Hank wants you to go see his dad at a Taste of MN
You may recall seeing Mark Andrew on season four of The Voice. Or you’re more likely to know that Mark made it into the Top 16 of the most recent season of American Idol. Since his elimination, the Eden Prairie native has settled back into Twin Cities life with new tools under his belt and renewed enthusiasm for his music career.
Not long before one of Idol’s producers called Mark to encourage him to audition for the show, he was about to head in a completely different direction.
“I was ready to take over my family’s business and put music on the backburner,” Mark shared. “Then Idol happened. Now everything’s completely reversed.”
For years, Mark has worked at family-owned Pudas Landscaping and Construction with his dad and brother. But they’re also the ones who helped inspire him to become a musician.
“I got into music driving around in the car, listening to the radio and trying to sing along,” he recalled. “My dad had an awesome record collection so I dug into that – classic 60s and 70s stuff. Anything from Waylon Jennings to Gordon Lightfoot to Santana and Led Zeppelin.”
Mark admitted he looked up to his brother, Matt, who is six years older than him.
“The biggest thing that made me want to be a musician is my brother was playing bass in the neighborhood band and I wanted to play guitar,” he confessed.
Matt went on to form country rock band White Iron Band, which Mark was part of for a couple years.
“They kicked me out,” he said with a laugh. “My brother told me to go do my own thing.”
Up next: Recording and performing at A Taste of Minnesota
As Mark forges ahead with his music career, he’s currently working with local producerKevin Bowe to record a few songs. During his time on Idol, Scott Borchetta (who discovered Taylor Swift) challenged Mark to find his own sound.
“I like country and I like blues. I’m trying to push more into the pop realm without being too pop but also stay true to myself as a singer-songwriter.” Mark included, “The lyrics are more thought out than some of the stuff you hear on the radio.”
As far as shows, he’s excited about performing at A Taste of Minnesota on July 2. Especially because he’ll perform on the same stage as Gear Daddies and The Suburbs.
Attendees can enjoy a variety of food, along with local beer and wine. The event runs July 2-5 and also has kid-friendly activities. See full details on A Taste of Minnesota’s Website.
Between music and work, Mark spends the rest of his time focusing on his family, which includes his 10-month-old son Hank.
“He’s almost walking and makes lots of good noises but he can’t do words yet.” Mark went on to share, “He’s got one of those walkers with toys and that’s his new favorite thing. My life is pretty full right now.”