Lauded as one of the finest bass guitarists ever to come from
Dalton started on guitar at age 8, taking lessons from Mr.
Cumpston (formerly with Bob Crosby & The Bobcats) in a downtown
Lincoln, NE music store.
He starts jamming with Danny Eikleberry (Modds) and Barry
Hanson (J. Harrison B.) at age 14 – transforming his acoustic
guitar into a “bass”. At 15, he joins his first band – The Starfires
(1962-63) – on guitar & vocals. They play local gigs in Lincoln,
including Proms & Nine-Hi Teen Dances at Antelope Pavilion,
performing covers of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and
instrumental hits of the day.
From late 1963 through 1966, Dalton plays in a number of local
Lincoln bands, including The Exploits (1963-64), The Impacts
(1964), The Vogues (1964-65); Scottie’s Shadows (1965), The
Jacks (1965-66) & The Benders (1966). These bands included
many fine Lincoln musicians that would go onto regional fame in other
groups. These groups played a variety of covers including Frat Rock,
Surf, & Merseybeat. By 1965, Dalton’s tastes started moving
toward “blues” and “RB” and a harder edge to traditional covers.
They had expanded their base from local performances to
out-of-town gigs at “Sandy’s Escape” in Omaha and 3.2% Beer lounges in nearby Kansas.
By 1967, Dalton’s taste in music had drifted to “psychedelic
music” after spending some time in Chicago. A major turn in his
career came in 1967 with the formation of “The Antelope
Pavilion”. Formed initially to perform for a “psychedelic
happening” at Omaha’s Creighton University (“the Summer of Love”)
– the success of the performance led to a “Love-In” at Lincoln’s
Pioneer Park, attended by over 10,000 people. The band signed
with the widely known Mid-Continent Productions and “went off
to spread peace & love over the flatlands”.
By 1968 – Dalton moved back to his blues roots, forming The
Liberation Blues Band (1968-69). They played hard blues and
were known for their lengthy jams. They performed at early
FAC Parties at Der Loaf & Stein in Lincoln & were the first electric
band hired by The University of Nebraska to play an outside show
on the steps of The Sheldon Art Gallery. They frequently played
in Omaha’s Old Market, and in 1969 opened up for The Grateful
Dead at The Music Box.
A highlight of Dalton’s career came in 1968-69 while recording
with former Eccentrics, Rick Evans, Denny Zager & Dave Trupp.
They ventured to “west Texas” to record “In the Year 2525,
Exordium & Terminus”, released locally on Truth Records. It was a huge regional
hit in Lincoln and Omaha, selling around 14000 copies in Nebraska alone.
The single was noticed and picked up by RCA around a year after it was originally
recorded, and under “Zager & Evans” it sold millions of records worldwide reaching
#1 on Billboard and other trade magazines. An album, with Dalton on bass was
recorded in Chicago including “In the Year 2525”.
Before leaving Nebraska, Dalton performed in a country band,
The Farm Security Administration (1970) and Blackjack (1971-72).
Dalton arrived in Seattle, WA in 1973 working regularly in
“The Square” dominated with Blues Clubs.
During the 70’s & 80’s Dalton worked with G.R. Cerutti
Band & The Isaac Scott Blues Band (famous as Albert Collins’
The Scott band played at the 1978 San Francisco Blues Festival
some of which was released on Solid Smoke Records Live & later,
released an album in England. In the early 80’s Dalton joined
“The Slamhound Hunters” who released several LP’s, including
an album released in France on Sky Ranch Records. They
toured Europe in 1993.
Dalton was voted “Best Bass” by The Washington Blues Society
1992, along with playing on an album by Pat “Guitar Slim”
Chase – voted “Blues Album of The Year” He has performed at
major blues festivals throughout the Northwest & has performed
with such artists as Charlie Musslewhite, Eddie Taylor, Lazy Lester,
Hubert Sumlin, J. B. Hutto & Sugar Pie DeSantos. He has opened
for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Greg Allman,
John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, and even The Village People.
He continues to perform in the Seattle area and is in demand
for studio assignments ranging from rock to ragtime to blues.
Mark is currently playing with the Chris Stevens Band in the Seattle, WA area