Mark is a member of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers), and is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in the Grammy awards every year.
The road can be a mystical place... full of adventure, inspiration and discovery. Over the course of his career Mark has performed at hundreds of concerts, motorcycle rallies and festivals, here are just a few:
Naperville, Illinois Rib and Music Festival
Tops Great American Rib Festival
Akron Rib & Music Fest
Sioux Falls Argus Leader Rib Festival
Southern Rock Thunder Concert at Laidley Football Stadium
Daytona Bike Week
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally & Races
Bean Blossom Boogie
Abate of Ohio June Jam
Abate of Pennsylvania State Rally
Abate of Iowa State Rally
Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally
Myrtle Beach Bike Week Fall Rally
Yamaha Star Days Rally
Columbus Georgia Pig Jig
Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally
Thunder at Cooper's Lake Motorcycle Rally
Bear Creek Biker Bash
Dothan Alabama Bike Fest
Roar to the Shore
Laconia Motorcyle Rally
Custer Cruisin' Classic
Porstmouth River Days Festival
100th Anniversary of Harley Davidson Celebration
Arnold's Park Victory Festival
Three River Rib & Music Festival
Taste of Chicago Food Festival
Niagra Thunder Motorcycle Rally
Six Flags Harleyfest
Twin Cities Rib and Music Festival
American Motorcycle Jamboree
Easyriders Magazine Indoor Bike Show Tour
Easyriders Magazine Motorcycle Rodeo Tour
Full Throttle Magazine Roadhouse Tour
Hell's Angels MC Christmas Party
Blossburg Coal Festival
and too many more to list!
Mark's band Cottonmouth was his proudest achievement, pretty much attaining all of its goals and taking it as far as it could go. The band was named after the Southern poisonous snake and proved to be an equally vicious contender on the concert stage.
The band was voted "Best Biker Band in America" by the writers and editors of Easyriders and Biker Magazines in the early 2000's, with the band headlining all of the major motorcyle rallies coast to coast. The band participated in live television broadcasts and live concert broadcasts on Sirius XM radio.
The band garnered much national support from veteran's groups across the country, particularly Rolling Thunder chapters who embraced the Francis-penned song "Legacy". The song is about a father speaking to his young son about his troubles and PTSD due to the Vietnam war. A "John Mellancamp meets Skynyrd" type of song, its heart-felt lyrics touched many veterans all across the country, who would come out and support the band. Whenever the song was played, those that could, all stood for the entire duration. National Rolling Thunder groups wrote about the song in their publications and actually petitioned the U.S. government to have the lyrics to the song bronzed and mounted at the Wall in D.C. Unfortunately, the government turned down the requests, but Mark was still quite blown away and touched that the song meant so much to so many people.
He says "I really dont know how or why I wrote the song, but it only took me literally about 5 minutes from start to finish. The lyrics, melody and chord progession just flowed out of me. I have no idea where it came from". He recalled on many occasions being approached after shows by crippled and injured Vietnam veterans who came specifically to the show to meet Mark and tell him how much the song meant to them. Some were from Desert Storm or Iraq and just wanted to show appreciation for the song and for what it meant to those older vets who were in Vietnam and experienced life changing events there.
He recalls "Some of these guys were in wheelchairs, or were crippled in some other capacities, some still having psychological and emotional issues, and it was heartwarming and humbling to me that I song I wrote could mean so much to them. Some would say to me "That's exactly what I want to say to my son" or that "I wish I could say that to my family so they would understand why I am the way I am" and it was just overwhelming. We'd all be in tears".
Mark and the band always brought out a POW/MIA flag in the middle of the show and said a few words in tribute to all of the men and women who have served or are serving, long before it became fashionable by other bands later in the 2000's. Mark still runs into people who remember the band and the shows and he's grateful for the support from music fans, concert promoters, radio stations, music publications, veteran's groups, motorcycle clubs, and sound, light & stage production crews for its success during the band's duration.