Mark Rust's music and stage presence reflect the harmonies of nature and the simplicity and beauty of life as he has known it while growing up in the Catskill Mountains. The author of over two hundred songs, Mark's material focuses upon the timeless topics to which we all relate. Whether it be tales of family or friends, struggles and stress, past memories or future dreams, Mark will captivate you with lyrics revealing a wisdom beyond his years.
Mark Rust sings with strength and clarity, accompanying himself on guitar, piano, banjo, fiddle, mountain and hammered dulcimer. His charismatic personality combined with a delightful blend of wit and humor, creates a clear and consistent image of the world as he wants it to be. His love for his audience is genuinely conveyed and immediately returned. Mark captivates his audience and quickly makes them an integral part of the performance, and in that moment, they become his family.
Yet, the songs, the voice, and the instruments, are still not the whole story. Mark infuses his concerts with an infectious sense of fun as he shares his down-home anecdotes and humorous stories. In the end, you have been treated to a voyage through your own experiences during an evening that is both memorable and moving. His music will touch your heart and leave you laughing.
Background & credits
Mark Rust comes from a musical family. His grandmother immigrated to America in the 1920's, and later opened a nightclub called "Swiss Trudy's". Everyone in the family performed in the musical acts. As Mark grew, he joined the family’s entertainment. Over the next many years, the Rust family traveled and performed widely at concerts and festivals.
Mark has become a versatile performer on a variety of instruments. He possesses solid proficiency on guitar, piano, banjo, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, and hammered dulcimer.
As a solo act, Mark has performed across the country, in Canada, and in Japan. A prolific songwriter of over 200 songs, he has been called "one of the Northeast's great undiscovered songwriters". His songs have been recorded by Louise Mandrell, Stan Rogers, Mary McCaslin, and others.
Mark has appeared in People Magazine performing in concert with Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul & Mary. He joined the National Touring Company of the Broadway hit "Pump Boys & Dinettes", starring in the lead role, and playing a variety of instruments. He has served as musical director of many musicals across the country. Mark was commissioned to compose original music & lyrics for a production of the ancient comedy "The Rope" by Plautus.
Mark was recently selected to perform several shows in New York City to promote the release of the film “A Prairie Home Companion”. He can currently be seen playing music in the recent Terrence Malick film “The Better Angels” about Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood years.
Mark has released many recordings.They include "Songs of America" for Golden Books, “Our Families Came to Sing” featuring Tom Chapin, "Home Fires" featuring Peter Yarrow(of Peter, Paul and Mary) and Jay Ungar (PBS Civil War Series),"Legacy" with songs of family & growing up, “Live at The Ithaca Festival”, and his most recent CD “Sea of Silver Sand” with Mark’s original instrumental pieces for hammered dulcimer.
Mark currently gives over 100 performances a year at colleges, schools, libraries, festivals, and clubs. Mark has been honored with a nomination for a "Campus Entertainment Award" by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA).