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Meet the Band...

Beth Patterson was born in a swamp. Okay, more accurately, she was born in a hospital near a swamp, but that's close enough to romanticize the origin of this Lafayette, Louisiana native. Described by audiences as "a cross between a cobra and a puppy," multi-instrumentalist Beth Patterson is foremost a player of the eight- and ten-stringed Irish bouzoukis (adaptations of a traditional Greek instrument). Known for her razor wit and musical versatility, her performances are chock-full of drive, savage energy, and passion, laced with humor and rapport with her listeners, dishing out an eclectic repertoire of original and traditional songs. She integrates her quirky, progressive sound with Celtic music and other ethnic styles, resulting in her own sound she dubs "SWAP" (Songwriter/World/Acoustic/Progressive).

So, what has this hussy actually done? Well, Ms. Patterson has released six solo CDs and has received airplay in the every continent (Antarctica notwithstanding). She has appeared on over 100 recordings (including the nationally-charting Change of Habit by her former band The Poor Clares). Soundtrack appearances include the motion picture The One-Eyed King (starring William Baldwin and Armand Assante), and Mike Judge's Mirimax release Extract. She's performed in over a dozen countries. Over 80 of her original compositions have been recorded, either by herself or by various artists across the US, France, Ireland, and New Zealand. She completed a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Loyola University, New Orleans. But she claims that her work will not be finished until the word "bouzouki" is no longer flagged by spell-checkers worldwide.


Larry Rone began his music career one evening in the 1970s while experimenting with LSD and listening to a track from Pink Floyd's Ummagumma called Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict. The next day, he bought a pennywhistle and after a few years pissing off roommates and girlfriends, he eventually formed an Irish band called Rakish Paddy. They sucked, but it was the 80s, so they got lots of gigs and eventually Larry learned how to play, but he had to wear very large eyeglasses.

Since then he has been at the forefront of world music in the Southwest. Larry is one of the best wooden flute and pennywhistle players in the region and one of the finest bombarde players outside of France. He is a former entertainment director for the North Texas Irish Festival and the Austin Celtic Festival. He has been a promoter of all forms of folk music, sponsoring tours of several top-shelf Breton musicians in the US.

Larry has played wooden flute, rustic oboe, pennywhistle and bombarde (a kind of Breton oboe developed by NASA rocket scientists) with several of Texas' finest traditional bands including Crazy Jane & the Bishop and Rakish Paddy in 2003, Larry performed as a soloist on the bombarde with the Chicago Symphony.

He is also a highly respected flute player in Japan, where he was a founding member of the Kansai-based Banish Misfortune (厄払い Yakubarai) and performed regularly with the most famous Japanese folksinger-songwriter, Takaishi Tomoya. Larry has recorded with Michael Martin Murphy, Ed Miller and Eliza Gilkyson. Larry has lived and traveled widely in the British Isles and Brittany, collecting tunes and learning regional musical styles.


My name is Richard Kean, and I've been playing the bagpipes for over 30 years. My favorite color is plaid. I have the strangest bagpipe collection in the US, 5 kittens and a pet rock. Early in my piping carrier I fell in love with the idea of doing more with the bagpipe than could be found in pipe bands and have ever since been pushing the bag into strange and unusual situations. Please do not ask me what is worn under a kilt. (nothing is worn under my kilt, it's all in fine shape).

I play a number of quite loud bagpipes including the Great Highland Pipes, the Breton biniou kozh, the Scottish border pipes as well as some of their softer cousins including the Scottish small pipes and Galician gaïta. I can turn myself into a stranger, and I've had a lot of canes broken on my hide. I was born away in a cornfield. A fever beats in my head like a drum inside. They've stopped trying to hold me in mortar, stone and chain. I broke out of every prison.


Shrouded in mystery, Wolf Loescher is an eccentric alien traveller of great intelligence who battles injustice while exploring time and space in an unreliable time machine (which notably appears much larger on the inside than on the outside). Irascible and slightly sinister, but can quickly mellow into a more compassionate figure. It will eventually be revealed that he has been on the run from his own people, the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey.

In his waking life, Wolf has explored percussion in a variety of settings in bands ranging from symphonic to progressive rock to Celtic folk and all points in between. He specializes in drum kit and hand percussion, with special interest in the djembe. Wolf has played on numerous other recordings with different projects including Two O'Clock Courage, SixMileBridge, The Rogues, Jiggernaut, and EJ Jones. He also sings and plays Irish bouzouki and guitar. He also makes a mean cup of tea.

Meet our Friends (and sometime members)...

A founding member emeritus of Poor Man's Fortune, and sometimes still a band member (when the money is right), Dr. Serge Laîné is a native of Central France and holds a Ph D. in French traditional music (literally ... he is a doctor, you can trust him). In the early 70s, Serge was in a French pop band called Pop Concerto Orchestra (sort of the French equivalent of "The Monkees"). He played regularly on French TV and was a "pop" star in France, though one relegated to the lot of Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones.

