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 IAN McCORMACK

Music has always been a part of me thanks to Mark……from the day he asked me to join his band, The Bronze Serpent. He needed a bass player and I was turning 12, so it seemed like a logical choice for a birthday present and my parents came through with a K Bass and a Kustom amp.

From that point on, my love affair with music began. Even though Mark and I spent many years living in separate cities, we always managed to find each other so that we could create music together.

When I think of my favorite influences, I like to think of bands that Mark and I introduced each other to……as a small sample, he led me to The Beatles, The Who and Pink FLoyd, I turned him on to Rush, Queen and The Kinks. I definitely think Mark's original music was always an influence on me…..from the very beginning we always had original music to learn and play. He helped me believe in my own ability to put chords and a melody together and create something the band could play.

Mark and I played together through a couple of different editions of Marikesh, spent a lot of time in the studio over the years and eventually, I started a career away from music.

I never lost the effects of Mark's influence. I spent time studying music at Berklee and I always had my bass at the ready through the years to learn a new lick, and on occasion to play with local bar bands in Atlanta, Columbus and Toledo. I also had some "one-off" jam opportunities with people like Brandford Marsalis and Larry McCray. Over the years, I became influenced by many artists along the way like Gov't Mule, King's X, moe., Los Lonely Boys, Dream Theater, Audioslave, The (Dixie) Dregs…..generally any music with a kick-ass bass player was added to my playlist……..anytime Victor, Billy or Marcus released something, new I started listening to it.

I have enjoyed the last 20 years watching my two sons grow into men and also find music in their own lives (Ian Jr. - Guitar and Ken - Drums). I have also kept myself up to date with Mark's music……iTunes and the Internet are awesome ways to find music. Moving ahead to catch everyone up to the present, I have to thank my beautiful wife, who has always known how much music means to me, for bringing Mark and I back together at a recent party in Toledo. I think Mark and I still share musical experiences even when we are apart. The music that I was listening to, turned out to be the same music he was listening to, with one small exception. I told my wife, (even though it was supposed to be a surprise party for me), that "just in case" I see Mark, "I want to give him this CD because it is some of the best music I have heard in years"…….that CD was Flying Colors! I think he liked it……..it was nice to know I can still share great new music with a great musician.

This will be the first time I have performed with Mark in over 20 years and I cannot wait to get back on stage with my brother, my best man, and my musical mate……..it is going to be a great time for everyone that is there……great music from the most talented songwriter of his generation.