Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Singin' on Memory Lane

A few weeks ago, I thought with horror that I might have lost many of the songs I did many years ago.  I had them on a hard drive in a USB shell, and the hard drive went kaput.  Well, today I found that many of them were also backed up on some CD-Rom's as mp3's. 


So, I've been listening to them.

A lot of people that have found me in recent years might think that "One United Generation" was my debut.  In many ways, it was.  It was my first attempt at recordings of a more serious quality.  But for many years before that, I had been writing, recording and developing my craft.  I've got some 30-40 songs recorded (really only demo quality) that make up the time before "Generation".  That includes the tunes I cut for that first cassette, released in 1993, called "A Joyful Noise". 

It sure is fun to listen back to all those tunes and go down memory lane.  Sometimes I think I should release those old recordings.  Then I listen to them again and hear how horrible the singing was back then, and I realize that'll never happen!  :-)

I was just talking with my friend, though, and thought it would be cool to make a "Best of" CD and re-do some of those old tunes.  Or maybe I'll do one as a "Vintage Track" on each CD from here on out.  Who knows?

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: A New Friend Does Dutch Oven Breakfast, Reciprocating Content, Seven Years of Mo' Boy!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Listen and download the song, free, here!

In Alma, Chapter 14, it tells the story of Alma and Amulek witnessing the burning of the scriptures and the believers in a horrific place of martyrdom. At one point, Amulek suggests they use the power of God to stop the carnage, and Alma says that the Spirit of God is holding him back, saying that they're being welcomed up unto God in Glory. That thought always stuck with me. From our point of view, here on earth, these scenes of humans mistreating and murdering other humans is terrifying and saddening. From God's perspective, he's welcoming them home, knowing that they held firm to their beliefs.

So, I wanted to write a song about the martyrs, but more from that perspective. I'm imagining that I'm one of the angels called up into the choir to welcome them back. I'm going for a "Anthem" sort of feel here.

By Mark Hansen

The fires rise high on a moonless night
Marked by shouts and cries of fright
The scriptures burning up in ash and smoke

As they throw the scared believers in
Two men think to stop the din
But a still voice whispers, "No", to let them go

They've stood up to the last
Their sorrows now have past
Their souls are rising fast
And I'll join with the choirs and sing
And sing the martyrs home

It's just about 4:00 when the men ride in
The time for the truce is at an end
In the blacksmith's shop the settlers make their stand

The riders surround and open fire
And in the end, when they retire
The blood of eighteen souls is on their hands

Who stood up to the last
Whose sorrows now have past
Their souls are rising fast
And I'll join with the choirs and sing
And sing the martyrs home

In an Illinois Jail, four men wait
For the end of the story brought by fate
One man sings a hymn in the evening sun

A shouting mob rushes up the stairs
Bullets fly and bullets tear
And a prophet and his brother's lives are done

And they've stood up to the last
Their sorrows now have past
Their souls are rising fast
And I'll join with the choirs and sing
And sing the martyrs home

Drums: Jason Jones
Lead Guitar: Bill Dent
Fiddle: Ruth Hollander

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: META keywords and SEO, Part of the Crowd, Dutch Oven Dinner in a Pumpkin

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prepping and Mixing Martyrs

The other day I was telling my colleague about "Martyrs" and he asked what it was like. From the back of my head, I pulled what I think is one of the best musical elevator speeches I've come up with to date... I said, "It's like Guns and Roses meets The Who with a fiddle player!"

Anyway, I've spent the last couple of days pouring over the tracks. Compositing the vocals, locking in the drum mix, tuning up the fiddle. It's getting tight! Tonight Bill's coming over to cut the lead guitar (among other things) and then it'll be as good as done! Final mix time!

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Songs

You want music that rocks? You want a sound you can move to, that'll move you back? You want powerful drums and a driving guitar? You want words that'll make you feel and make you think?

Best of all: Do you want it FREE, legal, and with a clear concience?

That's right. Click on a song title. You can download it, listen to it, burn it, share it, freely and legally, thanks to the Creative Commons license. For more information, check below.

Find Out!

When you download these free songs, please help me out by filling out the form to the right and joining my mailing list. I'll be able to tell you when new songs, CD's, and other stuff come out, as well as when I'm performing!

To listen to or download any of the songs, use the widget at the right. To read the lyrics and the comments, click on the title below.

From the upcoming CD, "The Third Time"

  • Long Long Time - A big, bluesy sound about the prodigal son
  • The Chapel - Sweet and mellow...  An acoustic ballad.  Hey, they can't all be heavy!
  • The Spin - An apolitical romp.  A tribute to every 70's and 80's rock cliche!
  • The Third Time - A driving rocker! Keep your eyes open, there are people that need to be rescued!
  • Shine the Light - "Shine the Light, Set the Captive Free" The rock mix. This one is a rock/rap hybrid done with LDS Rapper Ahrythmatik!

