Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson | Storm Sessions

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United States - California

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Folk: Power-folk Folk: Celtic Fusion Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Storm Sessions

by Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson

Progressive Acoustic Folk Rock with numerous other world influences, strongly Celtic but Roma too, on Accordion, Guitar, Banjo, Violin, Oboe, English Horn, and electric Bass, with strong, beautiful resonant vocals, performing both original and traditional
Genre: Folk: Power-folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Everything
3:33 $0.99
2. Ya Los Días Son Cortos
5:23 $0.99
3. Get Reel: Sweeney's Buttermilk/ Jenny's Chickens/Pretty Peg
4:22 $0.99
4. When the Mountain's Cry
4:39 $0.99
5. Take Your Time and Do It Right
4:25 $0.99
6. Titania's Waltz
4:47 $0.99
7. Newry Town
3:10 $0.99
8. Are Ye Sleepin' Maggie
6:34 $0.99
9. The Jigs: Kesh/Tobin's/Myra's
4:55 $0.99
10. Christmas Bells
4:45 $0.99
11. The Emperor's Clothes
4:28 $0.99
12. When the Sun Goes Down
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“I LOVE it, and especially love "Everything". It's so moving, and the music is incredible--I mean, ALL the music is AMAZING and that song to launch what follows it is brilliant.”
--Sands Hall, author, actor, playwright

"The Spanish song is gorgeous"
--Margo Meredith, musician

“Your music... It's beautiful!”
--Donna Konsorado, musician and music promoter, Lentzville, Vancouver Island, Canada.

“Really quite a delight to listen to!”
--Jimmy James, DJ, KBCS Radio, Bellevue, Washington

“This is a great CD, with a really warm and live sound!”
--Che Greenwood, DJ. KVMR Radio, Nevada City, CA

“Gorgeous mixture of strings, banjo, resonant vocals and folky guitar all intertwined beautifully. A euphonious and cohesive blend of songs with a renaissance/baroque feel.
Track 1. Everything: Melodious, flowing feel with vocals.
Track 5. Take Your Time And Do It Right: This track boast classic, folk male vocals. Catchy and unrestrained at the same time.
Track 11. The Emperor's Clothes: Haunting melodies and vocal quality.”
--June at Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion

“At present we introduce the compilation CD: Acoustic Rainbow Vol. 27 from Acoustic Rainbow Records to our listeners. At the moment your track CHRISTMAS BELLS is placed among the 10 most requested titles at our RTW program.
Congratulations! All the best and lots of success!”
--Programme director: Christian Claesberg RTW Radio Teutoburger Wald
DJ: Andrea Stolle

And after receiving the whole CD:
“Emotional and produced perfectly. First-class acoustic music. At the moment our listeners likes the tunes #1, #7 and #12
--Programme director: Christian Claesberg, DJ: Andrea Stolle
RTW RADIO, Herford,Germany

“That night was so magical. It was all that I hope the holidays and solstice to be, but often aren't. An incredible spirit of warmth, joy and community pervaded the room. The music was fabulous. Thank you for that!”
--Maxima Putnam Kahn, Grass Valley, CA

This last quote was only one of the glowing reviews after the very first concert the Storm Session Band performed in December, 2005. Storm Session is the creation of singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Maggie McKaig. Since that first concert the McKaig Wilson Storm Session Band recorded “Storm Sessions”, and toured in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. And true to our name, we’ve brought rain almost everywhere we’ve traveled--although the sun has managed to prevail by concert time.

With over 100++ years of combined performance experience, we’re very accomplished players, having had involvement in a multitude of various performing arts, such as dance, theatre, and musical theatre, as well as being deeply involved in arts education. All the playing is fine, but when it comes down to it, it feels really good to share ones knowledge with young students. Whether it be major concerts, radio and television shows, or creating film scores, we’ve done it. Our goal in each concert is be as exciting on stage as possible, and to transfer to the audience our love of what we do. We have amazingly gorgeous instruments which have exceptionally beautiful tone, all kept in wonderful condition by Luke, who also happens to be a second generation luthier. Performing on guitar, violin, banjo, dobro, lap steel, accordion, oboe, English Horn, and electric bass, with solo and harmony vocals, we cover many genres of music. It is a bit tiresome trying to come up with a “category” we fit in. Everyone wants your “genre”. Bah!

The bottom line is that our live performances never fail to move and excite audiences in a very positive way. We’re just inspiring kind of people. We even teach dances. Murray has more than enough charm and experience to teach the steps to dances from his native Scotland and have everyone getting quite “ethnic” as we love to say. And in the next moment, we may take off with the accordion and violin into the world of Eastern Europe, where the music of Maggie's Russian heritage takes over and one thinks surely there is Roma blood in there somewhere. Luke is a genius on the banjo. One can’t really call it bluegrass. It is Luke’s World. We also believe that there are only a handful of banjo players on the planet that can get the type of awesome tones and sounds out of the banjo that Luke can. He is truly unique.

Utah Phillips once introduced Maggie and Luke as two of the finest folk musicians performing today. And we are all folk, aren’t we? They’ve been performing together for over 28 years. On their first date they went to the 1977 Regina Folk Festival in Saskatchewan, Canada, where Luke was performing as a solo act with his banjo. He won Maggie’s heart, and since then they've recorded four CD's together while raising two sons, and played and recorded with many other wonderful musicians, together and separately along the way, in the U.S. and Canada. The 2006 release Storm Sessions is getting airplay on over 400 radio stations around the world, thanks to one of it’s songs being included on last fall’s Acoustic Rainbow Sampler release.

Our global folk mix apparently appeals to a very broad spectrum of people. Storm Sessions is being played to some rave reviews on radio stations in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Belgium, Hong Kong, and Finland, aside from the hundreds of stations across the U.S and Canada playing the beautiful fiery mix .

