Meet Mark Erelli from Boston
The kid from Reading has grown up to be a quite a player. He hits, he fields and he catches. Mark Erelli is a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist, a singer/ songwriter and a producer. You may recognize this player as a guitarist in Lori McKenna’s band. He has produced for the Grammy Award winner, as well. All along the way he has been raising a family, touring and hitting the studio. His latest hit, entitled “The Hitter,” has Mark reflecting on baseball, fatherhood and life. This hitter has been to bat many times, in many places, and continues to find his zone, wherever that may be… on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry, at the Newport Folk Festival, opening for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, recording with Roseanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Ritter and Anais Mitchell, or behind the mixing board.
Billboard proclaimed Mark’s Signature Sounds debut as “simple, atmospheric grace.” Rolling Stone lamented, “Erelli crafts a modern protest song that finds it power in poignant observation…shines an essential and sobering light on a topic that remains among the most heavily debated in the country,” referring to his original song, “By Degrees,” which featured Cash, Crow, McKenna, Ritter and Mitchell. This is a man not afraid to swing at pitches no matter the speed, curve or placement. He’s just happy to be at bat, doing what he loves… playing.
All Ears On Erelli
Last time Mark was in our Country 1025 studio, he was playing guitar and singing with Lori McKenna. We were thrilled to welcome him back, this time as a solo artist introducing us to his latest offerings.
I don’t know what it is about baseball songs, but they always get me emotional. Take a listen to Erelli’s beautifully written and impassioned, “The Hitter”
Here’s another Erelli original, “Her Town Now”
Making His Mark
- Grew up in: Reading, MA
- Now lives in: Melrose, MA
- What lead you to music: musicals in middle & high school led to singing in rock bands in high school & then songwriting when I learned to play the guitar in college
- How old when you started: 18 when I wrote my first song
- Instruments played: 6 & 12-string acoustic & electric guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin, lap steel, harmonica
- How would you describe your sound: I try not to!
- Who inspires you: Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison, Jackson Browne
- Awards/accolades: My recent song “By Degrees” was nominated for Song Of The Year at the Americana Music Awards & Best Social Action Song at the 2019 Independent Music Awards
- All- time favorite country songs: (or songs if you can’t name just one): it’s a tie between Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” & Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” (the Patsy Cline version)
- Favorite country concert: Emmylou Harris
- What songs do you like now on Country 102.5: “People Get Old” by Lori McKenna
- If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: biology teacher”
- Most proud moment: becoming a father
- Craziest thing that happened in your music career: ) I play guitar in Lori McKenna’s band, and I’ve known her for 20+ years. We went from playing at small clubs like Passim in Harvard Square, to spending a summer opening for Faith Hill & Tim McGraw in arenas across the US & Canada. The scale of the show’s production & the size of the audience was crazy, just light years beyond what I’d ever experienced before
- Other things you like to do: spend time with my family, walk in the woods, garden
- Fun facts: I have a masters degree in evolutionary biology, I make pretty great eggs, and you don’t want to play me in ping pong
- Mantra: Work hard & for the right reasons
Mark Your Calendars
- UPCOMING DATES: I’ll be spending all summer playing electric guitar in Josh Ritter’s band. I go back to gigs of my own in the Fall when I head out to Nebraska for some dates. (Check the website for updates)
Every week, Kruser’s Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.
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*Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing Kruser at firstname.lastname@example.org