May 15, 2019

Mark O’Connor celebrates 45 albums in 45 years

The Mark O’Connor Band, the winner for “Best Bluegrass Album” at the 2017 Grammy Awards was the result of four O’Connors coming together – Mark, Maggie, Forrest and Kate. Celebrating his 45th year as a recording artist with 45 feature album releases to date, Mark is well-known for his New Nashville Cats, Strenth in Numbers, Heroes, Appalachia Waltz, Hot Swing Trio, The Fiddle Concerto, An Appalachian Christmas, American Music Shop T.V. Show, and his revolutionary O’Connor Method for string education. Mark has won 3 Grammy’s and 7 CMA Awards, appeared on 450 albums, collaborated with the likes of Johnny Cash, Wynton Marsalis, John Williams, Dolly Parton and Yo-Yo Ma, and performed everything from original violin concertos at Carnegie Hall to swing at Jazz at Lincoln Center. But until recently, he had not worked in a band quite like this.

Their recently released Mark O’Connor Band Live!, is a stunning showcase of their most exciting concert and festival material to date. Recorded live in concert, the album captures the band on the heels of a packed first couple of years on the road, during which they had honed their sound and risen to an even higher level of cohesion and expressiveness. “It’s been one of the most surprising and rewarding experiences to perform with my family members on stage both in our regular band concerts and in my “An Appalachian Christmas annual tour,” says mark. “It’s really exciting to bend these American genres in new ways, combining accessibility with audiences with our own musicianship and performing my own instrumentals, newly written songs and plenty of instrumental and vocal classics thrown in.” The six-piece band rounded out by Joe Smart on guitar and Geoff Saunders on double bass and banjo, play together as though they have been sharing the stage a lot longer than the last 4 years – and in some ways, they have. “We all grew up listening to my dad’s music,” says Forrest, “so in a sense, we’ve been preparing for this band for a majority of our lives.”

Check out all 45 album covers below.