Mark ThompsonI'm Mark Thompson.

I'm the owner of Thompson Music Rental, the guy you'll talk to on the phone, who will reply to your emails, and likely who you'll deal with in person at the time of your rental. 

I've been getting paid to play guitar since 1969, when I was 13, starting in Penfield, NY near Rochester, later in the Cleveland Suburb of Fairview Park and during college at Ohio State University where I majored in the Audio Recording program starting in 1976.  My first real guitar was a 1962 Fender Mustang, the second was a 1969 Gibson SG.  The amps I used back then were first a 1964 Fender Deluxe, next a 1956 tweed Bassman.  I didn't realize how good I had it, that's where my base for guitar tone began.  I played all through school, mostly album oriented rock and some top 40 music.

I went full time as a musician in 1978, playing clubs mostly.  I moved to Nashville in 1981. Thanks to the support of my wife Mello, a few years later I was playing guitar, singing harmony and bandleader for the Judds, then with Wynonna for a total of 12 years.  While with Wynonna I had the pleasure to be band mates with some well known and extraordinary musicians, including Willie Weeks (now with Eric Clapton), Eddie Bayers (Nashville studio legend) , Russ Kunkel (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and a few hundred other greats), Chad Cromwell  (Neil Young, Joe Walsh, Mark Knopfler, etc.), John Molo  (Bruce Hornsby, Grateful Dead), Brian Siewert (later to win Emmy awards), Jim Horn (almost every California saxophone and flute track, toured with zillions, including George Harrison and John Denver), Tim Lauer, Bob Bailey, Kim Fleming, Vicki Hampton, Chas Williams and others. We performed in most of the great concert venues (and some not so great), and on almost every television show that invited live music of the time. Fond memories and experiences.

I left the Wynonna position to join the staff band on a television show on The Nashville Network (TNN) called Prime Time Country.  Unfortunately the network went away a couple years after.  I've been guitarist for a bunch of other Nashville artists, including Jessica Andrews, Chely Wright, Billy Dean, Suzy Boggus, Tom Wopat, Billy Gilman, John Berry, Anita Cochran, Lisa Stewart and more.  Sorry if I left your name out.  While not a focus of my career, I've done some studio work, playing on two top ten singles and a bunch of stuff you'll never hear.

While I was on the road, I owned a cartage company (essentially roadies for studio musicians) with my friend Scott Davis in the mid 90s.  We had clients like Dann Huff, Brent Rowan, Tommy Simms, Eric Darkin and a bunch of other amazing musicians.  Since we had a truck and spent a lot of time going to studios it made sense to add instrument rentals.  I would check classifieds, visit pawn shops and music stores when I was traveling (this was before eBay), and started a nice collection.  After a few years, my partner Scott had an offer too good to refuse; he went on to be drum tech for Kenny Aronoff, then for Max Weinberg on the Springsteen tour.  We shut down the cartage company; I chose to keep the equipment and keep going with the instrument rental.  Scott has settled down in Indianapolis with his family, he works for the Indianapolis Colts football team.

Now I concentrate on Thompson Music Rental, Sweetbriar Recording Studio, and my three girls.  At the studio, I co produced two commercial releases with Anita Cochran.  The first was Tammy Cochran's "Where I Am" that was released on Shanachie Records.  More recently we produced Anita Cochran's "Serenity".  It can be found by clicking this sentence.  Good stuff if I do say so myself.  I still get to play guitar every now and then.

Check my clients page for some of the acts and organizations I've been privileged to supply backline and studio equipment and services for.  I've handled backline for the CMA music awards show and backline and back line technical work on the River Stages at "Fan Fair", (properly called the CMA Music Festival), for last five years, brought in by Soundcheck Nashville for those events. (I only said "backline" that many times to help Google find me).

I enjoy making musicians smile when they get backline that is way better than they are accustomed to seeing, and making an attempt to have what someone will call me to look for.  I was stumped last year when someone wanted to rent a Hurdy Gurdy, but I often fill the needs or wants of my clients.

I'm not telling whose fingers are on my right shoulder in the photo.

Click here to email me            Complete backline and studio instrument rental services.  Delivery and backline tech assistance available. 

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