How it all started...
At the early age of four, Mark discovered his passion for country music on stage at a local county fair in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Along side Mark was his mentor and inspiration, father, Max Lee. Mark has come a long way since his days of singing "Rhinestone Cowboy".
Name: Mark Huhta, a.k.a. Hooda
Born: September 14th
Hometown: Ironwood, MI
Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, bordering the Northwood's town of Hurley, Wisconsin.
Family: Mark is blessed with an amazing family, Father Max Lee; Mother Kathy; and Sisters Carol and Missy. Max Lee has been playing guitar professionally for over 50 years. He has graced the stage with legends such as Dave Dudley, Sonny James, and Del Shannon to name a few. Before long, Max Lee's musical talents rubbed off on Mark, who also plays guitar, dobro, and mandolin.
High School: In addition to singing at an early age, Mark had many other passions. One day, to his mother's surprise, he came home and told her he was going to play goalie for the hockey team. As always, she supported his decision. He developed into an excellent goaltender and set a state record with 86 saves in a regional High School game in Michigan. At L.L. Wright High School Mark's coaches and teammates expressed their respect for his leadership abilities by selecting Mark as Captain of the Hockey Team, a title not worn by many goaltenders. Mark was also a stand out QB for the Football Team and fleet foot on the track team. For his achievements and work ethic, Mark was awarded the Most Dedicated Athlete Award. His commitment to success showed in the classroom as well. He graduated third in his class and was awarded the Scholar Athlete Award.
College: Mark graduated with honors from Michigan Tech University with a degree in Economics/Finance and Accounting. After graduation, Mark worked as a financial planner in Chicago and central Wisconsin before being selected to Officer Training School for the United States Air Force.
Military Service/Air Force: After four months of intense training at Officer Training School, Mark graduated in the top of his class and was selected as a Distinguished Graduate. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in January of 1996. Lt. Huhta was first assigned to Hurlburt Field in Fort Walton Beach, FL, where he worked as a Contracting Officer for the Air Force Special Operations Command. He was then selected to teach Air Force ROTC at his alma mater, Michigan Tech. At MTU, Mark was a Professor of Aerospace Studies, an Education Officer, and Recruiting Officer. He received top ratings from Air Force ROTC during Operational Inspections while at Michigan Tech. During the time serving his country, Mark achieved the rank of Captain.
The Move to Music City in January of 2001: Giving up a very successful Air Force career to chase a dream would be hard for most to do, but not for Hooda... Backed with a strong business mind, Mark formed Northwood Music, LLC, along with friend and business partner, Dan Corullo. The company formed in February of 2003 and Mark was soon off to the studio to start recording his debut CD 'HOODA'. In the producers chair was Denny Hemingson, a member of Tim McGraw's band, The Dancehall Doctors. Denny was instrumental in putting 'Hooda' together. He brought in great musicians, angelic background singers, and added his expertise not only as producer but also played both steel guitar and guitar on the album. 'Hooda' not only showcases Mark the singer, but also, Mark the songwriter, while writing seven of the eleven tracks on the CD.
Musical Talents: Singer/songwriter & musician; playing guitar, dobro, and mandolin.
Musical Influences: Max Lee Huhta, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Jerry Douglas, Allison Krause, Chet Atkins, and James Taylor.
Other Hobbies: When Hooda has some free time away from his increasingly busy music career, he is most likely to be found playing golf, fly-fishing, working out, running, or playing hockey.
Check out the artist's website:
1. That Ain't Me
2. One More Beer, I'm Outta Here
3. 2 Comma Girl
4. Good Ol' USA
5. As Long As We Meet In Heaven
7. Day After Day
8. Didn't Want to Love Again
9. Speak of the Angel
10. Hold Me
11. Guitars & Guns