Discovered at an impromptu 3 am hotel room jam at a music conference when just 23 years old, Mark Erelli finished up a graduate degree in evolutionary biology shortly after his self-titled debut was released in 1999. He has won several prestigious awards, from the Kerrville New Folk contest in 1999 to the 2006 International Song Contest, where a song he co-wrote with Catie Curtis bested 15,000 entries to win the grand prize. For the past 10 years, he has maintained a rigorous, international touring schedule, sharing the stage with Dave Alvin, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt and others, as well appearing at many major folk festivals, including Newport, Philadelphia and Shrewsbury (UK). In recent years, Erelli has gained notoriety as a multi-instrumentalist sideman, accompanying artists such as Lori McKenna and Josh Ritter everywhere from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry to London's Royal Albert Hall. Erelli has seven records to his name, including collections of western swing (Hillbilly Pilgrim), lullabies (Innocent When You Dream) and songs of stirring social conscience (Hope & Other Casualties, WUMB Folk Radio's #1 record of 2006). In 2009, he was one of eight artists invited to the UK to take part in the Darwin Song Project, a collaborative release featuring songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin. Mark Erelli is anticipating two new releases for 2010, a collection of murder ballads recorded with Jeffrey Foucault called Seven Curses, and Little Vigils, his ninth full-length studio record.
“(Mark Erelli) embodies many of the best qualities of the folk-populist lineage that began with Woody Guthrie, and is carried today by Bruce Springsteen and others. His voice, a beautiful combination of wine and whiskey, is as intimately conversational as a fireside chat. And, by exploring some of the big themes of American life--family, redemption, war and love, among others--and by describing how those themes affect a single life, he makes topical songs personal.
— Sing Out!
“...While the music sounds like something you've heard before, Erelli takes things up a notch with first-rate songwriting and a flexible voice that alternately contains shades of Dylan, Springsteen, Neil Young and Ryan Adams. The end result is a fantastic record that, 10 years into his career, gives every indication that Erelli is in it for the long haul.”
— The Daily News