WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Creekside Cafe, 3380 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane
WHEN: 10 p.m. Saturday
INFO: 304-562-2494CHARLESTON, W.Va. --Mark Bates was in Nashville when he realized that he might have made a mistake.
About five years ago, the 24-year-old Hurricane native moved to Music City, U.S.A., with the usual big dreams and aspirations about music. He said he'd gone to Nashville with clarity of purpose about what he wanted to do, but things didn't go quite as expected.
In 2006, Bates graduated from Winnfield High School and spent a semester at Marshall University on a jazz trumpet scholarship before deciding what he really wanted was to learn to play guitar and write songs.
"I realized I wasn't going to get anywhere at Marshall doing that," said the current L.A. resident, who performs Saturday at Hurricane's Creekside Café in support of his new record, "Night Songs."
So he dropped out.
"I didn't drop out because of any academic thing," he added. "I've always enjoyed learning. I could just tell I wasn't going to get anywhere there, but I wasn't really prepared to play music for a living."
Instead, Bates holed up in an apartment in Sissonville, where he knew no one, and spent some time listening to music, taking apart what he heard and teaching himself songwriting, along with piano.
"I got a piano bar gig and just kind of jumped into things obsessively," he said, referring to Dak-a-Reez (now the Whiskey River Pub) on Kanawha Boulevard.
Everything seemed to be falling into place so after a little more than a year in Sissonville, Bates decided to strike out for Nashville.
That's where he kind of crashed.