Mandolin Interview – Marc Woodward

mark-woodward mandolin

In this series of interviews, we talk to renowned Mandolin players, makers and enthusiasts.
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“One of the best mandolinists I have ever heard” Stage and Television Today

“a fine musician and an assured performer” Event South West

Highly regarded UK mandolinist Marc Woodward was born in New York in 1961 and grew up listening to a mixture of American folk music, Sinatra, and the British blues boom of the ’60s. He started playing the mandolin in his early teens and studied with Tommy Jackson, a regular London sessions mandolinist, contemporary of Hugo D’Alton and an ex member of Troise’s Mandoliers.

He started performing in public at the tender age of fifteen, frequenting the numerous folk, jazz and blues clubs in Kent, Sussex and London. One club “La Tepide” was run by an early hero of Marc’s, the late bluegrass mandolinist Andy Townend of Orange Blossom Special and The Echo Mountain Boys fame.

By the age of seventeen, while still at school, Marc was performing seven nights a week with his musician father, appearing at venues ranging from upmarket places such as The Connaught Rooms in London, The Grand Hotel in Brighton and Henley Regatta, to nightclubs in Belgium, Dutch Hotels and Florida Tiki bars!

In 1986 Marc moved to the South West where he has become an established performer at clubs, art centres, theatres and festivals. He has worked with such luminaries as John Renbourn, Wizz Jones, Peter Rowan and the late Jo Ann Kelly, has supported Paul Jones and Dave Kelly (The Blues Band), Hank Wangford, Ralph McTell, The Oyster Band, Edward II, and has taught mandolin workshops with Simon Mayor and Nigel Woodhouse.

Marc currently performs in various ensembles including his own jazz quintet Bluemando (see below), and fronts a bluegrass band “The Bluegrass Flyers” who have played at major UK bluegrass festivals including Edale and Didmarton. Much of the material they perform has been written by Marc.

Marc has recently released his long-awaited first CD Bluemando – which features an eclectic mix of blues, jazz and original music and songs, and follows up on the considerable interest raised by his performances on the Comando CD projects (available through Marc’s unique and assured style in many genres reflects the wealth of musical influences he has encountered.

Bluemando, Marc Woodward

This first solo CD includes three tracks previously released in the US on the Co-mando mandolin compilation CDs, some evocative original songs and a number of sparkling blues numbers that show why Marc has become renowned as the UK’s leading blues mandolinist. A must for all lovers of the mandolin and the blues!

‘A musician at the top of his class…. As a mandolin player you might be listening to every note thinking “How does he do that?” Don’t. Pour yourself a whisky, put your feet up and just absorb Marc’s relaxing rhythms. Recommended.’ Dec.2003

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Dan Beimborn Interview
Kevin Macleod Interview
Dagger Gordon Interview
Alison Stephens Interview
Gary Peterson Interview
Ian Harris Interview