Mark Lavengood

'Tis the season...

Sunday, December 9th 2012

Happy seasons friends! This year has brought about many changes in my life. It has certainly been a time of transition. I've learned many lessons through it all and have grown in so many ways (musically, philosophically, spiritually, and then some).

This year, I made the push with my fellow bandmates from Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys to be a full-time musician; I've played 160 + shows this year, traveled the great expanse of our country as far west as Colorado, as east as Rhode Island, down to Nashville, and throughout my homelands in the midwest. I feel so grateful to be able to pursue this crazy pipedream of making a viable living through the art and joy of music. So many new people, new communities, new experiences, new lands - yet, through it all, I am always blown away by the kind hearted folks who help us out along the way, host us, come out to shows, express their gratitude for our musical's overwhelming in the best of ways.

This holiday season, my deepest gratitude goes out to my family. Through hardships, may we realize a true and great thing - the deepening of the human spirit. And let us not forget the truly therapeutic healing that music brings us - through laughter, love, loss, happiness, and every little nook and cranny in hits us and strikes a chord through the most inner part of our souls - there is no denying that.

Here's to a beatuiful 2013 - big thanks and much praise to all of you who continue to pour your support over all the hard working, dedicated musicians and artists out's felt deeply!




Thursday, August 30th 2012

WOW, how the summer has flown by! This has been my first summer season of playing music full-time and it's been pretty spectacular! Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys  have been getting tons of really great reviews and exposure from our new album, "Release Your Shrouds ".  We ventured out west on a couple of tours out to Colorado this summer and while out at RockyGrass, I competed in, and won, the dobro competition! I was happier than a pig in a pile of mud when I got the news! I also got invited to perform at the IBMA feature Dobro performance which will occur Monday, September 26th! I'll be sharing the stage with the innovators and legends of the dobro such as Jerry Douglas, Tut Taylor, Josh Swift, amongst others. Thanks for keeping up on the good news friends, and thanks for the continued love and support! 




Friday, June 8th 2012

Hey folks, three weeks ago, Mid-May, my "brother-from-a-beloved-mother", Jeffrey Hollingsworth and I captured some vintage film shots of my father's basement. This film was then edited, and cut and cropped together by moi-meme and I made my first feature film on iMovie - MY KICKSTARTER PROJECT VIDEO! I had a blast learning how to use the program and I believe it will serve many purposes in the days to come...

I'm raising money through my kickstarter campaign to invest in a custom made Rayco Resonator Guitar and record a 7" vinyl (one side representing my dobro/flatpicking stylings, and the other, my straight steel voice). I'm going to be recording at Jimmy Sutton's Hi-Style Studio in Chicago with my steel guitar band in a couple of weeks - right before our show opening for Wayne "the Train" Hancock!

The thing about kickstarter is that it's an "all or nothing" deal - you raise it all or more, you get it; if not, you get none.

I have put together some mighty fine incentives for supporting my project including lessons (and the opportunity to "play it forward"), my own personal instruments, copies of the 7" vinyl, personal package of my own vinyl collection, and many more! Here's the link to the video and full project details:

In other amazing news, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys just got signed to the Earthwork Music Collective! We're so happy to be added to this group of standout human beings, and incredibly talented musicians! Stay tuned for more news on the collective's activity at

Sunday, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys will be heading off to our first trip out to Colorado this summer - Summer is indeed in full swing!

Thanks for stopping by!


Singin' in Spring

Wednesday, April 11th 2012

Although the season is depicting more summer-like qualities, it certainly is a beautiful time to be alive in the Spring! Life is so active all around us and deep within us! I have been quite busy these days and don't really have much plans for slowing down anytime soon! I recently moved from Chicago to Ann Arbor to join my bandmates in Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys! We just spent the 30 days in April playing 23+ shows and recording our second full-length album! We took a little break in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and spent some time rejuvenating ourselves with mother nature on Lindsay's family's property near Iron Mountain.

We're close to having our CD finished! We plan on releasing some free downloads and high definition footage of the recording process!

May 29th marks the beginning of our Summer-long residency at the Wolverine State Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor, MI! We're so blessed with craft beer in the Great Lakes State - it is a true gem of our people.

Stay tuned for more up-and-coming news that's in the works...


Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys Kickstarter Campaign Nearing the End!

Wednesday, March 14th 2012

Me and my fellow cohorts in Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are so close to achieving our projected fundraising goal for our upcoming album - if you haven't yet, please visit our project's home and watch the fully entertaining video of why we need your support in this collective endeavor!

We have also teamed up with our friends in Lansing, MI Big Foot Creates to make a couple high quality videos - check them out!

Here's a little treat! Back in November I got a 1949'ish Fender Dual 8 string Professional steel console! I've been playing some shows in Chicago with some wonderfully talented folks...She's a gem!

Please take a second to visit Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys' Facebook page and "like" us! You can also sign up for our mailing list at our website - We'll give you some free music upon doing so! Lastly, here's the official download code (lovelovelove) for the website to get even more music from our homepage



Tuesday, August 28th 2012

Quite literally and metaphorically, this fall season is turning out to be pleasantly bountiful. So many new and great opportunities are coming my way in different character forms (my bands, my personal development as a musician, moving to a new house in Chicago, finding strength and growth through patience and hard work and motivation, inspiration from my dearest friends and family, amongst others).

The summer was tinged gingerly with triumphs over the trials and tribulations. Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys trip out to RockyGrass was splendid indeed! We were received all the way out to CO and back and while we didn't win the band competition, we made good contacts. We'll be officially showcased at the Acoustic Trails Showcase Room down in Nashville for the 2011 International Bluegrass Music Association's annual conference - I might meet Rob Ickes & Jerry Douglas, whoa!

Before heading down to Nashville for IBMA, we played at the prestigious midwest music venue in Ann Arbor, MI - the Ark - with Jen Sygit and Sam Corbin! Peter 'Madcat' Ruth even made a guest appearance and wowed the crowd with his magical touch on the harmonica!

I forgot to mention, I've been an official "flatbelly" since some undetermined point in time ranging from the spring to early summer! Josh, Lindsay, Spencer and Keith have become dear friends of mine and it's a true honor to play music with these folks - it's just pure.

We performed a couple of weekends ago at my favorite MI festival - the Earthwork Harvest Gathering at Seth Bernard's family farm in Lake City - the food was locally sourced as were the majority of the musicians and community gatherers. It was amazing as always - if you're not savvy to this festival, please check it out,!

Trevor McSpadden & Western Automatic Music also played Harvest - it was the boys first time! And boy did they get a kick out of UV Hippo doing the Talking Heads and the Cornfed Girls with the Red Sea Pedestrians doing Abbey Road!

Trevor and us boys are currently in the process of putting together our debut EP! We've got a lot of shows in Michigan coming up - Founder's Harvest Party on Oct. 15 with Rubblebucket, Open Source and Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids as well as Bell's on November 18th opening for Steppin' In It! We've also got an east coast tour lined up for November! Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, listen out for that country western rhythm & roots sound! More details to come on this soon…

Please check out the gigs I have coming to a city near you (or someone you may know who lives far away from you that you should tell)!

season's best,



Tuesday, August 28th 2012

Hey folks! It's keeping plenty hot around the midwest with temperatures in the upper 90's and as I type this message, my whole body is cloaked in perspiration, just like my fresh glass of ice water to keep me cool. Just wanted to check in and let you know of my upcoming travels to Colorado with the Lansing, MI based bluegrass band, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys; we're embarking on a week long RockyGrass Tour! We'll be playing the following dates leading up to the momentous bluegrass festival held yearly in Lyons, CO. We'll be setting out to win us the band competition (and me, the dobro competition)! If you know any folks in Ames, IA, Lincoln, NE, or Fort Collins, CO, let 'em know we'll be shredding some bluegrass tunes in the respective locations! Here are the dates and venues:

Tuesday, July 26: DG's Taphouse in Ames, IA
Wednesday, July 27: Zoo Bar in Lincoln, NE with the Almagamators
Thursday, July 28: Fort Collins Brewery (at 4 p.m.) in Fort Collins and Bar SS in LaPorte, CO (at 8:30 p.m.) with Lonesome Traveler!
Friday July 29-Sunday July 31: RockyGrass in Lyons, CO
and to wrap it up, we'll be bringing the crew to the acclaimed Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago on Tuesday, August 2!

