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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Working Musician by Mark Stone

I should start by introducing myself.  My Name is Mark Stone.  I am Not the professional hockey player nor was I the former bassist of Van Halen but I am the Singer/Guitarist/SongWriter/Vocal Instructor/Music Teacher/Leader of the project Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band.

For the last 10 years of my life I've been a working Musician.  I still consider myself a working musician although I'm not sure I qualify for the title by some standards anymore as I've recently got myself involved in the dreaded DAY JOB, but I'd like to share my experiences as this may help someone who maybe trying to accomplish the same or similar things.
My Story starts like a lot of them you've already heard. I loved to sing. I could repeat whole songs before I could even hold a proper conversation.  Some would say I have a Rainman like quality when it comes to remembering lyrics.  Great quality to have as a singer but it won't help you keep a day job.  In fact the reason I became a working musician was purely out of necessity.  Although it has been my love of music that has kept me from seeking out anything else until now but I'll get to that later.
Off and on throughout my life I've pursued music.  I dropped out of high school (I don't recommend this) to join a traveling coverband.  When the band folded and after an inspiring epiphany moment soaked in my moms tears I went back to high school and graduated. A few more cover bands followed until My first original music band Juggernaut (Top)

We were Signed to Noise Records in Germany and even made a video that MTV Europe played during the Headbangers Ball Program

Ahhh those were the days touring in a transvan eating ramen when possible otherwise smoking breakfast and drinking lunch and dinner (also not recommended) but the band blew up everybody went their separate ways.  Although, I now have the guitar player of that band playing bass for me in the Dirty Country Band but I just jumped ahead too far.  

I Got a regular job as a truck driver for awhile the lifestyle is amazingly similar to touring.  I found other local driving jobs that paid as well and I concentrated on making money and being home to support my son.  I divorced and for awhile my son lived with me so the most music I did was occasional weekend warrior stuff but he decided to move in with his mother and I had nothing to keep me home.  In fact I got out from under it and started playing more often.  It was at this time that I got laid off from my then Cement Truck driving job and there wasn't much else for work available.  One band wasn't enough to pay the bills so for awhile I was involved in 4 different projects one of those dissolved and I started teaching at the School of Rock as a vocal instructor.  By the time I left School of Rock 4/1/13 I was teaching vocals at all 3 School of Rock locations as well as Show directing at the Eden Prairie School and Directing the Elite performance group made of the top students from all 3 schools out of the Burnsville location.

What happened??? For the longest time my top priority was making a living playing music and I had succeeded in sustaining a reasonably modest lifestyle doing just music but my music had taken a backseat and it had gotten to the point where that had to change.  I made a clean break. There was an opportunity to play music in TX and from the sounds of it a lot more opportunity to play period. So I packed up my wife and all the necessities in a big RV and headed to TX.

In TX just outside of the Live Music Capital of the United States of America.  I learned a few things.  Playing live music in TX for the middle class working musician depends largely on tips.  You can play 7 nights a week but those weekday gigs aren't going to offer much for a guaranty and if you aren't well known in the area your draw will suffer.  Mind you if you can get the weekend gig you'll probably make out better some nights than you would if you had a guaranty but it may also be hard to get those coveted weekends if you don't have a name.  The Opportunity folded but I did manage to get into Music Lane Studios in ATX and Track the basics for an entire album and play Austin during SXSW twice so probably the best 2,400 mile trip I've ever taken. Not to mention a gorgeous winter honeymoon for my wife and I.  "We'll Always Have TX" will be on a Future release but the album I recorded basics in TX is available through my website for Pre-Order and soon digitally available everywhere in 2015

Now I'm back in my home town where my wife and I 1st met and near the high school I graduated from and played my 1st gig.  If there is a moral to this story it's this:  Do what makes you happy.  You can probably do a lot of things to make money but in the end you can't take it with you anyway so you might as well enjoy your time here.  If you want to make a living playing music you'll most likely have to diversify.  Being kick ass at one thing is hardly enough anymore you'll have to be kick ass at a few things and bottom line you can't do it all yourself. Very few people just shy of no one has ever made it in the music business alone.  You need to build a team. There are only so many paid opportunities out there and even if you land a good one you'll most likely need more than that. So try on a few hats teaching, live sound, promotion, booking and or broadcasting.  Being a working musician is an attainable goal but I'm not going to blow smoke up anyone it gets harder and harder to do with the passing of time and you will most likely have to find a few music related things to make it work but if you truly Love music there is no other occupational pursuit that will give you the same satisfaction and you'll need the experience and insight that wearing those other hats will give you if you ever want to succeed.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Your questions and comments are welcome.
Here's how to get a hold of me if you'd like to connect:

