Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Born Mark Thomas May, September 29, 1961, in Columbus, Ohio, Mark May started to play guitar at the age of five. From a musical family, Mark was exposed to many different styles of music. His mother's love was Bluegrass and Country music. His brother, Ken, was into Rock and played with Craig Fuller, who formed Pure Prairie League, and wrote the song "Amy". At the age of 14 or15, Mark began playing with various bands and had his first professional club date around the age of 15 or 16.
Mark moved to Houston in 1982 and played in numerous country bands in the Houston area. Numerous rock bands followed which allowed Mark to further express his talents as a guitarist.
Blues-oriented music has always been an interest to Mark. One of his
earliest influences was Jimi Hendrix. When
Mark started to host the Monday Night Jam at The Crew Quarters in Seabrook,
his love for the blues really took hold. Not only were the crowds responsive
to the Blues, but Mark never felt more at home, both musically and vocally.
A friend turned Mark onto the music of Blues legend
Albert Collins and that influence made a
profound affect on him.
Soon after, Mark put together his first real blues/rock band. Original members included "Fretless" Dan Cooper (bass/vocals), Danny Goza (drums), and Eric Dimmer(sax), who has since moved on to play for Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. After Eric left, Dave Nevling (formerly with Bert Wills) joined the band bringing his club-tested blues harp and an extra vocal dimension to their sound.
After a short time, enough original music was compiled, Mark took his band to the Light In Sound Studio in Pearland and recorded a demo tape called You Can Call On the Blues. Copies of the cassette were shopped around to various labels and in a matter of weeks, Johnny Phillips, of Icehouse/Priority Records responded and picked up the band. After some minor remixing at Crosstown Records in Memphis, Call on the Blues was released on CD.
Since the release of the CD, Dave Nevling and Danny Goza moved on to be replaced by Greg Grubbs (drums), and Billy Wells (guitar). With the addition of Billy, the band took on a harder edge.
Then Mark recorded his second CD with Icehouse Records. Telephone Road-Houston, Texas was released early summer 1997. On the Cd with the band are Larry McCray, Alan Haynes, The Memphis Horns, and the return of Eric Dimmer(sax).