Mark Courtney

Music has been a full-time interest all my life.  While I've traditionally played other artists' songs, I've begun to concentrate more on writing my own songs.   I've been influenced strongly by traditional and contemporary folk music, from Americana, Canadian and Celtic traditions.   I'm drawn to lyrics that incorporate both story-telling and substantive messages, with occasional excursions into the purely rhythmic and even goofy.   One of my favorite quotes about songs comes from Yip Harburg, that great tin-pan alley composer (Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Brother Can You Spare a Dime?), “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”  I hope at least a few of the songs available here do that.

Although I currently perform as a soloist, I have played in a local trio called East Mesa, and in a duo called Desert Blend.  These groups played a variety of music spanning traditional and contemporary folk, blues, bluegrass, Celtic, cowboy and popular.  The trio produced a CD (called East Mesa) in September 2011, and the duo produced three EPs (Desert Blend: Songs from Our Heart, Desert Blend: Crepuscular, and Desert Blend: Spirit Borne), all available on most digital outlets.