Mark grew up in rural Northern California, born into a family with a long history in music. His great grandfather, a violinist and music teacher brought his family to America from Vienna nearly 100 years ago. His grandfather played keyboards, his dad played bass in a blues band. Mark would tag along to practices with his saxophone at an early age. In 1985 his father brought home a Sony CD player and their first CD, Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Couldn't Stand the Weather." Mark was immediately drawn to the guitar. With his first guitar, a pearl white Fender Squire II Strat in hand, he quickly became familiar with blues licks from Stevie Ray, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters recordings that just seemed to flow through him. To the amazement of all, in a matter of months he was fronting The Blue Hornets, trading licks with Steve "Harpo" Gelder, playing gigs including the Mendocino Blues Festival and Musicians Against Violence, which ended with 5 encores and a standing ovation. After this show, Sonny Lowe of the Blenders approached the band and said he would never have The Hornets on stage before him again. While performing with his high school jazz band at the Reno International Jazz Festival he was awarded a medal as "Outstanding Soloist." This led to an invitation to attend the famous Berklee College of Music in Boston but life in the big city was uncomfortable, his stay there was short, but important.
Good has never been good enough for Mark, pursuit of perfection being a foundation of his personality in all endeavors. In 1993 his Dad traded a 1929 National Steel Dobro mandolin to Skip Maggiora in Sacramento for a brand new 1992 Fender SRV Signature Stratocaster, his first quality guitar. Thus began Mark's quest for finding those vintage tones. How did they achieve the sounds he loved and wanted so badly? From amps to pickups to bridges to strings to tuning, his quest for tone has become a lifelong pursuit, no detail overlooked.
Mark's pursuit of perfection extends to all things in his life and at an early age Mark found himself working after school for a friend of his Dad's who built hot rods. From metal fabrication to body work, painting and mechanical work, everything just seemed to come naturally to him and before long Mark ventured out on his own, opened his own shop in Upper Lake, using those skills to build several custom cars that have earned national attention. At this point, his talents converged as he met master luthier Michael Dolan, who brought a car to Mark to have some work done. Mark had known about and admired Michael for decades & it just so happened he moved into the same little town after relocating from Santa Rosa. The two became friends and for the second time in his young life Mark became an apprentice and student, pursuing his dream of producing guitars with authentic tone and great playability.
Years later, Mark's guitars have become works of art in every way, no detail overlooked, no detail too small. Only the finest materials available are used in every stage of construction, from fabricating & winding his own pickups, masterful fretwork, all access neck heels, authentic lacquer finishes, modern style urethane finsihes, right down to the clay dots, binding and inlays. After years of researching and pursuing the Golden Era guitars' DNA, Mark has incorporated the best of the best of them into his designs, while offering fresh perspectives in an attempt to make guitars that don't simply imitate but actually improve upon them. You will immediately feel and hear Mark's passion and how much of that past is present in his works of art and believe that you will appreciate his fresh take in the pursuit of timeless perfection.
Copyright 2017 Mark Grant. All Rights Reserved.