Check the GIGS link for show times! I'll be checking back in when we get back, stay tuned! (...and if you're in Grand Rapids, Trevor McSpadden & Co. will be providing you those good ol' country western rhythm & roots tunes for you at Founder's Brewery this Saturday - it's the Bandwagon's CD release!) Trevor & Co. will also be playing at my mom's restaurant in Casnovia, the Half Moon Bar & Grille on Sunday, July 24 at 6 p.m!

Stay tuned for the results of the CO tour with the next blog, ROCKYGRASS BOUND, part ii!



Tuesday, August 28th 2012

Well, it's that time of the year again - the leaves and flowers are in full bloom, the excitement of festival season is comin' around the bend and the ice cold Founder's IPA's are always fresh in the cooler! Riding northbound on the Indian Trails bus right now, I'm filled with nostalgia and memories of traveling for gigs via bus and hitchhiking - always making my way through the Great Lakes State. I've written and rehearsed many songs while traveling on a bus, train, or via thumb, faith and will - public transit is a sort of think haven and wonderland for we traveling minstrels!

Coming off of a successful "Spring Fauxward" east coast tour with the Fauxgrass Quartet, I returned happy and healthy to Chicago and hit the ground running. I'm currently working on a westward-bound RockyGrass 2011 tour with the folk & bluegrass outfit, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. We're going to be heading out to Lyons, CO to perform in the band competition. I ran into these fine folks last year at the legendary northern Michigan folk festival, Blissfest (although I was already well aware of their stature and reputation within the realm of Michigan bluegrass). I'll be competing in the dobro and guitar instrument competitions at RockyGrass as well! I'm also working on putting together midwest-east coast tour for Trevor McSpadden and friends (the acclaimed country western rhythm & roots act based out of Chicago with whom I play steel guitar and dobro). On top of all of this, I've got a pretty busy gig schedule for the summertime! The Fauxgrass Quartet will be collaborating with the prestigious Chicago Hubbard Street dance company on June 17th & 18th @ the Black Box Theatre (8 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively) AND we'll be supporting the virtuosic bluegrass styles of the Deadly Gentlemen - if you're unfamiliar with these folks, do yourself a favor and check them out! They're making some of the only (and best) orchestrated bluegrass fused with spoken word poetry around…

Don't forget to check out the updated gigs - lots of great shows coming up all around the midwest! ALSO - if you know of anybody who likes the dobro, remind them that they can listen to my album, From Dust to Steel, on the 'SOUNDS' link of this here website!


Spring Fauxward 2011 East Coast Tour!

Tuesday, August 28th 2012

Friends, family, fanatics...

I'm checking back in to this lovely musical community we've cultivated to update you with the freshest batch of musical stew I've had in cooking for the last couple of months.

The progressive, instrumental bluegrass group, the Fauxgrass Quartet (with whom I compose, arrange, and play dobro and guitar), is officially announcing our east coast tour - Spring Fauxward 2011!

5/5 - Founder's Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI - 9:30 p.m.
5/6 - House Concert in Rockford, MI - 7:30 p.m.
5/7 - Jackie O's Brewpub in Athens, OH - 8 p.m.
5/8 - Mother's Day Concert - DiFiglia Concert Series in Jenkintown, PA - 5 p.m.
5/9 - Banjo Jim's in Brooklyn, NY - 7 p.m.
5/11 - Burrito Rojo in Turners Falls, MA - 9:30 p.m.
5/12 - Studio 99 in Nashua, NH - 7 p.m.
5/13 - The Monkey House in Winooski, VT - 6 p.m.
5/14 - Lake Placid Brewing Co. in Lake Placid, NY - 8 p.m.
5/15 - North Country School in Lake Placid, NY - 3 p.m.
5/17 - Kinetic Playground (w/ Sexfist!) in Chicago, IL - 10 p.m.
5/18 - Honky Tonk BBQ in Chicago (Pilsen), IL - 10 p.m.

We look fauxward to perfauxming faux you and your friends along the road!

