Bluegrass guitarist and mandolin player Mark Newton came from a musical family: his father played mandolin, guitar, and fiddle and his mother was an accomplished pianist. Newton took the stage with his father at the age of 14, leading to his involvement in many groups in the '70s and early '80s, including Cabin Hill, the Knoxville Grass, and the regionally successful Heights of Grass. In the mid-'80s, he joined the pioneering contemporary bluegrass band the Virginia Squires featuring future headliners Sammy Shelor, and Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins. Their tenure on the Rebel label was met with critical acclaim, and established the group as one of the most innovative forces in modern bluegrass. In 1995, Newton joined up with banjo legend Bill Emerson, bassist Bob Goff, and mandolin player Emory Lester and has appeared as Emerson & Newton throughout the '90s, playing shows all over the eastern U.S. In 1998, Newton released his solo album, Living a Dream. This opportunity for the guitarist to share the studio with a number of his musical influences became the catalyst for 2000's Follow Me Back to the Fold, a tribute to women in bluegrass. The album proved to be one of the biggest bluegrass releases of the year, earning several International Bluegrass Music Association nominations, earning an award for Recorded Event of the Year. These successes were followed up by the formation of the Mark Newton Band, featuring Mike Munford on banjo, Troy Engle on mandolin and fiddle, and bassist Goff collaborating on the album Charlie Lawson's Still, released in 2001. ~ Zac Johnson, Rovi