Mackenzie Roark started her musical pursuits at an early age when she was forced by her parents to play the acoustic guitar and sing in her middle school praise band at church. While the rickety stage in the Jesus mural youth room was worlds away from the type of stage she dreamed of one day occupying, she learned the basics of playing and singing simultaneously, as well as how to pray away the stage freight.
Fast forward fifteen or so years, and Mackenzie has played stages all along the east coast. From Charleston to Asheville to New York City, this Richmond, Virginia-based musician has played just about every type of gig. Over the years, she's dialed in her craft by way of hundreds of performances in bars, restaurants, and breweries, as well as festivals and major venues.
Mackenzie released her first body of work in 2016 with her first five-song EP, Mother Tongue, produced by the wonderful and generous Mark Bryan at his home studio in Charleston, South Carolina. She then went on to form a Richmond-based country band, Pistol Sister, with which she performed her original material and released a single, "Cigarettes and TV Dinners" in 2019. When Pistol Sister disbanded due to the pandemic in 2020, Mackenzie took some time to figure out her next move and focus on other creative pursuits.
In 2021, Mackenzie was asked to join Vocal Rest Records, a local collective of like-minded friends and musicians in the Richmond music scene. Because of the amazing support and encouragement that has come from being a part of this community, Mackenzie decided to release her first full-length album in 2022. Rollin High' Feelin' Low was recorded at VKG Recording in Richmond with Allen Bergendahl, and was produced by Vocal Rest founder, the one and only Trey Burnart Hall.
The list of musical projects and recordings that Mackenzie has been involved with over the years is vast and constantly evolving. While she plans to continue playing music in Richmond, both solo and with her full outfit, she hopes to venture towards many new frontiers in 2023.
Stream Mackenzie Roark's latest release, Rollin' High, Feelin' Low.