Mark Johnson, the father of the Clawgrass style of banjo playing, talks about the new Deering Clawgrass No. 2 banjo that was displayed for the first time at the Winter 2016 NAMM Show.
So, who is Mark Johnson and how did he learn this unique style? A native of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Mark now hangs his hat in Florida but learned his trade from Jay Unger while living in New York. Mark didn't know that Jay was a highly accomplished fiddler who also tinkered with the clawhammer style of banjo. It was in the early 1970s, that Mark learned from this consummate fiddler the basic technique of clawhammer banjo. He also learned the three-finger style of bluegrass picking as his familiarity with the instrument unfolded.