My two older brothers, Mike and Bill, introduced me to American roots music at an early age. Bill was closest to me in age, and he coached me in my guitar playing which I started around the age of 14. He was playing mandolin and banjo mostly while I provided the rhythm guitar. The first style we worked on was Bluegrass and Gospel, and the flat pick has been my choice for sound production ever since, though I do finger pick with my two other fingers as I hold the pick if I want to.
I started writing songs a few years later. I liked performing, and did it often. It was the sixties. I figured if Dylan could do it, then why not me? I really liked all the blues styles, Chicago, Delta, Zydeco, etc. I loved Chuck Berry, still do. I’ve often said that if I could only play one persons’ music the rest of my life, I could make it on Chuck Berry. Also, in the sixties, I must add that my fave-rave band was the Lovin’ Spoonful. During this time, I also came to look for and expect social values in the tunes I liked. I was a conscientious objector and an anti-Viet Nam War protester.
I graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s from UC Santa Cruz, my 6th college. I had gone there for the self-directed major they offered in “Aesthetic Studies,” with for me was a study of the music business and the history of Country & Western music. By this time I was married, and my wife and I moved to LA and I tried to be a professional songwriter. I had better luck as an auto mechanic.
By 1982, I had built a recording studio in my basement, and a friend of mine and I recorded an album called “A Collection of Favorite Christmas Carols.” We called Lewis Ross, who played all the parts, the “new American Guitar Ensemble.” It was the start of a business that came to be called the Revere-Lifedance Company. This delightful Christmas album sold well enough for me to start a record label and a distribution company. We introduced the idea of playing music in a non-record retail store which the store would carry for sale. It came to be called “In-Store Play & Sell” marketing. It was a good run through the late 80’s and early 90’s, but then the internet began to happen, and the music business changed. Besides, I was selling primarily instrumental music, and where had my song-writing dreams gone? When the opportunity was offered by my partners to buy me out, it made sense.
In 1988, my family and I had moved to Portland, OR. By the early 90’s I had joined the choir of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, and I was enriched by this experience that lasted well into the 2000’s. I may yet, should the situation be right, rejoin that choir. I learned so much as a singer and a performer.
By 2000, I was finally able to complete my first album entitled “New & Used Tunes” and began to use the stage name of Mo Mack. You can find the details of this album elsewhere on this site. I still like that album.
Now, some 14 years after that 1st album was released, I am about to release my second. I am also now going to focus my energies on public performance and writing. I have many more song ideas, and I have put them off for far too long.
If you have gotten this far in my little bio, thanks for reading.