Mark is an authentic American original. Primarily known as the inventor of the Clawgrass style of banjo (which some call the “thurd style” after the clawhammer and Scruggs three-finger styles), Mark is both a top drawer player and a respected composer of contemporary acoustic music. In 2012 he received the third annual Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music. is an American banjoist credited with creating a style of five string banjo playing called Clawgrass, which incorporates bluegrass and clawhammer banjo styles as well as bluegrass guitar styles and bluegrass ensemble techniques. He, along with Emory Lester was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for a 2007 Instrumental Album of the Year award. and presented with the 2012 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. He is a spokesman for the Deering Banjo Co., which named two Clawgrass model banjos after him.