Born and raised in Spring, Texas, Mark then left the Lone Star State, trading in the sunshine and desert for the frozen tundra-like terrain of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. After several years soaking in the music scene (and several street corner performances), Mark then headed west, drawn by the love of his wife and by the rugged beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.
The songs on Riches & Rubble, Mark’s first album, draw on all these places and experiences: his Texas roots, his emerging adulthood in Minnesota, and his current Sitz im Leben in Hailey, Idaho. Without denying the heartache, struggle, and uncertainty of the rubble, this album latches on to the riches, a love and hope bigger than all of it.
Knowing that there’s no home without family, Mark sought collaboration for his first album. His wife Tracy and friends Sean Steinman and Anna Borden provided incredible harmonies, rhythms, and melodies. Riches & Rubble was also a chance for Mark to work with local musicians while exploring what it means to explore his own style, which he later dubbed “Mueller Mountain Music.”
Riches & Rubble was recorded at the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountain Range in accomplished musician Gary Carlson's quaint, classy studio, which was home for Mark both in location and in spirit. Gary also introduced Mark to some of his bandmates from his bluegrass band Dewey Pickett & Howe, two of whom ended up on the recording. Byron Walcher, an accomplished pedal steel and dobro guitar player graced the album with a fluid backbone. Brad Hershey ended up playing upright bass on six out of the seven tracks on Riches & Rubble, which added a rich, organic vibe. “I was looking for a real, earthy and intimate sound and was excited to create it with people that were ‘near and dear’ to me. I feel that is what we ended up getting.”
"Did your eyes meet mine . . . between the riches and the rubble side of life?" It’s a question asked time and again and one to consider as we walk along together, looking and longing for home. You can find Mark in playing his custom-built Prescher guitar at various taprooms and coffeehouses in the Sun Valley, Idaho region or wandering the Sawtooth Mountains with his beautiful and talented wife Tracy and Airedale Terrior, where he is undoubtedly hearing the hum of the world all around him, listening to it reverberate deep in his soul, and waiting for it to come out in song.