Mickie began playing guitar as a teen but soon became interested in other instruments. Before the age of 20, he was teaching guitar to 45 pupils a week, had studied sitar at
Ravi Shankar's Kinnara and was playing almost every instrument that sported strings and frets. He started playing the flute and bagpipes in his early 20's and has become accomplished on many wind instruments.
Mickie's interest in Irish music was fi rst inspired by the legendary Irish accordion players Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan, with whom he performed for many years. Mickie founded Lark In The Morning,
an international business that specializes in rare and unusual musical instruments. He is a musical instrument collector, and a videographer specializing in traditional music and dance. He has
performed with the "Golden Toad," "McClouds Ceili Band," "Take A Dance," "Mickie & Elizabeth" and "Mooncoin."
Tim O'Laughlin began playing violin at the age of nine, and still
plays the instrument that his parents gave him at the age of twelve.
He took up guitar at the age of fourteen, and uses the instrument to
accompany himself when he performs as a singer/songwriter, and to lead
group singing. Tim took up the mandolin in his late thirties, which
he played along with his fiddle in the Celtic fusion band, Celticlysm!
and Mendocino's English Country Dance orchestra, Take a Dance. Tim is
also an accomplished Choral singer, having performed in large groups
in venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie and New York City's Carnegie
Paula studied recorders under the eminent teacher Hans Bender and his virtuoso daughter, Constanze Bender. She performed in a trio with the above and in the larger: "Monrovia Recorder Consort" in various venues around Los Angeles County for several years. In Mendocino she has belonged to the baroque trio sonata group " Cantabile"; "The Coast Celtic Ensemble"; "Orion's Belt"; "Take A Dance" English country dance band; and "Starlight Trio", which includes: Celtic, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and various world folk music.
Debra Dawson plays a hurdy gurdy made in the high baroque style by famed a famed modern maker Jean Claude Boudet
The hurdy gurdy sounds half way between a violin and a bagpipe. It is played by pressing keys and turning the wheel instead of bowing the sound is produced. Some of the strings play the melody and some give a drone.
Debra has been playing the folk music of rural France on Hurdy Gurdy (Vielle-a-Roue) since the early 1980s', when she was apprenticed to the legendary player Arrigo D'Albert. She has taught French song, fiddle style, dance and Vielle at Lark in the Morning music festival and appeared on Prairie Home Companion as a member of the group TOUR de FRANCE, whose CD will be available at performances. She has studied in France and produced festivals bringing some of France's most exciting players to the US. Her love is for the robust, lively dance repertoire of the center of France, emerging from the Middle Ages and continuing in a vibrant contemporary style.
Brian Steeger studied traditional music for 35 years with the great masters of music and dance from the America’s, Europe, Central Asia and Indonesia. As a co-founder of the “Alta-California-Dance- Orchestra” or “TACO” he was awarded a California Arts Council grant for his work in reviving old California music. Together with his wife Marianne, he was a musical director of El Teatro Campesino’s winter productions. He is now living in Fort Bragg with his wife, Marianne and together they continue to play traditional music of Europe and the Americas. Brian performs on Violin.
Marianne Steeger, is an accomplished musician on button accordion, percussion (Mid-Eastern darbuka and side drum for historical reenactments) and vocals. She's performed with the San Juan Bautista, California El Teatro Campesino’s winter productions of La Virgen Del Tepeyac and La Pastorela for 10 years (1989-1999). During this time she became a musical co-director with her husband Brian. Marianne has sung with San Benito County’s Oriana Chorale with performances at the San Juan Mission, and is also involved with The Alta California Orchestra, a group that features the music of California 150 years ago. She is continues her musical adventures by playing the older-style European and American dance music. Marianne performs on Button Accordion.
You've probably heard David M. Brown's music on NBC's Last Call With Carson Daly, History Channel's American Pickers, Comedy Central's Tosh O, Lifetime's Dance Moms and Double Divas, Discovery Channel's Auction Kings, Women's Entertainment Joan & Melissa or in Independent Films such as Exotic World and the Burlesque Revival, Young Broke and Beautiful and the Making of Monsoon DVD as well as many placements on MTV, VH1, National Geographic Wild, Food Network etc.
David plays for these ensembles on mandolin, recorder, whistles, clarinet, banjo and wooden flute.
David Brown was born in New Orleans in October 1957, and grew up in the suburb of Metairie. He began playing music professionally in 1972 in a wedding and dance band called "The Cabarets", one of the later offshoots of the kid's jazz band "Dunk's Honky-tonks". David played bass, guitar and tenor banjo, performing swing, Dixieland, pop and other styles with "The Cabarets", in virtually every VFW, American Legion and DAV hall in the Greater New Orleans Area, and popular wedding places like the Balcony, the Arrow and Champagne rooms, etc. David also played with many other bands in addition to "The Cabarets", particularly the "Third Line Jazz Band, both of which still played street jazz for the marching clubs for their Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's day parades.
Susan has played with the Berkeley Baroque Strings, The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, Habibiyya and with Pat Kilroy. She plays violin, viola and Boehm system flute.
Elizabeth has played the piano since the age of five and is accomplished in many genres of music. The magic of the hammered dulcimer began for her at the age of 16, and she has been playing it avidly ever since. The concertina, flute and pennywhistle have also been her constant musical companions for many years. Elizabeth received her formal music training at the University of California at Santa Cruz and has been involved in their ethnic music studies program. Besides playing music, she teaches English Country Dance, Barn Dances and Irish Ceildhe Dance, which are the roots of American square dance.
Elizabeth's credits include performance with the groups "Red Branch," "Cat's Cradle," "The White Rose Parlor Orchestra," and "Tipsy House." She has been the music and dance director of the Scottish show at the Living History Centre's Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Elizabeth performs on the Hammered Dulcimer, Irish Concertina, Irish Simple System Flute, Bodhran, Pennywhistle, Keyboards and vocals.