Singer/Songwriter Stage - Friday Aug. 18th

  • Mark Mowry - Friday Aug. 18th

    It wasn’t until Mark was around 13 years of age that he finally got an opportunity to play an instrument. That was the guitar, and at the time that instrument just didn’t stick. Finally at around age 16 he found his music skills in demand as a drummer for the high school stage band and orchestra, and there he also discovered his love for musical performance.

    Despite the late start, music has always been kind to Mark. Experiences ranging from a 1973 New Year’s Eve performance in Witten, SD, to drumming in Northern Europe with a college troupe in 1981, to kicking off ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ on guitar and harmonica before a New Delhi (India) crowd of 25,000 at the 2010 Commonwealth Games can attest to that; the guitar finally came back around to his focus.

    The allure of crafting song emerged early in Mark’s musicianship; to date he has at least six recording projects behind him and many more originals that haven’t made it onto tape or disc -- yet. By now he has decades of arranging and songwriting in his background.

    He has usually played all the instruments featured on his recordings, especially guitars, drums, harmonicas, as well as vocals; he’ll have CDs from at least two projects available for sale at his performance. Mark wants his songs to do more than entertain – he wants them to make a point, or at least serve his listeners some food for thought. “Songs should take a person beyond the ordinary,” he says. “They should shake you up a bit.”

    A veteran player, composer, and performer, Mark incorporates a large variety of thematic and stylistic approaches; listen for yourself at this year’s SHMAAF Songwriter’s Stage. 

  • Steve Thorpe - Friday Aug. 18th

    Steve Thorpe is a performing songwriter in the Black Hills of SouthDakota and Wyoming.  Before that he was a songwriter and music journalist.  Before that he was a writer, who bounced from California to Nebraska and back again and who managed to sell one novel and one short story; and was able to give away several more short stories. Before that, he was a soldier. 

    Before that he was a college student trying to avoid becoming a soldier, at which point he first picked up a guitar, making that the beginning of the story. He has recorded and released five CDs of his own songs, plus a few covers of other Black Hills songwriters. 

    He has opened for Jalan Crossland, Norman Liota, Arianne Lydon, Small Potatoes, Carolyn Wonderland, Tom Paxton and Roy Rogers.  At one time or another he has opened for or shared a stage with almost every acoustic act in the Black Hills.