Born in the northern Maine town of Houlton and raised in East Millinocket, Mark has been playing guitar since he was six years old, and for more than 45 years Mark Miller has made his living by playing guitar. In the early days, he played with his brothers on the porch. Started his first band at 11 years old, and in high school he had a band playing top 40. Later he played with a number of prominent bands as a "hired gun," did studio work for numerous CDs, then he came back to Maine where he has reigned over the music scene ever since. A guitar-player's guitar player, Mark "Guitar" Miller knows how to fill a room with heart and soul, no matter what its size - from small, hip bars to large clubs to festivals such as the North Atlantic Blues Festival.
His accomplishments include opening for national acts, including BB King, Johnny Winter, Taj Mahal, Peter Wolf, Pat Travers, Jonathan Edwards, Waylon Jennings, Shemekiah Copeland and others.
He’s played onstage with Johnny Rawls, Jimmy Johnson, Debbie Davies, James Montgomery, Buddy Spicher, Jimmy Day, Dale Watson (in Austin, TX), and Brad Delp for 3 years, with whom he performed at the Boston Music Awards, and on Brad's solo project.
Between 1995 and 2000, he was featured on the cover of Face Magazine twice, as well as in articles in the Maine Times, Lewiston SunJournal, Bangor Daily News, and many other publications throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Mark "Guitar" Miller was also was also the winner of the 1989 Lenny Breau Memorial trophy, handed to Mark by Lenny's mother - of which he is most proud.
The year 2000 he released his first CD, Naked Soul, consisting of original music and lyrics. 2000 also saw Mark out in Hollywood, CA recording a new CD. Later that year the Naked Soul CD (recorded in Maine), was listed in the top 50 in the Belgium radio market. Then, in 2004, he played on the same billing as Johnny Hiland at the L/A Guitar Arts Festival.
Mark has performed for the Governor of Maine on numerous occasions, he was invited to the governor’s mansion for a special performance, and has performed monthly at the governor’s family restaurant. Starting in 2002 when he was hired to play at the governor’s first inaugural ball, and later also performed at the second inauguration. In June of 2006, Mark was nominated by Maine Governor John Baldacci to serve a three year term on the Maine Arts Commission. Mark brings to the Maine Arts Commission a much-needed blue collar working musician perspective.
Also in 2006, Mark worked together with the Maine Department of Conservation and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund on the video project "Northrunner", celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Northern Maine. Mark performed the soundtrack for this great documentary.
Different quotes about Mark include the following:
“Mark is the real thing.” – John Hammond Jr. -
“I've only caught you from the audience a few times, but you have always blown me away.” – Bob Ludwig - President and Chief Engineer of Gateway Mastering & DVD's
“Miller’s crunching, biting tone and high-end attack could make your hair stand on end. There's a lot to like, especially for guitar aficionados.” – Blues Review Magazine -
Blues guitarist Johnny Rawls once commented, “Mark Miller’s on fire.”
Jimmy Johnson said, "I thought I saw sparks coming off his guitar neck!"
"Mark creates a masterpiece when he plays a solo" - Harry King -
“Brilliant guitar playing from Mark Miller” – Radio Nightingdale, England -
“Really fine blues album with flying guitar work.” – Radio Galere, Marseille, France -
“Watching Mark play guitar is like watching Picasso paint a picture.” – Rich Ceisler -
"I love your sound!" - Alex Dixon (grandson of Willie Dixon) -
“Mark’s music is wonderful.” – Sissy Spacek -
"Mark is one with his guitar and he's a real artist." - Ralph Singleton -
"Mark has set a standard for Maine performers.” – Portland Performing Arts -
“Mark’s version of Roy Buchanan’s The Messiah Will Come Again, a bittersweet tune with some fabulous guitar work, is supremely powerful, and has consistently moved audiences. One could see and hear the feeling in the playing while Mark twisted and stretched the strings, as well as his playing style on this tune.” - Doug Hooper -
For Miller, the guitar is more than a crafted piece of wood and metal. It’s an avenue of expression that takes on a life of its own in his hands. “I want people to feel a musician who knows how to touch a string with emotion.” “Mark doesn’t just play the guitar, he IS the guitar. The lines are sometimes blurred where he ends and the guitar begins.” - Mark Wellman -
“I’m able to touch my guitar a certain way and make it sound like the voice that’s inside of me, which is sometimes happy, frustrated, sad, affectionate, angry, or passionate. Sometimes the feeling is very heavenly. Whatever I’m feeling at the moment is the way it’s going to happen. I think that’s the difference between an artist and someone who just plays. An artist lives by the way that they feel, right then and there.” - Mark "Guitar" Miller -
When you see and hear Mark play, you understand what he means by putting his feelings into his playing. He doesn’t just play the guitar; he makes it sing, and he makes it cry. With every note that he bends and sustains, there is an overwhelming sense of emotion being released that moves you. Regarding his songwriting, he says, “Everything I write reflects on my life.” They are heartfelt songs, and they embody his feelings and tell of his life, whether it’s about his beloved home state of Maine, or of finding love once again.
- Mark Wellman, Publisher Bangor Metro Magazine -