Here’s a bit more individual biographical information.

McKaig, a fifth generation Russian Scotch Irish Californian, is known for her intricate guitar work.... “Absolutely beautiful instrumental work, especially the guitar.” (Steve Baughman, musician, Mel Bay Celtic Guitar author)... emotion filled accordion playing, and her song writing... "Unceasingly original and provocative, the landscape of work is unfailingly refreshing and thought provoking."(Carolyn Crane, radio journalist)... melding the influences from a diverse artistic background in music and theatre. “...I find that, while you latest album has a more evident Celtic feel, "Grand Promenade" is more oriented toward the classic" style of the best American singer-songwriters working in the Americana field. But both have very subtle arrangements and contain fine songs sung by a sweet and beautiful voice!
More songs from both the albums will surely be on air in the next weeks.
--Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazia, San Michele (AL) Italy

Few women have been playing guitar for as long and as seriously. Her current custom made slightly oversized Lance McCollum guitar has been compared to a Steinway Grand in tonal quality. "Really lush are the only words that describe your playing"... Paul Emery, producer, Mary Youngblood’s manager. Twenty years of intense study and performance with master musicians and dancers from Brazil, Egypt, Lebanon, Hawaii, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Africa, East India, the Celtic lands, classical European, Eastern European folk, American country, folk, jazz, and spoken word come into play to create Maggie’s songs and music. All of this was beautifully demonstrated on her 2003 release produced by Wilson, Grand Promenade. And now with Storm Sessions, the strength of Maggie's creative vision is evident in profusion.

Ever one to seek out new and interesting creative endeavors, Maggie is also now performing with two time Grammy winner Mary Youngblood as a member of Sisters of the Earth.

Luke, originally from Oshawa Ontario, developed a rather unbluegrassy style of banjo playing which became quite legendary north of the border in the late 1970’s and ‘80’s. In the states, before Bela Fleck there was Tony Trischka. In Canada there was Luke “...a superb banjo picker” (the Albertan, May 31,1977) who believed the banjo should not be limited to bluegrass. His inspirations include 19th century classical banjo players and the banjo’s African roots. He has performed to great acclaim with the banjo in genres which had rarely seen the banjo. He is just delightful to watch and listen as he plays. In the early 1970's Luke and fellow Canadian guitarist singer songwriter Ron Paul Morin were signed to Capitol Records and recorded an album, "Peaceful Company" in London, England. Not very happy with the contract they had been persuaded to sign, the duo parted with Capitol. Luke ended up back in Canada, and performed in many different bands. He continues to do today what he was doing back then--fusing “...old time country music, bluegrass and jazz in a free wheeling and unique manner.” (The Albertan, November 1, 1977) Luke also continues to play the banjo like a instrument with no boundaries. He is equally as adept on cittern, dobro, lap steel, and just about anything with strings. But he’s devoted most of his time to the banjo.

The bass player on both Grand Promenade and Storm Sessions is Michael Zisman. Having met Maggie and Luke in 1986 when they lived in Santa Cruz CA, the trio played a few gigs together that summer, but then lost track of each other when Michael moved east that fall. After completing his studies at William Patterson College in 1989 under the direction of Todd Coolman and Rufus Reid, “Z: moved to New York City where he lived and performed until moving to the Bay Area in 2000. Michael has performed with Jazz leaders such as Cecil Payne, Junior Cook, George Coleman, Harold Maybern, Clark Terry, Eddie Henderson, Jerome Richardson, Benny Golson, Tootie Heath, and Ernestine Anderson. Zisman also performs with many of the Jazz stars of the future. Aside from performing, Zisman was the Faculty Director at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for ten years. He is the creator and editor of "The Real Easy Book", a fakebook and resource text for beginning improvisers and music teachers, that was published by Sher Music in 2003. Zisman also continues his busy performance schedule with some of the finest artists in jazz.
..."a master of his instrument's melodic aspects. Singing along quietly with his solos, Zisman displayed a seemingly endless supply of improvisational brilliance, creating long, fluid lines that were full of beauty and surprise."
- All about Jazz, Forrest Bryant

..."[at the Monterey Jazz Festival] Michael Zisman, constructed beautiful, clear melodies in his solos."
- Mercury News, Richard Scheinin

Scottish musician Murray Campbell moved to Nevada County early in 2005, and has been playing with Maggie and Luke since, both in the Celtic Wonder Band and Storm Session. Having been both traditionally and classically trained as a musician in Scotland, Murray also studied a number of years in the Hague . While able to burn up the traditional Celtic repertoire on fiddle, Campbell is also accomplished on the oboe and English horn, and plays just about any kind of music. He perfoms in Nevada County’s Belfry Brothers, has been touring this past year with Vermillion Lies, is featured on Nevada County's Paul Kamm and Eleanor MacDonald’s latest 2006 release, and is performing in June and July 2007 in central Virginia with the Shentai Circus Performers.

Maggie and Luke Discography:
--Edge of the World 2008
--Storm Sessions. 2006
--Small Wonder. 2004. Also available on CD Baby
--Grand Promenade. 2003. Also available on CD Baby
--Lost In The Colonies. 1984 (Produced by CBC. Engineered by Don Pennington at CBC in Calgary, Alberta.)
--Peaceful Company. Luke Wilson and Ron Paul Morin. 1971 for Capitol Records. London, England.




to write a review

Genna Pieri

Passionate, real, soul companionship in the words, exquisite instrumentals
The first song on this CD, "Everything", is the song I want at my wedding. I keep thinking I have found the best song on this album (Everything, Ya Los Dias...) but the more I listen, the more each song becomes a friend, uplifting, compassionate, raw, light of spirit, making me dance and cry and smile and sing. I play it over and over.