From the CD, "Lost and Found"

From the CD, "One United Generation"

All of the songs here on are covered under the Creative Commons License. That means that you can download them and listen to them for free. You can share them and distribute them, if you do it for free and you give Mark credit. You can perform them yourself. You can remix them or create other derivative works, as long as you also share those works under the CC license. What you can't do is resell these songs or use them for other commercial purposes without contacting Mark first.

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Singing, singing all the way

So, last night, Jodi was out of town at a conference, and the boys were both downstairs. Jacob had a friend sleeping over, and all three of them were playing video games. What does that mean for Mark upstairs? Free time with quiet? What does that mean?


So, I did the keeper vocals on Martyrs. I don't know if I've shared my process for creating lead vocals with you. I set up ten empty tracks, and set each one up with reverb, etc, so I can hear myself well.

Then I cut the song straight through ten times, once on each track. At that point I'm usually done for the session. My mind is usually pretty fried on the song.

So, a day or so later, I'll start listening to the vocal tracks. I slice each track up into lyrical phrases, and listen to each phrase on each track, one at a time. I'll pick the best cut of each phrase. Which one has the best intonation, the strongest tone, the best expression and inflection. Then, I "comp" (composite) together a single track from the best of all ten.

I cold use the excuse that it's all because I'm really not that good of a singer. But even the real singers in the big leagues do it. It's just a way of making sure that your vocal like, which is the focal point of the song, is the best it can be.

I also had some intonation problems, which I thought were initially in the fiddle, but I think I've traced them to the original dulcimer track. So, I re-recorded it. I used a better mic placement this time, and use a really thin pick, so it has a much more chimey-sparkly sound now. I'm really pleased with it!

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: The Word of God,

Friday, October 09, 2009

Martyrs is Coming Together!

I'm so excited!

Late last night, I had the chance to tweak the drums on Martyrs. Jason, the drummer (and a great recordist in his own right), had sent me all of the drum tracks, all separated out. That means that the kick drum was on its own track, the snare, the toms, etc... Each on its own track. That way, you can do a lot of tweaking and adjusting of the individual sounds, as you assemble it all back together into the whole.

So, that's what I did.

And then, I'm hoping that tonight I'll have a chance to cut the keeper lead vocals. Jodi's out of town, at a conference, and the boys will be downstairs having a sleepover.

Tomorrow afternoon, Bill's coming over, and he'll cut some lead gutar. At that point, everything required will be recorded, and all that's left is the mixing process. That could take as much as another week or two. And then it's done! I'm hoping it'll be out by the end of the month!

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Firesides and Activities

Strong Youth, Strong Music

This program is an exciting and energetic concert program of music and lights, with the messages of the songs and stories being drawn directly from the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet. Hear how strong music, with a strong message can help LDS youth hold to strong standards!

Typically for a gathering of LDS youth in a church cultural hall, Mark brings a sound system and sings his original songs with pre-recorded backing tracks. Even though this gives the experience an exciting "rock concert" feeling, it still carries the powerful messages of the songs. The lyrics are shared with each person in the audience, and each one gets an invitation to download complete songs for free. Typically, this kind of performance is done without cost to the youth group.

Bearing Testimony

As a young person in the church, this is a critical time of discovery and of learning. This is where the seeds of testimony are sown, and where the belief grows stronger and stronger. Mark has written a number of songs that relate to getting, strengthening, and bearing your testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

This program is more calm and reserved. Mark brings his acoustic guitar, and, if necessary, a sound system, and sings the songs and tells the stories that bear his testimony. This experience is more appropriate for smaller groups, and settings of a more spiritual nature. 

How to schedule a Fireside or other event.

First, download the summaries and lyrics (in MSWord and pdf formats), and look them over. Present them to your group or priesthood leaders for approval. Though there's nothing in them that is contrary to the teachings of the church, it's always good to check.

Then, contact us using the form below. We'll get back with you and schedule the date and time of your youth conference, fireside, or activity.

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The CD's!

Note: All of Mark's CD's are unconditionally guaranteed. If you buy one, and it doesn't play, doesn't look good, or even if you just don't like it, email us and we'll happily refund your purchase price, wherever you bought it. Note: Don't try to return it to the store where you bought it. Contact us here.

Lost and Found

Lost and Found is an intense and driving rock through two parts of life. Sometimes you feel like you're in tune, you feel right with God and the universe, you got it happenin'. Other times, you feel like you're out there on your own, lost, and apart.

