guitar player at best” he says laughingly. “But it was a definitive experience that influenced my musical direction and still does to this day.”
After high school Mark attended the prestigious Belmont University School of Music Business in Nashville and was an intern at MCA/DECCA Records on Music Row. There he rubbed elbows with superstars from Garth Brooks to Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton to Gary Allan, and got to be a part of a major record label at the height of the country boom of the 90s. It was a great experience for him, but Mark felt a bit alienated from the songwriting scene as he was still trying to find his voice, both literally and figuratively as a songwriter. So, in the fall of 1998, he transferred to Texas Tech in Lubbock where he earned his business degree in marketing. It was there that he began to perform in the eye of the Texas Music storm with the likes of Pat Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Wade Bowen and Geoffrey Hill of the Randy Rogers Band (with whom Mark was classmates and band mates).
After college and during the Texas Music boom of the early 2000s, Mark had several regional hits on the Texas Music Chart and opened for national headliners like Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green, Jimmie Vaughan, Willie Nelson, and Junior Brown. In 2003, Mark was a regional finalist for USA Network’s Nashville Star. He has written and released three studio albums, all of which display his wide range of influences from early Aerosmith on Rock riff heavy songs like “Bottle Rocket” and “Drinkin’ for Two,” to the George Strait-esque country ballads like “Wild In Texas” and “Time for This Cowboy to Run,” to the raucous grit of John Mellencamp and Pat Green on “Stranger In Town” and “Dangerous.”
In 2012, The Mark Monaco Band was voted one of the Top Bands in The Current magazine’s San Antonio Music Awards and was nominated again in 2013. Now, Mark is about to venture into uncharted territory with the writing and release of his first Pop Rock EP “Superstar” in early 2014, along with a follow up Country EP titled “IV.” Mark sums up his career to this point by saying, “It’s been a long, winding, and sometimes bumpy path for me to get to where I am musically. But the future is looking bright on the musical horizon and I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me.”