Mark Ross

Musician, Producer, Author, & Educator

Music took hold of me right out of the gate. With a mom who could sing her lungs out, and a dad who played about everything with strings on it, and harmonica, I was blessed early on. George Jones, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, BB King, Frank Sinatra, and Connie Francis records were on the stereo. Life was good.

I started being serious about the guitar at 19, after an earlier failed attempt. It was the blues, and all those great blues folk that hooked me.

After graduating college, I took a job teaching special needs kids at The Rainbow School. I worked under the supervision of Mrs Patty Hild, a women who forgot more about teaching than most anyone will ever know. She encouraged me to use my guitar for just about everything. She taught me to be a music therapist before it was even a buzz word.

While teaching, I met the late great Tonya Browne. She changed my life. We started a beer money band that grew into recording 7 records, opening for BB King, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Roy Buchanan, Otis Rush, and a host of other blues legends. We toured Europe, Canada, and the mid-Atlantic. I made lots of friends and learned a ton.

Then my awesome wife, Cindy and I were blessed with Ana and Mac, our fantastic children and biggest gifts ever. The road become too much and I, with deep sadness left the band. Tonya was my soul sister. I will cherish all of our hours together. I learned so much from her.

The road was replaced with coaching baseball, softball, and enjoying watching my kids in all of their endeavors. Blessed again.

I also took a job under Linda Duerr at the PSU Child Developement Lab as a children's music specialist. I learned so much during those thirteen years. I focused even harder on writing and playing children's music. That led to my children's audio book "Mixed Up Morning Blues". I began to do more kids gigs, workshops for aspiring children's music specialists, and author days/book signings etc.

Soon I opened Alleycat Music, with the help of Doc Mudgett, Doc Sarge, and the late great Jason Zarecky I learned more but on a different realm. Enter the gone too early, but always remembered Roy Corle, and an amp company was formed, while Doc Sarge and I developed the USA MADE G&L asatcat and legacy cat guitars.

While staying close to home, I joined up with the super strong song writer, and singer, Dawn Nolten Kinnard. We played a local Friday gig, recorded a big fun album and had a ball. Dawn went on to further her career, touring Europe and the USA. Go get em Dawn. Learned a lot about song writing from that woman. Then came a project with banjo picker extraordinare and singer Tyne Replogle, playing mostly locally, until she needed to spread her wings, and play some regionally. I still wasn't ready for the road. Mighty fun while it lasted.

I then began producing records first for friends, and later for Delmar Brown, keyboardist with Miles Davis, Sting, etc... I continue to produce, and now have a good 10 or so albums under my belt. I really dig it.

With our kids now grown, it's time for another project, one that might even travel a little. Enter Melanie Morrison Zeigler, lucky once again to have found myself yet another soul sister. We play a regular Friday at Otto's in State College, while hitting the road on Saturdays, and the occasional Sunday thru Thursday gig. We've worked with BB King, Jay Leno, Johnny Winter and many more! Many guitar players never get to share a stage with one super talented blues and soul singer of the likes of Tonya and Mel. I somehow got the opportunity to do it twice.

I would be completely remiss if I didn't thank my musical brothers and partners in crime Sleepy Jack Wilkinson, Doug Bernstein, Rene Witzke, and the Rev James Harton.

Check out the rest of the website, and come see me at Alleycat Music, 150 Kelly Alley in State College PA, or with Miss Melanie and the Valley Rats. Thanks and God Bless!!!!