Local musician making a name for himself

Markoski performing at the most recent Parish Rock Show

By Craig Brinkerhoff

Staff Writer

Captivating the audience, from both on stage and from in the studio, junior Alex Markoski has been performing for years.

Two weekends ago, the Parish Center for the Arts hosted this year’s first WTAC, or Westford Teen Arts Council Rock show.  The night’s headline act was The Cranks, a three-piece indie flavored band featuring twins from Dunstable and Westford Academy’s own Markoski.

Aside from being responsible for laying bass lines with The Cranks, Markoski is also a co-manager for the WTAC, who is responsible for these shows.

“This past rock show was a total hit, I think everyone enjoyed themselves,” said Markoski.

While managing these shows are a small passion for him, Markoski really shines on stage, whether holding down the rhythm on bass or writing riffs on the guitar. He has racked up a pretty impressive resumé: he has written 70 songs, played 170 gigs, performed at Boston’s Hard Rock Cafe, Patriot’s Place, Hampton Beach Half Shell, and the Middle East and opened for countless bands including a former member of Wu-Tang Clan.

Receiving his first six-string for Christmas, he picked up the guitar at the age of thirteen. After taking lessons for three months, Markoski joined his first band.

“It was a starter band, we were solid for beginners, but nothing compared to what I can do now,” he said.

Markoski was also an avid soccer player, playing for the Nighthawks and competing in multiple national tournaments before joining the freshman team and hurting his knee. Soon after Markoski turned to music full time.

His first major group was named Doss, after a music teacher who brought the members together, in which he played guitar. The band recorded an album and played a good amount of gigs, but in the end went their separate ways, with college the culprit. Following Doss’s demise, Alex was asked to join The Cranks on bass.

“Connor and I started a band in fourth grade because we could. My dad has always played drums in a band and the idea had always been in our heads,” says The Crank’s front woman Haley Gowland. Her twin brother Connor plays the drums and they both attend Lawrence Academy in Groton.

“Alex is a phenomenal bass player, from the riffs he writes in three seconds to being able to jump around in the audience while playing a walking bass line,” said Gowland.

More interesting, perhaps, is that Markoski is still a novice on the bass.

“I’ve been playing bass for less than a year. When I met the Cranks and they asked me to fill in on bass, I had never played bass before. I picked up bass for them.  It’s different, compared to the guitar. I really like the freedom it has,” said Markoski.

Outside of The Cranks, Markoski plays in a duet named Beyond the Obvious with Bishop-Fenwick student Beth McGray, in pop-rock band Popalert, and his own solo material.

“It’s very fun to know you’re creating music, original music, just by playing with really good musicians,” said Markoski. “It’s much more fulfilling to know that I wrote that song.”

With both Gowlands graduating this year, Markoski is stuck at a crossroads on where to proceed next.  Luckily, both plan on studying in New England, so as to to keep performing with The Cranks.

“I think they will probably still want to play some gigs. I’ll still have Beyond the Obvious, I’ll do some solo work still, and I have this other pop-rock band where I’m the oldest member,” said Markoski.

The Cranks next performance is at Johnny D’s in Somerville on November 17th.