In other news, Trevor McSpadden & the Peacekeepers (the country/western, rhythm & roots band with whom I play lap steel, dobro, and sing) just finished recording two tracks which we plan to release on 7" vinyl later in the summertime. The band is making some serious progress here in the windy city. We're even performing an original song of mine, "Steelin' Away the Windy City Blues", the first song I composed on the lap steel after getting it in November :) With plenty of gigs in Chicago and a couple of Michigan tours and festivals in the summer and fall, the Peacekeepers are setting themselves up for a long lasting journey through music.

I'll be sure to keep the gigs for these (and the other bands I play with) posted as they come.

Having traveled around the midwest, to Memphis for the 2011 International Folk Alliance, Spring Fauxward 2011 tour's around the corner, and plenty of other experiences in the mix, this year is proving to be most fruitful indeed! I think I may even make it out to the prestigious RockyGrass festival in Lyons, CO and compete in the Dobro Competition! Yet to be confirmed...

Check in to the GIGS link and see what other shows are coming along in your parts! If you're going to be around the midwest in July, the Fauxgrass Quartet is going to be supporting Boston-based, bluegrass phenoms, the Deadly Gentlemen (Greg Liszt, of Crooked Still, Samson Grisman of David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, Mike Barnett, fiddle extraordinaire, Stash Wyslouch, acoustic guitar groove guru, and Dominck Leslie, prodigy mandolinist) at Founder's and Bell's Brewery on July 7th and July 8th, respectively.

Breathe deep, seek deeply within and go about.



Tuesday, August 28th 2012

Well friends, this new year's upon us! I hope the sunshine & strong winds are coming along on all fronts! Here in Chicago, they're peaking through here and there, bringing signs of spring along with them!

2011 is truly turning out to be the year of the band (or, like in my case, the year of many bands)! Chicago has been treating me well, indeed. The kind folks from Leadfoot String Band, Sugar Creek Road, Trevor McSpadden & the peace keepers, and Peter Nye & the Black Byrds have all found space in their respective, collective sound for my touch on the steel guitar. Look out Chicago, I'm lookin' to steel away those windy city blues!

Furthermore, Mark Lavengood, Joey Schultz & the faux/grass quartet is now in FULL SWING! After conceptualizing this project last fall with Joey & the band, we've recently begun rehearsals, recording, and planning for our "to-be oficially announced" East Coast Tour in May, 2011!

The collectif: Joey Schultz (prodigious banjo player emerging from the underground, Grand Rapids, MI); Tim McKay (chord wanker, gardener, philosopher, & bassist extraordinaire of North Michiganland); Jason Wheeler (poetic & soulful mandolinist, middle of nowhere, Northern Michigan); and myself on the resophonic dobronator. Our collective sound features distinct instrumentation to complex instrumental compositions in the progressive bluegrass realm. We also high light a tasty selection of songsmithed ballads alike! More details on the tour & more to come...



Tuesday, August 28th 2012

After a heartfelt performance at Founder's Brewing Company in my hometown, Grand Rapids, MI, I packed up a U-Haul of my belongings and made the bittersweet trip down to Chicago, Il! I've made friends with some really kind folks (most notably, the Henhouse Prowlers) who are helping me establish myself as a new musician in this grand city. Time to resonate on!


Debut Album - From Dust to Steel - Now Available!

Tuesday, August 28th 2012

From Dust to Steel has finally come to fruition! Although the original conception of most of these tunes came from melodies dated years back, the bulk of the work for this album began in December '09 in Kalamazoo, MI. A few east coast and Michigan microbrewery tours with Michael Beauchamp & the Barn Roughs, hitchin' through the Great Lakes state, a road trip to California to work some vineyards, the California Zephyr train ride home, and back to Grand Rapids, MI to record the soundtrack of my life at this moment in time and space - these experiences laid the foundation to what was to come.

With the general instrumentation of dobro, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, and some banjo - From Dust to Steel showcases eclectic instrumental composition and arrangement in the "new/grass" genre from an all-star ensemble of Michigan bluegrass pickers.

Available now at Cd Baby and iTunes!


Welcome to the New Site!

Wednesday, July 4th 2012

It's been a long time in the making, but thanks to a lot of help from my friends and the stellar performance of Kevin Mitchell and Dapper Developing, the websites up and running! Keep your sensory receptors open, we'll be keeping this thing up-to-date as the happenings come to be! Thanks for stopping by :)