ElectronicPressKit(EPK)- -email

Get 2 EPs FREE from Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band by Following @mst0ne on Twitter

Follow @mst0ne on Twitter and get the self titled debut EP by Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band

and the Mark and Martina EP for FREE
This FREE offer is only available until the digital release of our new album "The Sequel" goes to all music distribution outlets
We are wrapping up production of the last song so act now and get your 2 FREE EP's
That also means your time is running out to pre-order "The Sequel" directly from us at 45% off of what it will cost once it is released for world wide digital distribution.  Remember to leave us a valid email address at checkout and we will send you a link to download the last song FREE.  Lastly but most importantly we'd like to extend a HUGE thanks to all of our friends and fans who have already jumped on our bandwagon and not only supported our efforts but shared us with your friends and spread the word.  We were able to do all these recordings because you supported us and that is why we have made this album available to you first and for less than what it will be after markups.  You are also the reason we started this 2 FREE EP's campaign, so you could share with your friends and spread the word.  Thank You For Your Support,  Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Sequel Coming Soon Features Southern Rock Turned to 11 as Well as Traditional Country Sounds

The Sequel is the first full length album by Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band and was scheduled to be digitally released 5/24/14.  BAD NEWS: due to complications with production on the last 3 songs it should be out in Early 2015 almost everywhere 
GOOD NEWS: you can purchase a Pre-Order copy at any live music event Mark Stone is a part of for only 5$ which includes all but the last 2 songs and with your email or snail mail address we will send you a digital download or disc of the last 2 songs FREE just for buying NOW or You can Purchase a Pre-Sale Copy from our Website for 6$(leave your email address in comments or special instructions at purchase) both include the new single I Wanna Kiss You In The Country and the Alternative Country Single thats being added on Independent Radio Stations like Wildfire, No One's Leaving. It pays to be one of the first and you SAVE.  The average price of the full digital release once it's available everywhere will be $9.99   Thank You So Much for your support.

The Presale will include MUDDER TRUCKER

My Neck of Woods
She Likes Dixie
I Won't Miss You MN

Whiskey Talkin'

Lost Weekend

I Wanna Kiss You In The Country

as well as Livin' the Dream and No One's Leaving all for 6$  (or 5$ at a Live Event)

Not included on the Presale disc are: Better Man and Free, Easy and More but these 2 tracks will be sent to you free via email or snail mail for purchasing now.

Here's a recent review of The Sequel pre-order available now through  and at live shows, soon available everywhere digital music is sold buy now direct and save.

Oh, One Last Thing.  If Things are a little tight right now I can understand that.  During the holidays we all stretch ourselves a little thin at times but it's also the spirit of giving that makes it so special. It's better to give than receive. So, we are giving away our 1st 2 EP's for FREE to folks who follow us on Twitter. Click then click follow button in the upper right and you will be sent a download link for our first to EPs but like all good things this offer is only good until the World Wide Digital Release of The Sequel.  So get on it and tell a friend or 2.  Thanks Again for the support and I'm wishing for all of you the Best of Holiday Seasons.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Goodbye TX, Going Back Home to MN for the Summer and Maybe for Good

Doesn't really seem like 7 months have passed since I was counting down leaving MN and releasing my 2nd single but it has.  Now I'm counting down the days to Leaving TX and heading back home for the summer.  I Won't Miss You MN remains my most viewed YouTube video at over 21,000 views.  I'll definitely miss some things about TX but not as much as I've grown to miss home.

I still haven't been able to raise the attention of press in MN but while in TX I managed to kick up a little dust with the press.
“Whiskey Talkin @mst0ne Swampy southern rock with big voice! Great sound..... Chorus is killer”
“MADAME OF MUSIC ‏@OfMadame onTwitter @mst0ne "I Won't Miss You MN" Great song:-)) great voice ; )”
“Check out this great new interview with rising country talent Mark Stone.”
“BestMusicNews4uRadio @BestMusicNews4U Mark Stone( @mst0ne)and the Dirty Country Band Country Rock - "Whiskey Talkin'" Just Simple, well done Kick ASS Rock! #BMN4U #Influence”

