Mark “Brink” Brinkman has a life that could inspire lyrics to a song.
Brinkman is a Bluegrass songwriter who spends a lot of time in his basement which is wife calls the “Music Man Cave.”
Music has been part of Brinkman’s life since he started playing piano as a kid and moved onto other instruments.
It was a roommate that introduced him to Bluegrass.
“Because there's not a lot of money in it, I think the art overshadows the money and I think that feeling of soul is still there,” said Brinkman.
Bluegrass did not pay the bills, so Brink worked his way up the corporate ladder. But the travel meant missing his family and his music.
“It was one day my wife and I were sitting down, and I said I'd really like to try this,” he said.
Brink admits it was scary to have more time at home in Pickerington to write music and pick the banjo.
“I hate to tell you how much money I gave up, but I never regretted it. In fact, it's been a blessing, a godsend. I've never been happier in my life,” said Brink.
The big decision was 15 years ago and in that time, musicians have recorded around 200 songs that Brinkman has written. It includes everything from Bluegrass to Gospel.
He loves hearing artists sing his words, and he loves that his words move people. They have told him so.
“It's a very humbling feeling...it's why you write...you want to touch somebody,” said Brink.
He even worked on a song for the SideRoads report.
“There's a story...down every side road,” he sang.
Within a few minutes, he comes up with more.
“People and places -- that's what it's about, all about people and places.”
Brink says his love for Bluegrass are a good fit in Columbus and he says the steel mills drew people from West Virginia and Kentucky, which brought the style of music to central Ohio.