Mandolinist Mark Stoffel, known for his playing with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, is widely considered to be among the bluegrass genre's unique stylists, thanks to a sophisticated yet energetic approach that reflects his long-standing affinity for contemporary, newgrass-flavored sounds. Stoffel has signed with Mountain Home to release his second solo album, filled with music that illustrates why he's so highly regarded.
"I couldn't be prouder and happier to see my new record released on Mountain Home Music Company," Stoffel says. "To be honest, I was hoping for this to happen before I struck the very first note for this album! As a member of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers I've had the pleasure to collaborate with the great folks at the Mountain Home family for many years and I am convinced that there's no better venue for this album and no better people to work with."
Stoffel was introduced to bluegrass when, as a teenager, he was gifted a mandolin for Christmas instead of the ukulele he'd asked for. Years later, he joined Chris Jones & The Night Drivers in 2009 on the band's Cloud Of Dust recording. Since, he's played on several Night Drivers' albums, including the band's most recent, The Choosing Road.
"Mark is one of the most musical mandolin players I've ever played with," says Jones. "Mandolin players are really impressed with his playing everywhere we go."
Stoffel will release his first single with Mountain Home, "Shadowbands," to all streaming platforms July 10. Click HERE to pre-save or add it now on Apple Music or Spotify.
About Mark Stoffel
Originally from Munich, Germany, Mark Stoffel spent literally decades traversing between two continents before finally settling down in Southern Illinois in 2001 with his wife Mary and his children, Finn and Oliver. Sealing his decision to make the United States his permanent home, he became a citizen in 2016.
A self-described bluegrass music "addict," he was introduced to the music in 1979, when as a teenager, he wanted a ukulele for Christmas and was mistakenly given a mandolin instead. The flub turned into a virtue, as he parlayed a classic mandolin instructional book; occasional exposure to bluegrass through radio and concerts by touring American musicians; and accumulated experience in folk, rock and bluegrass bands into a lifelong artistic pursuit. During this time, he began to connect with American artists, helping to arrange tour dates and providing hospitality-including to the artist who would become his future employer, Chris Jones. As he spent more time in the United States, his tasteful approach to playing, growing expertise in sound engineering and supportive harmony vocal abilities earned him increased attention - first in regional acts, then with Jones' singer/songwriter wife, Sally Jones, and finally with Jones himself, whose Night Drivers Mark joined around the time of the band's 2009 recording, Cloud Of Dust.
Today his tasteful mandolin performances can be heard on countless recordings, including his first solo release, One-O-Five, and a string of Chris Jones and the Night Drivers projects, including Run Away Tonight (2015), Made To Move (2017) and the most recent, The Choosing Road (2019). "Mark is one of the most musical mandolin players I've ever played with," says Jones. " Mandolin players are really impressed with his playing everywhere we go." Yet despite his passion for bluegrass, Stoffel confesses ironically that he is highly allergic to - yes, really - Kentucky Bluegrass.