From Clawhammer to Bluegrass
"Mark's unique style doesn't really fit into a strict category. It's very bluegrass but has overtones of traditional folk, progressive acoustic, new-grass and old-timey all mixed into one. It's authentic. It's unique. It's Clawgrass".
Mark Johnson has redefined banjo picking. His trademark technique, which he calls "Clawgrass," combines the percussive, foot-tapping rhythm of old-time clawhammer with the complex, driving rolls of Scruggs style. The music he elicits from his Deering banjo delights traditional frailers and bluegrass pickers alike, and learning his style will add new dimensions to your playing.
Mark starts you off with the foundations of clawhammer style and a basic frailing version of Old Joe Clark. He then leads you, step by step, into his clawgrass style with great tunes using two- and three-finger rolls, drop-thumb noting, slides, double stops, melodic runs, harmonic variations and a variety of tunings.
With his long-time musical partner Emory Lester on guitar, Mark performs-- and then teaches -- seven tunes that demonstrate the intricacies and power of Clawgrass banjo: Cherokee Shuffle, Cold Frosty Morning, Angeline the Baker, Heartbroken, John Wilkes Booth and Mosby's Rangers.
Each tune you learn introduces different ideas and techniques that will bring your playing to new dimensions. As Mark says, "It's like being set free."
"If you are currently in either the bluegrass or the old-time music camp and have secret longings for the other, or if you just want to try something new and pretty exciting on the banjo, this should be an excellent resource." -- Bluegrass Unlimited