Marlo and Mark are not your typical songwriting duo. Mark a former rock/blues guitarist from California and Marlo a singer lyricist from Wisconsin. The two didn't really have a lot in common musically but when Mark heard her sing at a vocal competition his band put on, he knew she was special. He loved the tonal qualities in her voice and her beautiful vibrato. When Mark found out she was a poet, he asked her to consider writing lyrics. That was the beginning of their songwriting collaboration. After a year Marlo and Mark had written 12 original songs. Their album "Clarity" was released worldwide on every streaming platform in 2019. Clarity was well received with comments like "Absolutely beautiful collection of songs that portray a wide range of emotions." "These songs truly touch the soul", "Impressive that 12 songs can be written by the same two people, be so beautiful and yet sound so completely different". Marlo and Mark quickly followed up with their second album, "Brighter Days", in February of 2021 and are currently recording their latest collection of original songs. This duo shows no signs of slowing down!
Wisconsin raised, Florida-based singer/songwriter Marlo Hower, fearlessly shares life stories through experience-laden lyrics, rich melodies, and a timeless, captivating voice that touches the soul
Marlo has been singing since she was 3 years old, but hadn't performed professionally until she hit 50. The 'living in between' fuel her lyrics , her own life experiences and those around her. Her empathy and caring glows like the Florida sun that she loves, evoking an emotional response from her listeners. She makes people feel.
Yet Marlo doesn't take herself too seriously and having fun is the name of the game. Like singing in grocery stores. Out loud. Wherever she happens to be. She's pretty sure she has been known as that weird lady who sings in stores. In reality, her "girl next door" charm makes you feel as though you have known Marlo your entire life. And when she sings, you wonder if she's singing about you.
Marlo and Mark released their first CD/Album 'Clarity' in late 2019 and their second 'Brighter Days' in early 2021. The songs can be found on all streaming and download sites such as iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and others. The duo immediately went to work on another set of songs. Their genre is a mix of Americana/Folk . Marlo's early influences include Edie Brickell and Barbara Streisand. Her long time love of writing poetry, singing songs, and living life - 'all in' and 'out loud' - helped mold her powerful and unique storytelling ability.
Marlo's talent and early success haven't tarnished her sense of wonder about the entire creative process, recording in a studio and working with music industry veterans, including her partner, long time guitarist Mark Minges, producer Michael Graham, violinist Kara Day and others. She believes the challenge of telling a story really well and have it "married" to the right music is a magical, rewarding process. She wants nothing more than to create relatable lyrics to inspire a connection between people, spread some joy, and help those that are struggling to not feel so alone.
Marlo has embraced her new life as a songwriter and now she is working with Mark on marketing their songs to other artists, music labels/publishers, and music supervisors for film/tv sync deals.
Long-time guitarist Mark Minges was raised and honed his craft in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1960s and early 70s, influenced by the great rock n roll and blues guitarists of the era. While he’s mellowed a bit with age and since partnering with lyricist Marlo Hower, he is a master of the six strings, evoking emotion with his unique, recognizable style and obvious, reverent passion for music. Mark’s guitar sometimes leads with anticipation, sometimes wraps sweet and seductively around the lyrics and voice of Marlo, but always melds perfectly with the tale being told.
Mark was only 6 years old when he heard his uncle play guitar in a western swing band with his father. He was hooked. By age 16, he and his band opened for The Allman Brothers Band—well, they were pre-opener for the opening band but it was heady stuff for the young musician. After he moved to Houston, he played in Texas Blues bands all over the state.
Mark listened to guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Duane Allman, and his first real mentor, Dave Meniketti (later of Y & T), who showed him several lead guitar techniques that were the backbone of rock/blues guitar. Later, his influences were Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. He also loved acoustic guitarists such as James Taylor, Leo Kottke, Dave Weiner and master Flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia.
When a business opportunity took Mark to Indianapolis, he put music on the back burner. Eighteen years later he sold the business and moved to Southwest Florida where he had time to return to his first love. He started a band. To find a lead singer, he held a competition. That’s where Marlo came in and with his tutelage, the two eventually became a prolific, singer-songwriting duo. Their original, acoustic sound is more Americana/Folk and in line with artists such as Brandi Carlile, Edie Brickell, Carole King, and Joni Mitchell.
During performances, Mark plays more of the stoic, straight guy to Marlo’s on-stage banter, wearing a tolerant, wry smile. He doesn’t sing, and he doesn’t say much. But his guitar mastery reveals his sensitive core and sometimes his playfulness. And always his perfectionism for the music.
Marlo and Mark’s first album “Clarity” was released in December 2019 and their second album "Brighter Days" was released in February 2021. The impact of Covid-19 put little damper on their collaborations. Marlo and Mark are currently working on recording their third album of original songs. Their hope is to spark the interests of music supervisors, publishers or A & R people (Artists & Repertoire) to get their songs into the hands of established or up-and-coming artists. They are also very interested in film/TV sync deals, or becoming staff writers for a publisher or label. When the two formed their original music alliance, Marlo asked Mark what was his ultimate goal? “To write great songs and win a Grammy,” he replied. Stay tuned!