Mark Flanagan is probably best known as guitarist for Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, an association that began in1988 and continues to this day.
Born in Liverpool, Mark started playing ukulele at the age of eight. He got his first guitar at the age of 12 and was soon entertaining friends and family along with his father, a good player and singer himself. Music was a big part of family life and Mark grew up listening, and playing along, to Django Reinhardt, Hank Williams, Ray Charles, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie etc. He joined his first group at the age of 15 playing mainly country music, this lead to his move to East Anglia where he co-founded cult swing harmony group The Box Brothers.
Mark moved to London in 1988 where his neighbour happened to be Jools Holland. Mark jammed with Jools at the Edinburgh Festival that year, joining Jools' band soon afterwards. Over the years with the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Mark has performed with many of the biggest names in the industry - Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Paul Weller, Amy Winehouse, BB King, Al Green to name but a few. As well as appearing on all Jools' award-winning albums, Mark also played acoustic lead guitar on Devil and the Deep Blue Sea a track on George Harrison's last album Brainwashed. A live performance of this track appears in Martin Scorsese's film, Living in a Material World, a film about George Harrison's life. Additionally Mark appeared with Jools and the Orchestra in Richard Linklater's film Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron.
Mark continues to make a name for himself as a solo artist with his own catalogue of songs, written on Dobro and acoustic guitars. Performing solo, or with a small band, Mark wows his audiences with fine guitar playing and songs written from the heart. You might catch him doing a support slot at Jools Holland's shows around the UK, or at his own gigs in arts centres or small theatres and festivals around the country.
Mark's first album The Chosen Few received excellent reviews in the Folk/Roots/Blues community and featured guest appearances from Jools Holland, Sam Brown, Seckou Keita and Rico Rodriguez
Down The Wire, Mark's second album, was co-written and performed with old friend Jimmy Bergin. This record is alt/country in flavour , romantically inclined, and features a stunning guest vocal appearance by Ruby Turner.
Mark is currently working on new songs that will be available soon!