But when he heard French folk-music legends in the early 1970s such as Gabriel Yacoub and Alan Stivell he was hooked on folk music and never looked back. He started playing the folk music of his native country, specializing in Breton music. In the late 1970s he came to Austin to study at the University of Texas and immediately became an integral part of the Austin folk music scene. Serge is also well versed in the music of Madagascar, having spent two years there in the French army ... teaching English; I can't make this stuff up!

Serge has performed with Irish bands Crazy Jane & the Bishop and Finn MacCool, French folk band Cocquesigruës, Cajun bands Ti Fer and D'jalma Garnier. Presently, Serge also performs with one of the oldest folk bands in Texas, Bourrée Texane.

Serge has also recorded with Abra Moore, Irish flute player L.E. McCullough, Scottish singer Ed Miller, guitarist Rich Brotherton, and fiddlers Erik Hokkanen and Danny Levin. Serge sings in French and Breton, and plays an astonishing number of diverse instruments including diatonic accordion, Scottish lowland bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes, dulcitare, guitar, hurdy-gurdy, pennywhistle, crumhorn, musette, cabrette, bombarde, fiddle, and bass.


Jean-Michel Veillon once saved a baby from drowning. He's been seen at the table with kings. He once killed a man with a guitar string, and there are those who say beneath his coat there are wings. Some say they fear him while others admire him. One look in his eye, and everyone denies ever having met him.

He is also widely considered in the Celtic music world as the finest exponent of the Irish flute, and a giant of Breton music. He didn't pay us to say that, it's really true. He's been a good friend and mentor in our study of Breton music and was our first inspiration to explore it. We were blessed by his presence in the studio as producer of our latest CD Bayou Curious.

He was a child prodigy on the bombarde. Later in life, he became interested in Irish music, particularly the wooden flute, which was not played in Brittany. Through his exemplary work with groups like Galorn, Kornog, Barzaz, Den, and Pennou Skoulm, Jean-Michel has made the wooden flute an integral part of the Breton music tradition.


Michael Doucet joined us on fiddle on Bayou Curious and we were incredibly lucky to have him sit in. Serge and Beth have known Michael for many years. Beth grew up with him in Lafayette, and Serge met Michael when his band BeauSoleil played Austin in 1980. Michael became interested in the French traditional music that Serge was steeped in and Serge caught the Cajun bug from Michael back then.

Deeply influenced by older musicians such as Amédé Ardoin and especially Dennis McGee (who became a friend), Doucet and a group of like-minded friends formed a band in 1975, naming it Coteau. He also formed Beausoleil with Kenneth and Sterling Richard in 1977. With Beausoleil, Doucet blended elements of traditional Cajun music with zydeco, adding hints of jazz, blues, and country. In 2005, Doucet and Beausoleil received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, and in 2007 were awarded a United States Artists Grant. The band has been nominated many times for Grammy awards, and won for Best Traditional Folk Album with 1997's L'Amour Ou La Folie. Among many pieces Doucet has composed for his band are "Chanson D'Acadie," "Bunk's Blues," "Conja," "Newz Reel," "Quelle Belle Vie," "L'Ouragon," and "Freeman's Zydeco," the latter in collaboration with Fremont Fontenot.

A little known fact about Michael: He is the reincarnation of Niccolo Paganini, the legendary Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer.


Another stellar guest on our latest CD, Brian McNeill has been a good friend of the band for years, and long before we met him, we were in awe of his accomplishments with the Battlefield Band and as a solo artist (and author!). He always plays a tune or two with us when we play the same festival. Brian has been described as 'Scotland's most meaningful contemporary songwriter' (The Scotsman); add to that his work and influence as performer, composer, producer, teacher, musical director, band leader, novelist and interpreter of Scotland's past, present and future and you have a man who has never stood still. He has performed around the globe, both as a soloist and with some of the era's most influential bands, including Battlefield Band, which he founded in 1969, and Clan Alba.

Brian was born in 1950 in Falkirk and began his musical training in his early teens with violin lessons, but soon forsook that for the electric guitar. There followed a comprehensive musical education and mildly misspent youth - until his student years brought him to Celtic music. As a direct consequence, in 1969 he formed the Battlefield Band, which became one of Scotland's best known ensembles.

Brian plays fiddle, octave fiddle, guitars, mandocello, bouzouki, mandolin, cittern, doubleneck mandocello, viola, English concertina, bass and hurdy. The importance of his songwriting, mostly about Scotland's past and future, has long been recognised. Songs including The Yew Tree, The Lads O' The Fair, The Snows of France and Holland, Strong Women Rule Us All With Their Tears, Any Mick'll Do and No Gods and Precious Few Heroes have established him as one of Scotland's leading songwriters.

A little know fact about Brian: In the 1980s, in addition to his work with the Battlefield Band, he surreptitiously served as an MI5 counter-intellegence agent, and was instrumental in exposing the Westland affair. The Thatcher government forced him to resign is commission, and since that time Brian has been a frelance intelligence agen for hire, working mostly with environmental groups and labor unions in Eastern Eurpoe.