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Griffiths, Mark

He is a guitarist, bass and harmonica player, backing vocalist and songwriter born in Northampton, England, who began his interest in music as a child and after his father had given him his first guitar and encouraged him he went on to turn to a professional career in music in the 1960s when he was just fifteen.

First he taught at the Northampton Guitar Studios but then he got his break as a performer when he was asked to become a member of the group Harsh Reality.  They released an album and then after a recommendation by the producer he found himself as a member of Matthews’ Southern Comfort and the later Southern Comfort.  He remained with them for at least 5 albums and performed on their No. 1 UK hit single “Woodstock “.  He retained his association with Iain Matthews after he left the band and appeared with him on his solo recordings and with the group Plainsong.

When he was on a tour in the US he heard the bass player James Jamerson playing on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album and he decided that he wanted to add the bass guitar to his instruments.  This became almost his main instrument from then on, only moving back to the guitar more in recent years.

In the late 1970s he performed with the group Transporter and also went into collaboration with Manfred Mann on an idea of patenting a technique for turning a guitar into a “totally stereo instrument”, which was termed a polyphonic sound system.  From 1981 he was a member of the backing band for Cliff Richard and in the late 1980s he became a “temporary member” of chart-topping guitar ensemble The Shadows in place of Alan Jones, but he continued to play with them until they effectively disbanded in late 1990 and has backed the famed Hank Marvin until present day.

During his long and successful career he has worked with many artists either on tour and/or in the studio.  These include Mike Berry, Cathedral, Billy Connolly, Duane Eddy, Gallagher & Lyle, Steve Gibbons, Dobie Gray, Neil Innes, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Lynne, The Rutles, Al Stewart, Bonnie Tyler and Deniece Williams .

The albums he appears on are numerous and include titles such as his own 2008 52 Florence Road as well as May Your Song Always Be Sung Vol. 3 by Bob Dylan , Rock On by David Essex, Reunion Concert by The Everly Brothers, Fairport Unconventional by Fairport Convention, Fingerprints by Peter Frampton, Hank Plays Cliff and Hank Plays Holly by Hank Marvin, Siamese Friends & Shook by Iain Matthews , Second Spring and Later That Same Year by Matthews’ Southern Comfort , Rock Connection, Stronger, 31st of February Street and Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard, At Their Very Best and Reflections by The Shadows, Frog City by Southern Comfort and the compilations Greatest Guitar Hits Vols. 1 & 2 and Classic Guitar Moods.  In the world of TV and movies he has appeared in a episode of the Ruth Rendell Mysteries and the films Shock Treatment and Going Off Big Time.

In the mid-2000s he started working on developing the range of Ryder guitars for the Sue Ryder Care Charity and in 2007 he was in the reformed Any Trouble for the release of their new album Life in Reverse.  He has toured with John Verity and Phoenix and from 2008 he toured as the bass player for the Cliff and the Shadows 50th Anniversary Tour.

Matthews’ Southern Comfort recordings
Woodstock (Joni Mitchell )
Old Gold OG 9795-A (UK 7″)

Here he is performing “Some Are Lonely”…