Mark Collie is a Rockabilly Renaissance man. Singer, songwriter, artist, actor, filmmaker, entertainer, poet… The titles all apply, but none alone define him.
Collie has been writing and performing music since he was a child in rural Tennessee. He came to Nashville and enjoyed a string of successful albums in the ‘90’s. Legendary Producer Tony Brown effectively harnessed Collie’s raw, populist, rockabilly sound and superbly crafted songs. The resulting albums, music videos and live performances in turn earned Collie critical and popular success as a recording artist, writer, video performer and as a live performer. His high-energy live act drew comparisons to greats like Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen. His clever, superbly crafted songs made even the most jaded veteran songwriting legends stand up and take notice. For most American Country artists, this would have been enough. For Collie though, it was only the beginning.
Collie’s creative output drew Hollywood’s attention and soon he was appearing in a series of roles in television programs, independent films, and big budget features. In the John Travolta vehicle, The Punisher, Collie envelops the role of Harry Heck, a guitar-strumming assassin. This powerful performance, and the subsequent song, In Time, that Collie wrote for and performed in the film, introduced Collie to an world-wide audience of rabid fans.
Around that time, Collie decided to combine many of his interests and talents and create a film, an album and a live performance at Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee. Producer Tony Brown quickly came onboard, joined by celebrated Prince collaborator, engineer David Z. Musicians as varied as Collie’s own interests joined in, including county-superstar Tim McGraw, blue’s legend Gatemouth Brown, Austin songbird Kelly Willis and many more.
Collie spent quite a lot of time at the Maximum Security prison, talking to and making music with inmates and prison workers. This experience led Collie to compose a series of songs inspired by his experience at the prison. These powerful songs make up the bulk of the album and subsequent film, Alive at Brushy Mountain.
As the music business began folding in on itself in the early 2000’s Collie’s almost completed prison project fell victim to the to the quickly shrinking industry. The next almost ten years would see Collie fight for and ultimately succeed in winning the release of his Brushy Mountain film and seminal album.
The timeless and powerful quality of the songs and the impeccable nature of the recording make Brushy Mountain a vital and essential album and along with the Collie-helmed documentary are destined to widen still his influence and reputation.
Mark Collie is a first class songwriter, a powerful entertainer, an accomplished actor, and a determined filmmaker. His music today is stronger than ever. His sense of who he is and what he wants to do is more defined and sharper than ever in his varied career. This Rockabilly Renaissance man is forging ahead at full speed in 2012. Mark Collie’s creative spirit and boundless energy make him a force to be reckoned with now, and for years to come.