Inspired by the vocal arrangements of the Byrds, the Bluegrass Cardinals, and a few other bands with bird names, we originally planned to name ourselves after the Colorado state bird. We found, however, that few people knew the state bird… and that “the Lark Buntings” was an unmemorable mouthful for many. Something about the bird seemed fitting tho, and after a couple rounds of bourbon we settled on “The Larks.”
Banjo + Dobro + Vocals
Tony grew up in Baltimore, MD. He played guitar from an early age, including a stint in a working Top-40 band while still in high school. After moving to Colorado in 1997, he began studying dobro with Sally Van Meter. A few years later, following a mid-life crisis, he took up the banjo. Influences include Flatt & Scruggs, The Bluegrass Cardinals, Alan Munde, Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren.
Mandolin + Vocals
Jack first learned to play violin at the age of six through the Suzuki Method in his hometown of Arlington Heights, IL. At age 16, after being inspired by David Grisman’s mandolin work in Grateful Dead’s Friend of the Devil, Jack started teaching himself to play mandolin and guitar. Prior to joining the Larks, Jack has played and recorded with the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a jam band), the Shinigans (an Irish Folk band), and Mustache Walker (a country rock band).
Upright Bass + Vocals
Andy learned to play guitar as a teenager in Blackpool UK, and his earliest exposures to bluegrass were during trips to the US in the 80’s. Interested in the music, Andy searched for bluegrass music back in the UK and found a local festival called the Edale Bluegrass Festival. He started a bluegrass band with a couple of friends in Sheffield Yorkshire, and one year the band got to perform at the Edale Festival. In 1990, Andy moved to the United States and settled in the Denver area where he taught himself to play the upright bass. Before playing with the Larks, Andy played in a Jazz combo in the Denver area for a number of years called the West Side Jazz Combo.
Guitar + Vocals
Raised in Northern New Jersey, Jon began his life-long musical pursuit as a child playing violin and viola in various orchestras and chamber groups. His discovery of bluegrass music came about through a chance encounter with mandolin virtuoso Frank Wakefield, while in school at Skidmore College. Wakefield quickly became Jon’s musical mentor and friend, teaching him Monroe-style mandolin and bluegrass harmony singing. Since then, Jon has gone on to play in various bluegrass groups, on both mandolin and guitar. An ornithologist by training, Jon moved to Colorado in 2012 to pursue a career as a wildlife biologist.
There’s not much like the sound of friends singing together with acoustic instruments. We hope you can join us at a concert soon!