There is an old Irish legend about the giant, Finn McCool, and some of his buddies sitting around discussing what makes the most beautiful music. One said it was the sound of waves on the rocks of a beach. Another said it was the sound of a maiden laughing who had just been kissed. Another said it was the sound of a horse in the early morning fog.

Finally, Finn spoke up and said, "The most beautiful music is the story of what has happened".

The story of what has happened is really the theme for most of the songs played by our duo. We search old albums, the Internet, and the memories of older players for the best story songs we can find. Whether it's Irish, Scottish, Maritime, Folk, or Pop, we like songs that tell a story, and songs that are dynamic.

We have professional equipment and a repretoire of about 150 songs.

We've been to Ireland, Scotland and Nova Scotia in the hunt for traditional music and playing styles. In Northern Ireland we visited Belfast and Derry as well as many smaller towns looking for the best Irish music we could find. We played traditional music with some of Ireland's best at Murphy's Pub, in Dungiven, home of the McQuiston family. In Scotland we visited nearly the entire country, from remote villages to Edinburgh and Glasgow and Beth Played Loch Lomond on the shores of Loch Lomond for her ancestors.

In Nova Scotia, particularly on Cape Breton Island, we visited the Celtic Music Interpretive Center for three to four hours of the best Celtic music, and then moved on to the Gaelic College. Along the way we hit several sessions and pub music events, and performed at a few of them.

We've been lucky enough to spend time with Celtic greats Alasdair Fraser, Jeremy Kittel, Ed Miller and our great Pittsburgh friend Michael Gallagher, the best around!

On Ambergis Caye, Belize, we sat in with some of the best alternative country-pop players from Austin, TX, and met up with Jerry Jeff Walker. In the Yukon, we sat in at Bombay Peggy's Saloon with some hard-core northern musicians. Just about everywhere we go we look up authentic locals to learn something new.

Here is a quick description of the type of music we play.

Jim plays 12-string guitar. Beth plays flute and is the main instrumentalist in the band. We work out unique flute solos for as many songs as we can, solos which stray from the melody to add interest to the song. A few songs call for a harmonica and so Beth adds a haunting background with that instrument. Our typical song features the guitar and flute, with Jim singing. Beth adds harmonies occasionally.

Our songs are mostly stories set to music. They cover themes like love and war, sailing, outlaws, and drinking (obligatory - when we're an Irish band. LOL). We perform the standards like Danny Boy and Irish Eyes, Loch Lomond and Scotland the Brave. But we also dig deep for unique and ancient songs that sing of the edge of life - on a whaling boat, in a prison, out on the moors, wherever the old Scots and Irishmen were likely to be found.

Due to requests, we added both Great Lakes tunes and Civil War tunes to our repetoire. We have found these songs to be similar in nature to Celtic music as many Scots and Irishmen were brought to the Great Lakes specifically because the weather on the lakes was similar to that of the North Sea and Irish sea. Also, many Irish fought on both sides in the Civil War. So we found a common bond in all this music. Recently we've added a few regional mountain and river songs, like "Across the Blue Mountains to the Allegheny", as an example.

With Drunken Sailors we play Jimmy Buffett/Summertime music (anything from CSNY to Van Morrison) and with Capt'n Kids, it's all piraty for the little ones - AAARRGHH!

Catch us when you can!