my work with Mark 1 of 2
Spencer Livingston August 07, 07
Mark and I played together in the mid-seventies. I had grown up playing blues, sometimes acoustic solo stuff and sometimes electric Chicago-style blues. I was putting together an electric band in the Albany area, and my drummer, Dave Thomas, was doing a blues show on WRPI in Troy. Dave introduced me to Kip Lornell, his predecessor on the show and now a reknowned ethnomusicologist, and Kip introduced me to Mark.

Mark had been studying classical music at Yale, and while home for the summer had met his parents' next door neighbor, who was compiling a collection of the complete recordings of the Boogie Woogie Trio: Albert Ammons, Meade Luxe Lewis, and Pete Johnson. Mark got hooked on the recordings, and began to learn that killer left hand technique. When he signed on with my band, I showed him more that he had never been exposed to. He owned the keyboard; I have never seen such a brilliant pianist. But he was a bit of a pain in the ass, because he wanted us to haul around an acoustic piano to our gigs; didn't like electric.

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