Mark’s latest single “Sunshine” just went #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. This marks his fourth number one song. Check out the video:
Mark McKinney has long been an established Texas Country music artist, and with the upcoming release of his fifth studio album, World In Between, he is set to grab the ear of an entirely new audience nationwide.
The album will be McKinney’s first full-length effort since 2013’s Standing My Ground, which included three Number One songs in Texas – the country duet “She Ain’t Leavin’,” featuring Bri Bagwell, the brooding “Lonely Bones,” a song about the bitter end of a significant relationship, and the irresistibly catchy “Stolen Cash.”
World In Between was produced by Mark and brother, Eric McKinney, who also produced Standing My Ground, at Wonderland Studios in Austin, Texas.
Standing My Ground differed from McKinney’s first three albums in that he expanded his writing, taking it in new directions and improving his skill.
“This new album is definitely a continuation of all that,” stated McKinney. “I feel like the production has a very real and natural ‘in the room with us’ feel.”
The first radio single from World in Between, the tender ballad “Sunshine,” also made it to the Number One spot on the Texas Music Chart and Texas Regional Radio Report in March of 2016. Accompanied by soothing harmonies and desperately honest and poetic lyrics, the song was derived from McKinney watching his wife battle ill health and taking inspiration from her strength.
The second teaser from the record, “Bridge” has just been released to radio and is a haunting ode to moving on from a past relationship. McKinney, who is known for delicately crafted love songs and rowdy country anthems, takes a sharp turn and a darker tone with “Bridge.”
“This song is probably the most honest I have ever been as a songwriter,” McKinney proclaims. “I was a slightly nervous to release it, but we started playing it at shows and the fans really seemed to embrace it.”
The instruments used on this track seem to pull the listener further into the story. The use of the minor key, banjo and gypsy fiddle combine to create a dark, bluegrass folk tale for the modern day.
Another example from the 11-track album is the song “Monday,” McKinney’s tongue-in-cheek recipe for a successful relationship. The track’s limited production leaves plenty of space for the song to concentrate on the lyrics. “Monday” features only acoustic and electric slide guitars, and McKinney’s 13 year-old son, Jagger, on B3 organ, bringing a sparse but clean and tasty sound to the track.
Going a totally different direction is the song “Rainy Day Money,” where you can hear classic stylings reminiscent of The Beatles, Led Zepplin and Bob Marley combine to create a coastal anthem strung together with another one of McKinney’s signature infectiously catchy melodies.
“We got tremendous support from fans and media on the last album,” McKinney said. “People really seemed to connect to the songs, but I definitely think World In Between has my best songs yet.”
McKinney is a lifelong musician who has been in bands since the age of 12. He credits his family for the musical encouragement, especially his father who bought he and his brother their first guitars and instilled in them an appreciation for artists such as Willie Nelson and Tony Joe White, where McKinney draws much of his inspiration. He has had the privilege to open for Nelson over the years and has shared the stage with other country and Americana greats such as Robert Earl Keen, Miranda Lambert, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jack Ingram, Eli Young Band, Cross Canadian Ragweed and many more.
Country music, Texas country, Americana and Red Dirt, and McKinney’s own brand of music, encompass all of these styles.
“I really believe this record is my best work to date,” said McKinney of the new album. “World in Between is my truest piece of work so far. I’m a songwriter first and foremost, and I feel like this record represents that better than any of my other albums.”
McKinney’s ability to draw people in with honest and clever lyrics, combined with a good dose of made-for-the-dance-floor melody, is what keeps the Mark McKinney fans multiplying and the faithfuls coming back for more. With the January 2017 release of World In Between, this hardworking musician is poised to expand his audience exponentially.
–Friday, January 6th @Armadillo Palace 9pm Houston, TX
–Thursday, January 19th @Saxon Pub 10:00 pm Austin, TX
–January 20 @Lonestar Bar 9:00/ 621 W Wall St, Midland, TX 79701
–Friday, January 20th @ Lonestar Bar 9:00 pm Midland, TX
–Saturday, January 21st 9pm PRIVATE PARTY Crane, TX
–Saturday, January 28th @ I Don’t Care Bar & Grill Monahans, TX
–Saturday, February 4th @Houston Stockshow & Rodeo 9:00 pm Houston, TX
–Friday, February 10th @ Love and War in Texas Plano, TX
–Saturday, February 11 @ Blaine’s Pub 10 W Harris Ave, San Angelo, TX 76903 10:00 PM $10