This newest CD carries on the hard classic rock tradition of "One United Generation", but turns it all up a notch. Driving rockers like "Dance with the Devil" and "Play the Cards" bring the Gospel message with some punch, while ballads like "I Will Sing this Prayer" are thought-provoking and inspiring. The gospel choir of "How Beautiful" brings it all to a close. This is a CD that people will be talking about for years to come. Get it now and "Turn it Up"!

Own it for only $11.00 + $2.00 Shipping & Handling (NOTE: International customers may need to pay as much as $10 additional shipping upon notification via e-mail)

1. Turn it Up Matt - 19:16-21
2. Dance With the Devil - 2 Nephi 28:21-22
3. Today and Yesterday - Isaiah 1:18
4. I Will Sing This Prayer - D&C 25:12
5. Play the Cards - Matt 25:14-23
6. Where’s My Soul - 1 Nephi 8:23
7. Torocagua - Eph 2:12
8. Two Houses - Matt 10:35
9. The Things I Do - 2 Nephi 4:17-19
10. Rejoice - 2 Nephi 2:25
11. How Beautiful - Isaiah 52:7

One United Generation

No doubt about it, Mark's first CD "One United Generation" rocks, and rocks hard. But it's also got a bit of a softer edge, too. There's something for everyone here, with lyrics that don't hold back!

Read what's being said about it:

“I'm head-bangin’ to "Millstones" right now. Other tunes of special note: "He's out there" is kind of an endearing reassurance tune. "First Step" is light and folky, which works for a baptism song. Nice break from the energy of most of the rest of the album. "Pharisee" is a great tune, very catchy, ironic, really good production and heavy message! And the finally the title tune at the end is a powerful finale.

“There's a great variety, but there's a rock power that really should get noticed. This is not Peter Brienholt's LDS music, or JKPerry's. This is much grittier and edgier that almost anything else out there, but the message is strong and good.

“Wake up, teen mormondom, this is your music!” -Marco Davis, of Pearl Award Winning group Fiddlesticks

"From classic Hansen tracks like He's Out There and Thank You, to my industrial longtime favorite Pharisee, to my new favorite The Taker, Mark has filled this album with distortion and drums that always amplify the gospel message without distracting from it. Honest and heartfelt, in a style all his own, One United Generation is a testimony from Mark that we can make this happen. Congratulations on a job well done! -Kent (Fast Sundae)

Own it for only $11.00 + $2.00 Shipping & Handling (NOTE: International customers may need to pay as much as $10 additional shipping upon notification via e-mail)

Check out the songs:

* Here in Me 
* He's Out There
* The Taker
* Thank You
* Toy Soldiers
* What'll Save Ya
* Millstones
* The First Step
* Out of the Chapel
* Pharisee
* One United Generation

Own it for only $11.00 + $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Now here's a Special Deal:

Get both CD's and rock yourself silly! Only $18.00 + $3.00 Shipping & Handling. A savings of $5.00 over buying them separately! It just doesn't get better than that, now, does it!? (NOTE: International customers may need to pay as much as $10 additional shipping upon notification via e-mail)

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.


At the heart of any musician's work is the people that like it. This is especially true of an LDS musician. The feedback an artist gets often helps drive the creativity and the new art. Read some of the messages below! Read and post some comments below, too!

Some comments:

"I listened to most of your songs and they are great. I could identify with several of them. On first blush, I would have to say that my favorites were "Toy Soldiers" - I could just see you there with some die cast character wreaking havoc; "Where's My Soul' - Made me contemplate where my heart/treasure is; "Torocagua" - Made me reminisce about the places and people that changed me on my mission; and "Dance With the Devil" - Made me thing about the way I skirt around certain things at times ... not really bad but no all that good either. "Two Houses" was kind of cool too ..."

--Lowell D.

"I have always believed that music (all music) is spiritual & can be an instrument for good & evil. Mark's music is a great example of using this gift for good. I come from a background of heavy metal bands & the rock & roll lifestyle & I have a deep appreciation for the power of music. Today I seek to promote the truth & teach eternal principles with the gift I have been given. I really enjoy Marks music & his desire to help our youth discover that you can rock without quenching the Spirit."

-John Hofman (

"One musician I have been fortunate enough to meet did not come out of anyone's cookie cutter. Mark Hansen loves rock music and ballads and he does both well. He has the talent to celebrate the Gospel in his music, finding a topic that needs a song and then writing something that fits his musical style so very well.

