About Mack Bailey:
Performs as Solo Singer/Songwriter, with his wife,
The Hard Travelers,
plus in occasional tributes to
tell a lot about singer songwriter Mack Bailey by the musical company he
keeps. Mack has been hailed as “the next great singer in folk music” by no
less an authority than Glenn Yarbrough, the original tenor in the fabulous
world-renowned folk trio, The Limeliters. Mack’s career came full circle
when in 2004 he was asked to be the newest tenor in The Limeliters, with
whom he performed around the country for eight years.
John Denver’s music, Mack taught himself to play the guitar, so it was a
thrill for Mack when he had the privilege of trading verses to “Thank God
I’m a Country Boy” with Denver in front of 9000 people shortly before John’s
death. Today, his experiences with the Limeliters and John Denver
continue to play an active role in Mack’s professional life, even as he
pursues his successful solo career. Mack has caught the attention of national folk music audiences with
not only his Limeliters performances, but also with his prominent role in
the nationally touring show “A Musical Tribute to John Denver” with many of
John’s former band members and production crew.
of Denver’s former band members have also played on Mack’s albums, including
Chris Nole, Pete Huttlinger, Jim Horn, and Bill Danoff. Other music royalty
has joined him as well: Mary Chapin Carpenter sang on his first album, which
was produced by Bill Danoff of “Country Roads” and “Afternoon Delight” fame,
and the Jordanaires contributed soulful background vocals on his album, Why
I’m Here. Denver’s long-time producer, Kris O’Connor, produced Mack’s
Through Your Eyes album. Most recently, prestigious musicians like Sam
Bush, Pat Flynn, and Jack Pearson graced Mack’s album, Choose Your Attitude.
almost two decades, Mack has been a principal member of the reunited 60s
group, The Hard Travelers, with whom he has recorded five albums. He has a
rich history of major concert appearances having performed with or shared
the stage as opener with a long list of folk and country stars including
Brooks & Dunn, Randy Travis, Alabama, Barbara Mandrell, Chet Atkins, Emmylou
Harris, Vince Gill & Amy Grant, Kathy Mattea, Tom Rush, Tom Paxton, Mary
Chapin Carpenter, Kenny Rogers, Alan Jackson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brad
Paisley, Leann Rimes, Martina McBride and John Denver confirming that indeed, Mack keeps
very good musical company.
Mack also performs with
his wife, Rachel Levy, and the duo have been likened to a “similar pairing
40 years ago of Gram Parsons and a very young Emmylou Harris”. “Lucky Man”,
written by Mack and Rachel, was chosen as a finalist in the 2006 mid-atlantic
song contest in the country/bluegrass category and was also selected to be
profiled in sing out! Magazine. In addition, this past fall “Lucky Man” was
a feature song on NASCAR Angels. Mack and Rachel also co-penned “It’s Time”,
which has received critical acclaim from former Vice-President Al Gore, as
promoting environmental awareness. Mack was awarded for his excellence with
a WAMMIE for Best Traditional Folk Performer, and his song “High Gear” has
been featured on NPR’s popular Car Talk.
Originally hailing from the small town of Troy, North Carolina, Mack
attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and graduated with a degree
in music performance. Besides writing, performing solo and in his two
groups, and recording eight solo albums, Mack is musically active in several
medical and environmental causes, including Maryland Therapeutic Riding, The
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, The
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Starlight Starbright, and Challenge Aspen. Mack
has also played in nursing homes and Alzheimer’s units playing group
concerts and individual outreach, and he continues to enjoy working with
school students on songwriting in their creative writing classes. He
recently completed his Masters Degree in Music Therapy and works in Aspen,
Colorado, where he currently resides.
Other Internet Sites:
Reverb Nation Page
To read a
full interview with Mack, see
& Press Clips:
"The next great singer in folk music."
