Mark Smilor is an independent singer/songwriter based in Virginia Beach. As a writer and musician his songs have been compared to Springsteen (a little more than he prefers) with lyrics that sometimes can be described a very honest and personal. Songs about coming of age, growing up and making mistakes, sour relationships, and leaving home and never going back that are lyrically crafted so well you would swear they were about you. Coupled with the music that is influenced by the like of Son Volt, Ryan Adams, and of course Bruce Springsteen you get a lyrically driven alt-country sound from dustbowl America meeting at the crossroads of suburban rock. As a multi-instrumentalist he will play different instruments live from the guitar and mandolin to the pedal steel.
After playing and writing music for over 20 years he recorded his first record, the all acoustic “The Ugly Naked Truth”. It was a collection of personal songs never meant for commercial release but ended up that way somehow. With proper management and promotions it afforded him the opportunity to play small to modest venues as an opener and some instances a headliner and he was also able to open for some national acts. “The Ugly Naked Truth” had some local radio airplay and got him off to a good start.
In 2006 he went into the studio to record the follow up to “The Ugly Naked Truth” and on December 4th 2006 “Wanderlust” was released on Twarkey Records. Setting out through most of 2007 to support the album throughout the east coast, As more people came out and record sales increased he went from the smaller venues to filling bigger ones with sellouts and opening up for more national acts along the way. “Wanderlust” received national airplay across America and in Europe where records sold overseas also. Solid reviews of the album from the press and studio radio interviews helped fuel the success of “Wanderlust”.
In November of 2007 he was ready to start writing and recording the follow up to “Wanderlust”. On December 2, 2008 “Rural Suburbia” will be released on Twarkey Records. It is a collection of more rock oriented songs with louder guitars all while still having mellow acoustic based songs all while keeping with the integrity of the music. Keeping with tradition the lyrics stay solid and still paint the vague picture of life, love, and growing older. The music goes from driving rhythms in “Enemy Line” and “If I Wanted To (I Can)” to the softer acoustic “Rosewood” and “Pictures Of My Life” and the Buffalo Tom-esque “This Is Going To Hurt” hence the title “Rural Suburbia” which is a combination of the rural alt-country blended with the suburban rock genre. Support of this release will follow with a late spring and summer tour for 2009.