"Likewise is Mark's gift to memorialize an event and help the listener feel the event; a talent that truly shined following one school shoot-out about which he wrote a tribute that left the listener feeling as if they had been there and had felt the pain of the day personally. Mark must have read C.S. Lewis' instructions to not describe something so a reader can see it but so well that they feel it. He gives the listener some of the freshest views of either gospel topics or current events of any artist I know. You are left thinking to yourself, “I never looked at it that way!”

"Mark has cut one album, and he also has new material at his website for downloading. Visit him and discover that some great celebratory truths (like making a '”joyful noise”) need the extra power and energy Mark gives them."

-Bruce T Forbes, in a Meridian Magazine article

"I just feel like I have to say something- my brothers and I are in a band and love to rock out, but we couldn't really find the direction we wanted to take our music until my brother heard about you and we got a cd. Your music has changed my life, and now I can't stop listening to it!”

-A Larsen

“Man I got to tell ya. I have played Hard rock, Punk Rock, Metal, But your stuff leaves me with out words... After coming back into the church my life has changed a lot. I just never thought I would hear some thing in LDS rock that I would like.

” Keep it up! Love the sound!”

-- Rod - "idahobassplayer".

"Hey, sorry 2 bother u again. But Bro i'm diggin in ur new jams. I'm lovin 'Where's My Soul'. I just downloaded them. Holy crap, they r kickin. Anyhoo, I'll chat with u laterz. Have a good day. Peace!"

- John - "downman720051", off a text message chat

"Mark, I got your CD today. I am brought to tears at the toy soldier song. That is the one I want to focus on. Especially now that the whole Iraq thing is going on, and frankly, I don't see us being out of war ever again, so this is an instant classic to me. Thanks again for that."

--Anson S.

"I often wonder if it's even possible for an artist to ever know their impact. I wish you could hear the excitement/appreciation in the voices of so many people I have told about your music. It always starts the same way...

"'I wish there was something out there that had good lyrics but to the kind of
music I like.'

"I always talk about the variety on LDSmusicians and they say, 'No I mean rock music'. It has been so fun to refer them to your site."


"Mark, no one could have connected with that group of kids like you did. Your message of hope, rising above the challenges life gives you, and optimism in the face of this world's pessimism was eaten up by them. What a wonderful and appropriate message."

--Brad Thompson

"(Pharisee is) In a word... Awesome... and cool! --In two words... awesome and cool... and creative! --In three words... awesome and cool and creative and infectious! --Great job, Mark. Sounds fantastic!"

-Eric Endres

"I was skeptical when I first saw the link to "LDS Rock Music" because I had always thought that what I had seen on some 'religious' programs was very sacrilegious ('Jesus Christ is in the house' set to a rap tune). So with that fear, I downloaded the three songs that you have available, and was very pleasantly surprised. They are interesting tunes, and songs that teach gospel standards without trying to be hymns...Thanks for your time and thanks for sharing your talents to help out the youth of the Church who so easily are beset by struggles."

-Braden E.

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: A Personal Response to General Conference, Healthy Dutch Oven Recipes

Monday, October 05, 2009

Family Recording Sessions!

This was an interesting weekend in my blogger world. I did a lot to blog about, and I'm still sorta mulling it over. I did a lot of dutch oven cooking, it was a big weekend for me as a Mormon, and I did some recording.

The recording was especially exciting for me. My family is very musical. My mom played the Upright Bass in symphonies much of her adult life, and taught me the piano as a child. My Dad has a rich voice that can cover everything from bass to tenor. He also plays piano fairly well. My sister is a violinist. She began playing orchestral music, much as I did, and gradually developed a deep appreciation for folk music, and now plays a lot of fiddle, in many different styles.

So, when I started working on "Martyrs", and came up with the idea of putting in the Dulcimer, it also struck me that some fiddle would sound good, too. From there, I thought instantly that I would get Ruth to cut the fiddle parts for me. A few phone calls, and she said she'd be willing to try. The idea is that the song commemorates the martyrs of the early church, on the Missouri/Illinois frontier. Even though it's a driving rock tune (in my mind reminiscent of The Who and Guns and Roses), I wanted some of the frontier flavor. Hence, the dulcimer and the fiddle.

I was, honestly, a bit nervous about it. I wasn't sure how to describe what I wanted. And she's also definitely NOT a rocker like I am. How would the sounds blend? Would it work out?

Well, this weekend, she and her husband came over, and she gave it a try. Actually she did more than that. She nailed it solid. It was just what I was hearing in my head, and it's fantastic!

And, the fact that my sister is the one cutting the tracks makes it that much more special to me. It brings it to my own family. The last time I had a chance to feel like this was when my dad cut some of the choir tracks for "How Beautiful". So much of my music is done all on my own. It's nice to make it a family affair.

Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including Mark's Black Pot and his MoBoy blog.

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