BIOGRAPHY

Mark Werchowski was born in San Antonio, Texas, but was raised in Upstate New York amid the musical explosions of the 1970s and 1980s. After attending high school, Mark went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since his schooling, Mark has performed in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and extensively in Upstate New York.

 

When Mark returned from Berklee, he started playing for a local band called the Runts before starting his own band, NightTrain, in the Fall of 1980 with Rokki Mason, Sam Madonia and Steve Lamascola. Dave Simone and Mark Bolos would also later play in NightTrain, with technical support from Andre Carunchio, Jennifer Werchowski, Steve Genovese, Larry Perry, John Genarro, Brian Thomas, Tom Duell and Mark Daniello, among others. NightTrain would play venues such as JJ's (Rome), Joe Bravo's West Leyden Hotel (West Leyden), the Casabogie, TJ's (Pittsfield, Mass.), Milo's (Utica), Hot Rocks (Utica), the Leather Bottle (Rome), and Coleman's (Rome). NightTrain would go on to record Mark's original song "Never Too Old (to Rock and Roll)" which received wide radio play in the Mohawk Valley.

 

In September 1984, Mark and Rokki joined forces with Joel Ciotti to form Dillinger. Dillinger also toured widely, bringing live Rock and Roll to the far corners of New York in small Adirondack towns like Malone and Saranac Lake. Dillinger would record another song written by Mark called "You Can't Get It On Credit," which was also met with overwhelming local success.

 

In the summer of 1987, Dillinger decided to pack up and try their luck in the heart of the 1980s rock and roll scene: Los Angeles, California. With instruments in tow, the guys met the Pacific coast and played gigs at clubs on the Sunset Strip, such as "The Central," which would later become Johnny Depp's "Viper Room." 

 

Over the years, Mark and his bandmates had the opportunity to open for nationally acclaimed musicians such as the Outlaws, Badfinger, Foghat, Robin Trower, the Joe Perry Project (of Aerosmith), Nantucket, Johnny Van Zant (of Lynard Synard), Grinderswitch, the Winters Brothers, and Zebra, among others.

 

In 1990, Mark decided to return home to his roots in Central New York. A new line-up of Dillinger ensued, as well as the recording of a new original song, "Rambunctious." Mark also began to teach guitar instruction privately and started inspiring a new generation of musicians.

 

In October 1991, Mark wrote "Christmas in the Valley," a holiday ballad that reflected on the local beauty of the Mohawk Valley. It was recorded just weeks later, on November 10, 1991, with an all-star chorus of local celebrities, regional musicians, and invited guests at Acqrok Studios in Utica, NY. The song was published to cassette and sold 1,000 copies in three days, with all profits benefitting the Stevens-Swan Humane Society. Mark was later awarded two ASCAP singer-songwriter awards for his musicianship. "Christmas in the Valley" is still on regular holiday radio rotation in the Utica-Rome area after more than two decades.

 

In 1997, Mark regrouped his musical efforts in a new group titled the "Mark Werchowski Band." This new band, consisting of Mark on guitar and vocal, Dare Riegler on bass, Dave Pallas on drums, and later Brad Wilder on keyboards, would record Mark's first full length album entitled That's My Story…and I"m Sticking to It, which was released on Oriskany Records that same year. This band would reach local music festivals such as Mountain Jam, Utica Monday Night, and Backwoods Bash, among others.

 

In 2004, while Mark was still teaching guitar privately at Big Apple Music in New Hartford, NY, he began call on his formal education to teach music in public schools. Today, Mark teaches both privately and publicly, at Big Apple Music and in the Utica City School District.

During the spring of 2015, Mark signed on as lead guitar player for the Fulton Chain Gang, a Central New York country band with a rock 'n' roll lean. The FCG headlined at many local venues, such as the Tin Rooster at Turning Stone Casino and the Madison County Fair, where they opened for Montgomery Gentry. After three seasons with the 'Gang, Mark is eager for what the future holds.