Mark Johnson cut his teeth as a teenager playing bluegrass mandolin and guitar in the North Carolina highlands. A strict Bill Monroe devotee, Johnson's musical taste started veering left-of-center in the early 1980s when he discovered New Grass Revival, The Seldom Scene, James Taylor, and Pat Matheny, among others.
Johnson found his stride as an artist after realizing he was better-suited to precise fingerstyle and percussive rhythm playing rather than breakneck bluegrass flatpicking. For more than 12 years, he entertained audiences across the U.S. and Caribbean at resort hotels, universities, and arts centers. In the 90s, Johnson wrote on staff for MCA Music Publishing, the Crosswind Corporation, and Orbison Productions.
"Tallman" was recorded at the fabled Black Horse Studios in January of 1997, and features a lineup of A-string Nashville players such as New Grass Revival founder and mandolinist Sam Bush (The Idea), Grammy Award-winning songwriter Don Henry (Where and the Way I Am), fretless and acoustic bassist Craig Nelson (Above the Sound), keyboard master Dirk Johnson (The Idea), and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist John Foster (Highway Love). The project was produced by Mike Psanos and former Capital Records director of A&R, Terry D. Choate. It was mastered by veteran Nashville engineer Dennis Ritchie.
Now an award-winning non-fiction writer and photographer (www.writermarkjohnson.com), Johnson is currently creating a children's music/multimedia project and is writing a novel.