Greg started playing mandolin at age 13 and started playing Irish tunes with Margie, Jeff, and Gale in the late 70s. One day he said to the others “Hey I got us a job playing, we better get some repertoire up.” He acquired an English concertina about this time and now splits his time about equally between the two instruments in the band.
Beatlemania and banjomania hit Margie at the same, tender, junior-high age, so she had to learn guitar as well as banjo. She happily played Bluegrass and Appalachian old-time music until the late 70s when Jeff Peach played New England dance music for her on his hammered dulcimer. From there it’s a short step to Irish and Scottish traditional tunes. She started playing Irish harp in about 1985. She has spent the last 30 years banging out rhythm next to a hammer dulcimer player.
Gale started playing violin, way back when, in New Jersey with her high school orchestra. When she moved to Southern California in the late 70’s, she began playing fiddle with Greg, Margie and Jeff in the Celtic Band they formed called Blackthorn, (BK- before kids). Now, 3 boys later, she’s fiddling again with the same friends in Northern California, and is having fun with Margie trying to keep up with their concertina and hammered dulcimer players.
It was in the late 70’s that Jeff’s banjo teacher, Roger Sprung took him to the Salty Dog in Westport, Connecticut to see Bill Spence, a hammered dulcimer player. Jeff was immediately taken by the instrument and that started a long love affair with dulcimer music. If you play the hammered dulcimer, you play dance music, and if you play dance music, you end up in the Celtic world of music. His musical interest in the Celtic world and listening to bands like Planxty and The Bothy Band led to his taking up the Irish Bouzouki.