Mark, the “Tempted Souls Band” founder, has a passion for the blues and has been playing guitar since age seven. He is a trained jazz/blues guitarist who studied under the nationally known instructor, Mr. Mel Bay for several years in St. Louis, Missouri. The “apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” as both of Mark’s parents were professional musicians at some time in their life. While Mark is a seasoned guitarist, he also plays banjo, mandolin, and trombone. Mark counts BB King, Ronnie Earl, and Dickey Betts among the most influential musicians in his study.
Amy McFarland – Vocals
With a vocal range that can cover the blues, jazz, and the classics, Amy McFarland delivers the voice of the Tempted Souls. Twice nominated for a Cammy Award as “Best Vocalist”, Amy has been singing in front of a crowd for as long as she can remember. Over the years, Amy has sang and recorded with several rock, blues, and jazz bands throughout the Midwest. You’ll love her soulful voice and passion for singing that shines through in each performance with the Tempted Souls.
Musical inspiration runs deep in his family roots. His grandmother was a singer-songwriter in the 1920’s and his father played piano, guitar and drums. The musical genes were passed on and he has played in several bands ranging from classic and contemporary rock to rhythm and blues. He counts Steve Gadd (Steely Dan), Danny Seraphine (Chicago), and Buddy Rich as drummers that influenced his early playing days. “Staying up to watch Buddy Rich drum on the Tonight Show was always a thrill for me as a kid growing up in Chicago.” Playing with the Tempted Souls provides that thrill for him now.
Christopher Bentley – Keyboard & Vocals
“Eclectic” best describes Chris’ musical influences. While largely self-taught on piano, guitar and percussion, he also studied at Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of music. Over the years, Chris has worked in a wide variety of musical genres, but has long been particularly drawn to R&B, blues, folk and gospel styles. Be careful if you ask about his most formative artists, though; the answer may take a while. The list is as long as it is diverse. However, if pressed, Chris would have to put Gregg Rolie, Leon Russell, Dr. John, Greg Allman, Chuck Leavell, Arthur Rubinstein, George Gershwin and Keith Green as his favorite keyboard players.
Russell “Russ Dawg” Griffith hails from Southern Indiana and rhythm and groove are as natural as breathing to him. Russell has been playing bass for 20 years and came up cutting his teeth on “Outlaw Country” and “Southern Rock”. His role in Tempted Souls allows him not only to return to his first love of playing the blues but also to return to his native Cincinnati. Russell counts Albert King, Robert Cray and Lonnie Mack as some of his biggest influences and his bass heroes are James Jamerson, Duck Dunn, Tim Drummond (James Brown), Richards Cousins (Robert Cray) and Johnny B. Gayden (Albert Collins).