Mark Johnson & Emory Lester
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Mark Johnson & Emory Lester


Band Americana Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


""Acoustic Rising"New release July 2006"

New Crossroads/Mountain Home Recording Artists
are proud to announce the release of their
new CD 'Acoustic Rising' July 16, 2006

Here's what they're already saying!

“This is a very good project. I really enjoyed listening to it while I was writing the review. I was impressed with the playing, singing, and the kind of songs that were picked for this project. I think it will become one of your favorites as well as one of mine. Enjoy!”
-Ricky Skaggs

“Mark and Emory have long been innovators within the folk tradition, and as such they gained my admiration quite some time ago. This project is a musical delight. It’s crystalline pickin’ and singin’ will especially appeal to lovers of traditional banjo and contemporary mandolin playing. It’s old time, new time, and most importantly, good time!”
-David Grisman

“Acoustic Rising reminds me of floating on clouds and just relaxing as each tune builds and complements the next. Listeners will hear and feel this throughout the project. Sensational Mark! Your banjo playing is powerful and beautiful. Emory’s voice reminds me of the strong, standout, balanced vocals that match his great guitar and mandolin playing… that also match perfectly what Mark does on the banjo. And GREAT mandolin work indeed!

As I listen, I think, WOW!... People are going to love this CD after a long day at work, relaxing at home or in a fast car just driving nowhere. The music here will match the scene no matter what! It’s Great guys! Well selected and very well produced and YEP, I highly recommend it. My favorite tunes are “Ashfields & Brine”, “Eileen O’Neil” and all the ones in between! Keep up the good work. You guys have a unique sound and a unique way of making me happy playing the good music!”
-Larry Rice


- Crossroads/Mountain Home Music


"Acoustic Rising" Crossroads/Mt. Home
"Acoustic Campaign" Bangtown Records
Mark Johnson & Clawgrass, "Bridging the Gap, Pinecastle
Emory Lester - Crusin' The 8's
Emory Lester - Pale Rider


Feeling a bit camera shy


MARK JOHNSON is an American Master of the 5-string banjo. He has revolutionized the art of playing clawhammer style banjo and advanced the five-string banjo well into uncharted territory by incorporating complex, rhythmic runs and beautiful melodies into his original banjo compositions and variations on traditional music. He calls his banjo style "Clawgrass" and his style will shatter and expand any preconceived notions the listener has ever had about clawhammer banjo playing.

Mark has performed and recorded with many bluegrass and acoustic luminaries and is a gifted teacher and songwriter as well. His 2002 release “Acoustic Campaign” with Emory Lester on Bangtown Records was highly acclaimed in the Bluegrass and Acoustic Music print and radio media and has earned him great respect throughout the acoustic music industry both nationally and internationally.

EMORY LESTER is an American Master of the acoustic mandolin and a multi-instrumentalist. His mandolin style has caught the attention of many other mandolin masters and he has performed and recorded with some of today’s hottest acts. He is also a gifted teacher and songwriter. The power of his playing is unmatched, and his sound is infectious.

Together, these two music masters, performing as a duet, deliver a powerful performance that will excite audiences, touch every listener, and create a memorable experience leaving audiences asking for more and more.

WORKSHOPS In addition to live performances Mark and Emory also provide masters workshops on clawhammer banjo (in Mark’s distinctive “Clawgrass” style banjo) and Emory’s distinctive mandolin style and guitar respectively and have taught throughout the United States at various festivals and acoustic music schools. They teach their respective instrument styles to all levels of players.

The Steve Kaufman Acoustic Music Camps, Knoxville, Tenn, The Maryland Banjo Camp, Fredrick Md, Banjo Camp North, Groton, Mass. Hosting the Masters Clawhammer & Mandolin Workshops at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), Louisville, Ky, Winterhawk BG Festival. Hillsdale NY, Wintergrass BG festival, Tacoma, Washington.