About the song "It's
Time"(written by Mack with Rachel Levy):
"I think it is great that you both are promoting
environmental awareness in your new song "It's Time"."
Al Gore (former
is one of the better voices in the music business.”
Randy Sparks, The New Christy Minstrels
its power, clarity and sheer beauty, Mack Bailey's voice reminds me of no one
more than my friend, the late John Denver. I love to hear this man sing.”
sings songs of the heart and life experiences with a voice
and charm that
mesmerizes his audiences.”
Joyce Sica, Uptown Concerts
"Backed only by his own guitar and Rachel's harmonies, Bailey's tenor
voice was clear and seemingly effortless - music writers have used words
like 'soaring' and 'wonderous' to describe it, and that works for me."
- Chuck Agonito, Finger
program! Perfect song choices! Thank you for sharing your talent with
our community. Your music is upbeat, you blend nicely together, and your
commentary adds so much. You were universally enjoyed!"
- Sally Ehrle, Heritage
Harbour Concert Coordinator
"Thank you so much for playing in our CD Baby
showcase down at the Folk Alliance. Your performance was really amazing
and it was great to see you perform live! I hope we can do it again next
- President, CD Baby
"Mack has the purest voice I have
Curtis Young, The Jordanaires
"It's a pleasure to write
arrangements for such a great voice."
Louis Nunley, The Jordanaires
"We would love to have Mack Bailey sing
the National Anthem for every game."
Baltimore Orioles Productions
"Mack is a wonderful powerful
singer. When recording he sings so consistently and flawlessly that we
don't need to re-do his vocal tracks and there were
not many retakes. That's better than most of the singers who come in here
Dave Sinko, recording engineer, Sound Emporium, Nashville
"A perfect-pitched tenor," and "DC area's most
"Mack Bailey, to hear him is to have
a spiritual awakening!"
Maureen Harrigan, MoFolk Productions
"Mack Bailey has a better-than-great tenor voice and
the warmest most inviting way with a song and with an audience, whether he's
touching their hearts or tickling their funny bone."
Kim Kaplan, Where? House Concerts
"There are two things that I especially like about
Mack: He has an absolutely gorgeous tenor voice and he knows how to combine
songs to do a great program. If he performs in your area, he's not to be
Frank Allen Philpot, Bethesda Acoustic House
"Mack Bailey is a serious
presence in the folk scene. With very solid guitar work and an impressive tenor
voice, Mack plays to an audience's heart and soul. Expressive and lyrical, his
music touches on subjects from the deep felt love of a parent for his child, to
a child-like wonder at the world around him. Always a good show."
Scott Twiford, Big Bear
"Mack Bailey is an
entertainer beyond compare. He has graciously given his time and talent to
helping raise countless dollars for charities harbored by his inspiration, John
Denver, as well as those of his own passion. He is a true gift to the world of
Mary K. Ledford,
"Mack Bailey....a powerful
tenor voice and a fine songwriter."
Pete Huttlinger, Finger
picking guitar Champion
"When Mack Bailey sings a sensitive song or a
powerful song, his versatility amazes me."
Jim Horn, touring and studio musician to many stars
"At the first John Denver Tribute concert at the
Birchmere in January 1998, we had all of John's former band together but had
lost the lead singer. We didn't know who could fill John's shoes.
But when I heard Mack Bailey sing, I knew it would be OK."
Steve Weisberg, John Denver's former touring and studio guitar and dobro
first time you hear Mack sing, you quickly focus on the beauty of his voice and
his mastery of the guitar -- once you come to know him, you quickly realize that
his most precious gift of all is the size of his heart."
Mattingly, Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
would not consider doing an event without Mack Bailey."
Kushner, Executive Director, M. U. S. E. Foundation
"He has a wonderful way with children and adults and has made a significant
contribution to improving the environment through his music and presence."
Jerriann Wilson, Director, Child Life Department, Johns Hopkins Children's
"It is impossible to listen to him sing his music and to not feel changed. You
know you are being given a gift that is so special and so valuable because he is
truly giving you a piece of his heart. It shines through in every genre, too!"
