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. 


  • Jeff Grant

    Outstanding Job !

  • Kenny Mize

    Enjoyed this session very much. I’ve seen him over the years playing with other groups such as Nickel Creek and others. They are both very talented individuals and enjoyed their performances.

  • Richard Berman

    This was great and inspiring. I’ve played this tune on banjo about 4 million times but never quite caught that intensity of spirit.
    Thank you

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