Country roots, rock and roll heart, and spellbinding songcraft: Recording and performing artist Mark Mackay has left his boot prints on stages like Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium to Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. As a headliner, a festival act, or highlighting bills across the country with an array of performers — including Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, John Rich, and Eli Young Band, plus rockers like REO Speedwagon and 38 Special — Mark Mackay captivates audiences with fretboard mastery and memorable hooks.
“Summer Slowdown,” the first single in a series of forthcoming releases, evokes carnival midway magic as the temperature rises on a hot July night of romantic possibility. Penned by Jeffrey Steele, Neil Thrasher and Wendell Lee Mobley, the song is a prelude to a season of renewal, signaling a welcome return to touring, as Mark Mackay hits the road from his home base in Nashville. “‘Summer Slowdown’ is everything I love about a great song,” says Mark. “It has great energy, big guitars and I love songs about that hopeless love feeling… the person heading off after a great summer together. When I first heard it, I could visualize what it looked like in an area coming to life, live on stage.”
Mark says that the cancellation of his arduous touring schedule — over 150 national dates annually — allowed for a deeper exploration of his craft and new ways to communicate. “When the pandemic started, I didn’t know how to use a single recording program,” he explains. “But I ran to the music store, bought an interface and a MIDI keyboard, and learned how to mic guitars, do demos, create Livestream performances, and connect with people one on one.”