Biography of Mark Dignam
Born in Ireland, Mark Dignam grew up in the adventurous North Side Dublin suburb of Finglas. His father was a truck driver, his mother sang while she worked taking care of her family, filling Mark's childhood home with song. At an early age, Mark discovered a precocious talent for self-expression. His first appearance on a school hall stage was at only eleven years old.
A noticeable vocal talent sparked big dreams and convinced him to leave Finglas as soon the law allowed, finding a very cheap (that is to say, unheated) apartment in an old Georgian tenement in the center of Dublin, at the tender age of 18. Mark made his rent money busking on the city streets for pocket change and exposure, along with his friends, future Oscar-winner Glen Hansard (The Frames, Once), Mic Christopher (The Mary Janes), and Kila (Irish Traditional super-group), among others. They quickly became the darlings of Grafton Street, a well-known center of Dublin busking, counting among their audience such luminaries as The Waterboys, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor.
Mark struck out on his own in the '90s, releasing the acclaimed Poetry and Songs From the Wheel in 1995. The album, named a top Ten Best Debut of 1995 by Ireland's Hot Press Magazine, cementing Mark's reputation as a powerful voice on the singer-songwriter circuit.
He's continued to release records, from 1997's In a Time of Overstatement, a stark collection of spiritual and political musings, to 2005's Box Heart Man, chosen as one of WYEP Pittsburgh's top picks for 2005. Mark has been invited to open for, or tour with: The Swell Season, David Gray, Billy Bragg, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, Mike Nichols (of The Alarm) and many others...
Today, when he isn't touring with his band, The House of Song, or at home with his family, Mark is in the studio preparing his long-awaited follow up to Box Heart Man, entitled Monumental Way at Treelady Studios in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife Brye and two beautiful children.