“You have a cool sound(reminded me instantly of something similar to GNR), I like the catchy songs and you obviously know how to write.”
“Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band describe their sound as what “A Honky Tonk Bar Brawl Between the Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Alice in Chains Would Sound Like. Turning Southern Rock to 11 one gig at a time.” Mark Stone is the lead Singer Guitar Player and mad scientist behind Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band and the creator of #Gruntry.”
“Whiskey Talkin' I would say more of the rock with some blues guitar than a country song, unlike what I think of as a classic rock song it's not as fast and upbeat. With the blues style guitars it gives another feel about the song, and the actual riffs are amazing. There's also a familiarity to them, something that after a long time and listening to a lot of sounds I found the familiarity in Bon Jovi. It's not the whole song I found the similarity just the catchy guitar riffs. There's a great vocal range though out the song, more than I was expecting to be honest. In the rare times I've listened to this style of music I'd found the vocals can often be lacking, but Mark's voice is really good, making the lyrics clear and stand out against the music its self. Lyrics is this a story of a man in love with the alcohol or not? I find it hard to tell. Over all I enjoyed the song, it wasn't something I got bored of as I had it on repeat but I wouldn't have called it country by any means.”
And the very 1st  Review of The Sequel album available for Pre-Order Now on
“I really wasn’t sure what to expect before listening to these songs, I had my thoughts on what I was in for, but I’m pleased to say that my expectations were exceeded after having listened to all six tracks. I was expecting a dirty hard rocking roadhouse band, but I got some terrific well written songs that really did blend many more modern rock styles with country influence like I’ve never heard before, going from “heartland rock” to heavy grungy roadhouse blues and not caring what listeners think. I look forward, as I recommend others should, for the full album when it comes out.”

By the time I leave TX I should Know if we'll be playing #ernieballbattleofthebands #rockontherange
We are currently the #4BuzzRatedBand out of over 300 entries you can still vote for us on and if you look in the comment section you'll find a Free download of I Won't Miss You MN as a way of saying thank you for voting from us to you

If you are in the MN this summer you can catch Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band at:

Delano Lanes & Entertainment - May 24th @ 9:00pm

Arizonas - May 25th & 26th @ 8:00pm

Thunder Valley Bar & Grill - June 6th @ 9:00pm

JR's Outpost - June 13th @ 9:00pm

NorthStar Bar - June 14th @ 9:30pm

Catch the Radio Show Turn it 2-11 Every Wednesday 5:30-6pmCST

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2 New Lyric Videos From Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band "The Sequel"

First I would like to Thank All of you who have Pre-Ordered "The Sequel" without you I would've had to do a crowdfunding campaign to finish this record and I did NOT want to do that. So far I've been very fortunate that enough of you want to hear my music that recording it has paid for itself.  I'm not bagging on anybody who has, HELL, most of the known Universe is going that route.  It just didn't feel right to me.  Just a little over 1,000 of you will have the 3 bonus songs that will not be on the album and you will be sent those songs as well as the 3 remaining songs that will be on the album when they are completed.  For the rest of you the 6 songs are available now as singles on Including these 2 new Lyric video Tracks

And the 4X4 Favorite
Not to Mention the anxious for the weekend anthem "Lost Weekend"

Also Available for sale as singles "Livin' the Dream and No One's Leavin'"
There's no plans for videos for these songs or the remaining 3 but you will be able to hear them on Wednesdays at 5:30-6pmCST on if you are interested.  Remember you can still get the first 2 EP's Free in the comments sections of these Vote pages until the end of June and
We are also entered in the Battle of the Bands to Play at Sturgis
You can vote 5X a day listen to streaming audio and share with all your friends we got into this one late so we can use all the help we can get to catch up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vote Both #ernieball Contests from 1 site and get FREE EP Downloads for Your Efforts

For those of you who like visual to go along with your intellectual stimulation here is a how to video
There is only 1 active #ernieballbattleofthebands contest running now.  Please click on icon or link below and vote 4 us you will find 2 Free EP Downloads in the Comments.

Vote for us to play Sturgis

Please use the share button too and let everyone you know
know that they can get some FREE music from us we hope
you'll continue to vote for us for any future #ernieball contests.  We will always do what we can for our friends and fans that support us. You will always find something cool in the comments of every contest.  Feel free to leave your own comments too. If you'd like to be more social with us on Twitter- or on

If you are brand new to Mark Stone and the Dirty Country band and you'd like a little more background than what is given on the contest sites or you just want to check out some of the recent press the band has generated here's a couple of introduction pieces.  This Video Interview was done by iMoveiLive Online Music Magazine.

or check out the piece done by Niji Magazine

Lastly as a music lover myself every Wednesday at 5:30-6pmCST I do a radio show called
Turn It 2-11 Radio where I shamelessly and selfishly play a bunch of music I like for 30 minutes and invite everyone I know to come along for a listen.
If You Want to be included send MP3 Submission via email to
#Gruntry, #Southern Rock, #Hard Country, #Outlaw Music, #mst0ne, #TheDirtyCountryBand

Thursday, January 9, 2014