Mark Nelson

During a career that started well before he could drive, Mark Nelson has picked up music from places as far afield as the South Pacific, the Irish Sea, and Alta California. Mark began playing guitar at the tender age of twelve by copping licks from records: Mississippi John Hurt, Mance Lipscome, Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Reed, and others. Since then he’s branched out into a bewildering array of guitar styles–everything from ragtime to Hawaiian slack key, Western Swing, jug band, and Old Time American folk.

He won the 1979 National Championships on the Appalachian Dulcimer and has released numerous recordings and instruction books for that instrument, as well as for slack key guitar and ukulele. He’s performed just about anywhere you can fit a stage and taught workshops and at music camps on three continents and quite a few islands. He once worked as a banjo-playing gorilla in Dublin, but that’s another story…