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.[1] He, along with Emory Lester was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) for a 2007 Instrumental Album of the Year award.[2] and presented with the 2012 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.[3] He is a spokesman for the Deering Banjo Co., which named two Clawgrass model banjos after him.[4]