Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell | Deering Live

Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell | Deering Live

With his summer 2021 release of GRIT & POLISH Mark Schatz once again proves he’s true a ‘renaissance man’ of the acoustic music world. A two-time winner of the IBMA Bass Player of the Year Award, Mark is best known for his contributions on some of the most iconic recordings in bluegrass by artists such as Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, John Hartford, Claire Lynch, Tim O’Brien, Sara Jarosz, and Nickel Creek. But Mark is also a master of the clawhammer banjo and is featured playing his own compositions on two solo projects on Rounder Records, BRAND NEW OLD TYME WAY and STEPPIN’ IN THE BOILER HOUSE. Mark is always ready to cut loose with some Southern Appalachian clogging and hambone, and his stagecraft was honed through a long association with the acclaimed Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, for whom he still serves as Musical Director.

In early 2020 Mark called on his friend and ace multi-instrumentalist and singer, Bryan McDowell, to tour together as a duo. Live in Mark’s studio they recorded GRIT & POLISH, an acoustic tour de force that moves effortlessly from original fiddle tunes and songs to Louis Jordan Boogie Woogie and Bob Dylan. It garnered the #1 spot on the Folk DJ charts in June of 2021, and came in at #9 for the year!

Mark has long been a Deering banjos artist, playing his Vega #2 banjo that was made by us at Deering. 


  • Chris Hughes

    Very I spiratinal – the ancient mountain sound of old time banjo – wow!

  • Gwen Stimely

    So Mark…. Is it hard to smile while your beating yourself up … in perfect time?

  • Brad Hunt

    you just can’t any better…..

  • Steve Clarke

    Beautiful stuff. Excellent. Love all the interviews and guest performances from deering
    ( I have 3)
    Steve in the uk

    Steve on the uk.

  • Ted The Fiddler

    Met Mark a couple of times and played a show with him once. Glad to see he’s getting more and more attention for his remarkable talent and also glad to discover Bryan here too! One late night in a stairwell at a motel I got to hear Mark and Darol Anger just playing for themselves in that natural echo chamber. They played for my wife and I and a couple of others for over an hour together. Just an amazing moment. Two masters just playing together and experimenting a little too I’m sure.

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