Mark Mckinney and fellow Texan artists, along with their fans, were able to experience the beauty of Ireland this year. The bands teamed up with Texas Troubadour Tours for a week filled with incredible sights and good times, during the Red Dirt Pub Crawl tour across Ireland. From Dublin to the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Galway, Limerick, Doolin, and more. The artist’s were blown away by the kindness and beauty of this place and its people.
Mark Mckinney along with Bart Crow, Walt Wilkins, The Dirty River Boys, Rich O’Toole, Sarah Lee-Anna Hobbs, Steve Helms Band, and several other Texas pickers ventured into the cold of Ireland Nov 27 through Dec 4. They were able to offer their fans an incredible package included the following:
*Roundtrip airfare with American Airlines
*Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers
*Room at the recently renovated and historic Temple Bar Hotel
After some time away, Sarah Bella is back to writing and performing. Sarah’s journey into the music industry did not start when she was a small children. Her career started much later but that does not diminish her passion for the art of music. She was sitting quietly and listening and one day she picked up a guitar and the music started pouring out of her.
She has established a loyal fan base via YouTube, became the winner of Detroit’s Got Talent, Performed at the Detroit Piston’s halftime show, and has written music for an independent film. Sarah has recently taken a few years off to spend time with her children but she is coming back stronger than ever.
She just released a new website, new music and new blog. Her latest song “Steal the Moon” represents her everlasting love for her children.
You could definitely feel that fall was in the air on September 30th in North Carolina, but that didn’t stop anyone from attending the last outdoor concert for the summer season at Second and Green Tavern. Donny Watts & Downhill Slide with a special performance by Conquer artist, J. Marc Bailey, were the evenings headline acts, and drew in a very diverse crowd from country fans, bikers, college students, local patrons and even a coffee shop and restaurant owner all the way down from Virginia.
Second and Green Tavern, located in Winston-Salem, is known as the neighborhood place to be and they packed in a crowd. Even though it was a chilly night, these boys certainly heated up the stage. One of the highlights of the evening was the acoustic set performed by Donny Watts and J. Marc Bailey on guitar, and Don Sr. on harmonica.
After speaking with J. Marc, he was thankful and appreciative to work with incredible professionals. The Downhill Slide Band had only one rehearsal with the country artist and did an amazing job representing his original music. The band covered country western hits and original music from The Blues, Country and Rock pleasing the crowd. The last song of the evening, “I Can’t Stop You” performed by J. Marc Bailey, received an overwhelming response from the crowd which confirmed his decision to make the song his next single to be released.
We here at Conquer had the awesome opportunity to interview Alternative Country artist (though one would consider her unrestricted by genre) Jess Taylor about her ongoing crowdfunding project. Hitting the ground running in High-school, Jess’s songwriting and vocal skills quickly led to a large fan following within mainstream country. 5 years later, and Jess is back in a way you’ve never heard her before.
The past is gone it’s yesterday, you gotta get out of your own way
The past is gone it yesterday, the rest of your life begins today
Mark not only entertains you with his new release Bridge but he also inspires you.
Mark has four studio albums, Fifteen Top 10 hits on the Texas Country Charts, an ever-growing fan base, and favorite entertainer of the Texas music scene, Mark McKinney is a force to be reckoned with, and has no plans of slowing down any time soon. World In Between was released in January of 2017, it has already received much critical acclaim. This past week he released the video that showcases the soundtrack Bridge.
We had an opportunity to meet up with Mark and his band at SXSW2017 in his hometown of Austin. We asked him a few questions in between sets.
Does the song have a personal meaning behind it? Not too much, while writing it we thought of a fictional couple who had a relationship that had turned bitter, and it had become time to move on. But, one side wasn’t willing to let it go. We also wanted a positive message about starting over to be included, and that happens at the end of the song, in the last bridge of the song. “The past is gone it’s yesterday, the rest of your life begins today.”
Do you write all your own music?
Yes, every song I’ve ever recorded I’ve written, many of them alone, and sometime I co-write. My new album has 11 tracks on it, one was co-written with my brother Eric, two were co-written with my wife Cassie, including “Bride,” and one with a friend named Brian Burke. The rest written alone.
When putting together the album how do you select what song will be the first song on the album?
That’s a tough decision, as the tracks start to come together, they take on a vibe and life of their own, eventually you find one that just sort of feels like a good start to the album. My brother Eric who co-produced the album with me, plus my Dad who attended all the recording sessions (Couch producer), and I started thinking 90 Miles fit the bill, and would be a nice laid back feel to kick things off.
Not every song that you produce will get a video created for it, how do you choose? Ideally we want to do a video for each single we put out to radio, it’s nice to have a visual to go with the song in this day and age of YouTube and iPhones… choosing each single is a tough decision, you factor in the song’s style, quality, the feel and tempo of the song compared to the previous single, the time of year and what might correlate well etc.. eventually one just sort a emerges as the right choice, at least you hope so.
You have a long time relationship with the producer of your video what skills are you most attracted to of his?
My friend AJ Vallejo produced the video for “Bridge.” AJ has a long back ground in music, having fronted the very successful Austin TX rock band “Vellejo,” and producing 100’s of albums and projects. He really has a great eye for video producing and I like the energy and vision he goes for in his videos.
Who came up with the concept for the video? That pretty much came about over 2 or 3 dinners out with AJ, my wife Cassie, and myself. We like to get together with him and try new foodie places in Austin, and we did that several times and just through ideas around all contributing pieces to the puzzle.
Writing, producing, and recording is so personal but if you had the opportunity, what artist would you like to hear Sing your song?
That’s a very tough question, it’s hard for me to come up with an answer for it. I think I’m going to have to ponder that one for a while longer lol.
Mark’s latest single “Sunshine” just went #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. This marks his fourth number one song. Check out the video: