BluesGrass is the acoustic duo of Mark White and Jon Swift.
Mark White (guitar, harmonica, vocals) – Mark plays both fingerstyle and flat-picked guitar, as well as harmonica, and sings lead and tenor. He has been playing guitar since the 1960’s, influenced early on by the Kingston Trio, Chet Atkins, Mississippi John Hurt, and Little Richard, and later by the Grateful Dead acoustic albums, Old And In The Way, and Hank Williams.
In the ‘70s Mark played in a band called Polecat (later Just Pickin’), the house band at the Anchor Café in Bantam, Connecticut. This band also included some other accomplished musicians who went on to become quite well known, such as Jim Stevens (bass) and Gordon Titcomb (mandolin and pedal steel). Later Mark played with Rich Starkey (a highly respected player and now a driving force with the C.F. Martin guitar company) and Jim Stevens as the Circle J Trio.
Work commitments took Mark out of the state and out of live performance venues for much of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He’s happy to be back in Connecticut, reestablishing ties to the bluegrass and roots music scene and enjoying his new Martin guitar. Mark lives in Groton Long Point, Connecticut.
Jon Swift (upright bass, vocals) – Jon has played guitar and sung bluegrass, blues, and folk music for many years, and is a survivor of the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960s. His early influences include the Kingston Trio, New Orleans jazz, the Greenbrier Boys, Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt, and Bob Dylan. In the ‘70s he discovered bluegrass festivals, became a full-fledged bluegrass enthusiast, and began playing upright bass.
Jon was a founding member of the popular Connecticut-based acoustic bluegrass band Traver Hollow, and played and sang with that group for 13 years in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. His steady upright bass work, as well as his lead and harmony vocals, have been enjoyed by the many audiences who listened to Traver Hollow’s live shows in Europe and Canada, as well as much of the U.S. Jon also plays upright bass with the Lost Acres String Band trio. He sings lead and baritone and lives in Durham, Connecticut.