Mark Diedrich

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Mark Diedrich is a native of Minnesota, having lived most of his 40-something years in the Rochester area. His mother was a great piano player and lover of singing show tunes, surrounding Mark Diedrich…
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Mark Diedrich is a native of Minnesota, having lived most of his 40-something years in the Rochester area. His mother was a great piano player and lover of singing show tunes, surrounding Mark Diedrich with music continually. She is the one that showed him the path by signing him up to play drums in the fourth grade. He played drums with his first band in the '60s, the Nightmares. He started to have an interest in the guitar around this time, he felt that he would like to try his hand at writing songs and the guitar would give him a new medium. He wrote his first compositions when he was 14 years old. During his high school years, he resided in St Paul, MN, where he played guitar and sang with a number of rock-based bands. Mark Diedrich went on to study art at the University of Minnesota. This is the period when he formed his most enduring working band, Coyote, and it's subsequent incarnation, Going to the Sun. The band performed throughout the state of Minnesota and western Wisconsin between 1970 and when they disbanded in 1973. During these years, Mark Diedrich worked hard at honing his songwriting abilities, focusing on writing memorable and enduring melodies and lyrics. His musical interests were strongly influenced by bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. He feels that these influences led him beyond rock to a stronger roots folk, country, and bluegrass style. He focused his lyrical writings on content that ranged from love and relationships to tales of the Civil War and Native American Indians. His early efforts to reach record labels with his demos were to no avail.

Unfortunately, through the overuse of his voice, his throat was severely damaged and did not recover fully until years later. Unable to perform because of his throat, Mark Diedrich turned to writing Christian music in 1973. With the aid of other musicians, he recorded a collection of dynamic spiritual songs. His intention to press records was abandoned when he moved to Chicago for a time with his young family. As his throat improved, he continued to write songs and made a dozen home recordings, which he made available to friends on cassettes. He found a career niche of writing history of Native American Indians and publishing his work under the name, Coyote Books. In the '80s, he performed in restaurants and bars doing solo engagements and in a duo, Diedrich Brothers, with his brother Paul Diedrich. In the mid-'90s, with a resurgence of coffeehouse venues in southeastern Minnesota, Mark Diedrich began performing as a solo act on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Having over 200 songs in his repertoire, he easily performed all original material and interpretations of songs from favorite artists like Neil Young.

In early 2000, Mark Diedrich joined forces with an IBM engineer and musician, Jim Cardinal, who owned a recording studio in Rochester, MN. Together they produced Mark Diedrich's ten-track album, Something Tells Me. All of the songs on the album were original songs, with the exception of Mark Diedrich's interpretation of Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways." The album has been described as an eclectic and exciting mix of folk, country, and rock, which certainly takes it's rightful place in contemporary Americana.