Naomi Parry, Executive Director, Maryland Therapeutic Riding
"The star attraction of the pops portion of the program was local favorite, Mack
Bailey, whose folksy tenor, guitar playing and whistling are reminiscent of John
Denver. He's funny, too! Filling Maryland Hall with vocal and human
warmth, he was the consummate one-man show. His renditions of "The
Nearness of You" and "Eagles and Horses" made me want to run out and buy all of
- Jane Elkin, "The Capital" Newspaper, Annapolis
the passion of the fans is a measure of an artist's following, then you have a
huge fan club just from the heart of one little girl and her mother."
Childrens Center Parent,
Johns Hopkins Children's Center
"We really appreciate your time and talent!
You certainly brighten the lives of seriously ill children in many ways
and we thank you for that."
Starlight Foundation, Denver, CO
“Mack Bailey’s collection of songs
from his latest album, Choose Your Attitude, is both intimate and
powerful. His melodies are catchy and his lyrics inspire and offer the
listener a moment of self-reflection. He writes about people and events
that touched him deeply, and when I hear the purity of his tenor voice, I
feel safe enough to feel and remember people, times and places from my own
life. Mack’s songs remind me that life is to be cherished and enjoyed.”
~ Allison Balson, Host and Producer,
Organic Time Radio
“Mack Bailey has a tremendously
strong, soulful voice with a sweetness that would bring a tear to an Irish
~ Fran Fishman – Sun Times,
University Park, IL
Mack and Rachel
receive glowing reviews:
program! Perfect song choices! Thank you for sharing your talent with our
community. Your music is upbeat, you blend nicely together, and your
commentary adds so much. You were universally enjoyed!"
~ Sally Ehrle,
Heritage Harbour Concert Coordinator
"Backed only by his
own guitar and Rachel's harmonies, Bailey's tenor voice was clear and
seemingly effortless - music writers have used words like 'soaring' and 'wonderous'
to describe it, and that works for me."
~ Chuck Agonito,
Finger Lakes Times
" . . . Bailey also
has a solo album, "Choose Your Attitude." I particularly like the title
song as well as "Lucky Man" and Bailey's solo version of "Rock Me
Grandpa." Another highpoint of the album is a duet with backup vocalist
Rachel Levy called "Where Do I End and You Begin," which reminds me of a
similar pairing 40 years ago of Gram Parsons and a very young Emmylou
Harris with "Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels." It's a sweet song to be
sure. . . . Give these a listen and I think you'll like them very much - -
as I did."
~ Tim West, reviewer
for Rediscover Music
and Levy play what’s best described as “Americana”
music, infused with elements of folk, country, bluegrass and more.
Lyrically, there’s an emphasis on the positive, the impetus to seize the
day and move ahead on what’s right — for oneself, one’s loved ones,
one’s planet. As on “It’s Time,” a featured track on the couple’s
MySpace and other Web presences, a song encouraging listeners to a
greater environmental consciousness."
Festivals & Concert Series
Avalon Folk Festival, Paw Paw, WV
Bethlehem Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA
Country Roads Folk Festival, Kearneysville,
Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
Orioles Park, Camden Yards,
Philadelphia Folk Festival, Philadelphia, PA
Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO
Rocky Gap Folk Festival, NC
Shenandoah Folk Series
Susquehanna Music and Arts Festival,
Takoma Park Folk Festival, Takoma Park, MD
Third Thursday Coffeehouse Series,
Mofolk, BlackRock Center, Germantown, MD
Tribute to John Denver Shows, Nationwide & Wheeler Opera House, Aspen, CO
Uptown Concerts, Baltimore &
UWashington Folklore Society's Folk
Festival & Coffeehouses
Winter Folk Festival, Florence, OR
World's Fair, Knoxville, TN