MarkLavengood.com

This is the place to find out about Mark Lavengood. Where he'll be playing shows, how to buy his music, to keep up with his blog posts, and to keep up with the many things he keeps active with.

BIO

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1984, Mark Lavengood’s first musical impressions were formed by a family that valued the importance of music; a family that looked to music for strength and for the purest sense of joy and community. At a young age, Lavengood was informed by the raw movement of music, by percussion, the beat. Joining the middle school band as a percussionist in 6th grade, he quickly became an important source of talent and inspiration within his community. After teaching himself to play the drums, he began to venture into unfamiliar territory ranging from guitar to ukulele, congas to steel pans, and eventually to the resonator guitar & straight steel console (amongst other instruments).Mark studied with Dave Zerbe in the Alma College Percussion Ensemble on top of dabbling in the jazz band, choir, and marching band while studying Spanish and International Business at Alma College. Post-graduation, Lavengood honed his skills on the dobro playing with the self-proclaimed rebels of Michigan folkgrass, winter/sessions while simultaneously working part-time at the world acclaimed Founder’s Brewery in Grand Rapids, MI. It was this 1-2 combo that singlehandedly set “Huggy Bear” into existence.

Mark first saw Michigan dobro player extraordinaire Joe Wilson (of Steppin’ In It) and Drew Howard (multi-instrumentalist, MI natural treasure) perform at the Frederick Meijer Gardens, August, 2005 and was instinctively drawn toward the resonator guitar. Since then, Mark has carved his technique and attack on the instrument through observing the playing and instructions of aforementioned Joe Wilson & Drew Howard, Rob Ickes, Jerry Douglas, Andy Hall, Todd Livingston, Sally Van Meter, and Mike Witcher – all contemporary (with some legends in the list, yet still contemporaries) dobro players in the national bluegrass and beyond community.

Mark keeps busy with a rich and diverse mix of activities. He currently plays full-time with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys and contributes his craft with his own band, the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! and other regional and national acts when time provides.

PRESS

Mark Lavengood gets the Dobro. He gets it. He loves it, and it shows. “No Part Of Nothin” evokes a very new, yet familiar feeling in me. Imagine the creativity and sound of a 70‘s Tony Trischka, Tut Taylor, or John Hartford album, but with a modern sensibility. I love the natural feel and soulfulness of this record. Nothing pretentious. A real focus on the music. Not to take any focus off Mark’s real talent on the instrument, as this is also heavily featured. Super solid picking. You can tell he’s playing because he loves the sound, and that’s what makes me really enjoy this record. The Dobro has always been about creativity, and Mark’s wide open spirit shines through in No Part of Nothin’.
— Andy Hall
Lavengood has woven together a sound quilt of friendship and American Roots music that could have only happened in Michigan.
— Seth Bernard
Mark Lavengood’s undeniable passion for music is an incredible thing to behold. His superhuman drive is infectious and awe-inspiring. He is a pirate of love - a swashbuckling, slide-slinging, tide-turning old fashioned good time rambling man. He’s the last slick picker standing at the all night Jamboree and the first one up playing sweet gospel with the sun. Thanks, Mark.
— Joshua Davis
I really enjoyed listening to Mark Lavengood’s new recording “No Part of Nothin’.” The recording held my interest from the first “Bluegrass Is” track, a sort of “bluegrass word jam” highlighted by some bluesy instrumental vamping, through the original and the traditional tunes and songs, to the final “Bluegrass Is” reprise track. Mark does a fine job of changing the mood (and the keys) throughout this musical voyage and his choice of instrumentation and voices make each track unique. He plays fast, he swings, he plays slow and pretty, he plays gritty – whatever the tune needs, he does. I was pleased to see that he included Bill Monroe tunes interspersed between his originals, seemingly making the point that the music can still grow with a traditional feel. The a capella “I Wanna Sing That Rock and Roll” track is a wonderful surprise, positioned just before the “Bluegrass Is” reprise. That final track is the perfect album closer, as it has a good bluegrassy feel and gives the listener the sense that this has indeed been a musical journey through the ever-expanding world and sound of bluegrass music.
— Greg Cahill

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