Johnson, Mark


  • From Garrison, New York. Lives in Crystal River, Florida.
  • Plays clawhammer-style banjo.
  • Calls his music “Clawgrass” and also named his backup group (formed in 1996) Clawgrass.
  • Took up the banjo in 1971, learned from fiddler Jay Unger (composer of “Ashokan Farewell”).
  • Works for Florida Power Authority at its Crystal River Facility. While working there, he met Larry Rice and his brothers Tony, Ronnie and Wyatt. In 1993, they recorded an album together at Tony’s home.
  • 1997, released Bridging the Gap album (Pinecastle).
  • 1999, formed a duo with mandolinist Emory Lester.
  • 2002, released Acoustic Campaign album with Emory Lester (Bangtown).
  • 2006, released Acoustic Rising album with Emory Lester (Mountain Home).
  • 2012, released Acoustic Vision album with Emory Lester (no label).
  • 2012, won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass and appeared with Steve on Late Night with David Letterman (CBS).