Interview With Country Traditionalist Mark Miklos
Miklos To Open For Lee Ann Womack at Six Flags Great Adventure 6-18-06
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with performing songwriter Mark Miklos. Mark Miklos was born in the central New Jersey suburb of Edison, a place one would not expect to find a Country Music Traditionalist. But, his mother listened to Country Music on the radio, and Mark became an avid fan of Johnny Cash at a young age, thanks to a record "borrowed" from his older brother. Mark began songwriting as a youth. He used to make up songs while on his early-morning paper route. As a teenager, his musical horizons expanded as he studied the sounds of Southern Country Rock bands like Lynyrd Skynyd. He also studied the works of artists such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and George Jones. Hank Williams, Sr. is what finally hooked Mark. He realized that Country Music and songwriting were where his heart was. After hearing "Your Cheatin' Heart," a tune Mark often includes in his sets, Mark bought his first guitar at age 18.
While learning the carpentry trade, Mark started another apprenticeship under his musical mentor and friend, Zeke Nagy. Nagy was a major player in the Bluegrass and Old Time Music scene in New Jersey at one time, and the elder Zeke was the first to invite Mark to his debut performance. Zeke sheparded the buddy artist through jams and events sponsored by the NJ Bluegreass and Old Time Music Association.
From those solid roots, Mark has expanded his artistry and vision. He has become a favorite performing on the Albert Music Hall Stage, 89.7 WDVR's 'Heartlands Hayride with Rich Evans' the Pinelands Cultural Society, The NJ Country Music Association 'Songwriters Series', Sudzin Country Radio with Herb Sudzin at 88.9 FM, WBJB 90.5 with Randy Bailey, and the crew at WCTO CAT COUNTRY, 96-FM, and Classic Country, hosted by Rob Burrows on WFDU.
He has also performed at various Nashville clubs such as the Bluegrass Inn, Lonnies and the Broken Spoke. Three of Mark's original songs can be heard on the "Pinelands Cultural Society's Songwriter's Show."
Mark has been featured in Country Music Scene Magazine as well as on the "NYC Country Cool" e-zine, published by the NYC CMA and is a regular performer on the "Homeplace Jam" at the Albert Music Hall. Visit the Albert Music Hall link on Mark's Home page for directions and details.
Mark Miklos has won several vocal awards for his riveting voice, which blends Old Time twang with the "high lonesome" of traditional Bluegrass vocalists. It's a voice that stands out in the crowd...one you won't soon forget! He won a vocal award from the Northeast Pennsylvania Bluegrass Competition and has been nominated several times for the New Jersey Country Music Association's "Male Country Singer/Songwriter of the Year" award. He recently placed 2nd in the WCTO-FM CAT COUNTRY Battle of the Bands contest at the Bethlehem MusicFest, judged by 7 Nashville labels. Mark was invited to send one of his original songs to one of the labels! His unique sound has garnered invitations to open for major label recording acts such as Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder, Chely Wright, Tammy Cochran, and Emerson Drive.
Mark is developing a strong following among listeners starved for roots-style Country. To find his performance schedule, click on the "Performances" link below. To hear clips from Mark's upcoming EP, click on the "Hear Mark" Link (under construction). To visit some of Mark's favorite sites, click on any of the links found on this website.
To find out more about this Edison, New Jersey native, his music and upcoming events check out his website at www.markmiklos.com.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Hi Mark. It's a pleasure to talk with you. So I heard you have a big gig coming up!
Mark Miklos Yes, I'm going to be opening up for Lee Ann Womack at Six Flags Great Adventure on June 18th Father's Day. I'll be going on around 6pm or so.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] That's exciting - congratulations! How did that happen for you?
Mark Miklos Thank you. Six Flags Great Adventure gets a lot of bands submitting CD's to play in the park. I think the fact that I play bluegrass and country music and mix it together to create my own unique sound is a different act than they're used to seeing, so I think we stood out.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] And I hear you're in the process of recording a new CD?
Mark Miklos Yes, we'll be coming out with a new CD soon.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] That's great. Let us know when it comes out - we look forward to hearing it!
Where can folks get more information on you?
Mark Miklos They can get information from my website at www.markmiklos.com .
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Who are some of your favorite artists and influences?
Mark Miklos On the country side would be Hank Williams, Sr., Johnny Cash and George Jones. Bluegrass music some of my favorite artists are Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Any other upcoming performances?
Mark Miklos Yes, we've also been playing the Pocono Bluegrass Festival. For more information, check out www.Poconofestival.com . We'll be playing there Friday, June 16th & Saturday, June 17th - the same weekend as the Lee Ann Womack show. It will be a busy weekend! We also perform at the Albert Music Hall alot.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] We wish you the best of luck with all the upcoming shows. What's some of the best advice you've received?
Mark Miklos You need to look inside yourself and do what's right for you. There was a time where I tried to do mainstream country music but I was more natural doing bluegrass. It seemed to be my true calling, that's why I went back to the roots of bluegrass and traditional country and it's seemed to work well. Now that I have a fulltime bluegrass band, that seems to be my niche. Do things that are natural.
[Cindy Beth Gordon] Sounds like good advice to me. Well that's about all the time we have for today. Thanks Mark. Good luck with the upcoming gigs & your soon to be released CD!
Mark Miklos Thanks Cindy.
Be sure to catch Mark Miklos at Six Flags Great Adventure with Lee Ann Womack on June 18th!
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