Mark Cool is an American original who grew up in the snow belt in Syracuse, NY in the 70’s. When he was 6, his parents divorced and Mark was raised in a “hippie” collective co-founded by his mom. Weekends with his Physical Therapist dad and step-mom in the suburbs provided a stark contrast to the urban communal living experience. Cool’s folk/ americana music is a quilt made of of swatches of his past; the wide variety of music he was exposed to in the collective, his dad’s steady stream of Cash and classic country, his dad’s dad’s bluegrass banjo playing, and the fingerstyle guitar technique that Mark learned as a teen from Dana Klipp, who was Elizabeth Cotten’s accompanist. Cool has toured the US and Europe and had his songs played on the radio in the US and abroad. recently he’s been featured on “The State of Things” on NPR, and had his song “Drivin” played on Car Talk. Mark lived in Los Angeles for 10 years and attended Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. He wrote songs and performed solo and in bands during this period, including busking on the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica. The songwriter moved to Durham in 2002, and has played locally, recorded two cd’s and traveled to Scotland and the UK to perform multiple times since then. The 2007 cd, “Introducing Mark Cool and the Folk Stars” was critically acclaimed in the UK, winning a top 20 of the year selection in Americana UK magazine. 2009′s “Pie” features original tunes juxtaposed with fingerstyle instrumental songs in the Elizabeth Cotten tradition.
This concert has 2 special guests you don’t want to miss – South African songwriter Roger Lucey will be joining Mark onstage for a song swap, trading original songs. Roger has a long history as an artist, including having had his music censored under apatheid. He is a music historian, and documentary filmmaker, and this will be his last local show before returning to S. Africa to teach a semester at University there. The 2nd guest is cellist Jonathan Kramer, ethno-musicologist who teaches at NC State, will sit in with us for a portion of the evening.