The Celtic Wonder Band A Northern California group of roving (or is that raving?) social misfits, who were dedicated to making fine music and shaking up the current established order. Or at least they did, at one time. Now no longer a together, the original core group consisted of Maggie McKaig, Shawn Prescott-Haussler, and Luke Wilson. Shawn, tired of rabble rousing, is now off playing harps and whistles and what have you with various other people, and has a CD out called Taking the Air. The Celtic Wonder Band refused to die, however, and continues to perform at the Halla Na Cloch Pub, and at other Celtic related events, with McKaig and Wilson now joined by Scottish fiddler Murray Campbell, who also plays oboe and English horn. That trio is joined by San Francisco bass player Michael Zisman in the band 'Storm Session'. More on that follows below. McKaig, a fifth generation Californian of Russian and Scotch Irish ancestry, is known for her intricate guitar work... "Absoultely beautiful instrumental work, especially the guitar." (Steve Baughman, San Francisco, CA)... and her unusual songwriting... 'unceasingly original and provocative, the landscape of work is unfailingly refreshing and thought provoking.' (Carolyn Crane, radio journalist, Nevada City, CA)... melding the influences from a diverse artistic backround in music and theatre. 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, as well as classical European, Eastern European folk, American country, folk, jazz, and spoken word- stories and music from around the world come into play to create Maggie's songs and music, and beautifully demonstrated on her 2003 release produced by Wilson, "Grand Promenade" "The CD is gorgeous...an awesome job in writing, playing and putting thoughts and passions out to share with us!" (Lou Johnson, Dos Almas Music ). The newest CD,"Storm Sessions', once again demonstrates the powerful fusion of Maggie's musical influences. Storm Sessions is receiving airplay on over 400 radio stations around the world thanks to inclusion of one of it's cuts on last fall's Poetman Records Acoustic Rainbow Sampler release. The CD has been popular in the Netherlands and Germany, aside from the hundreds of stations across the U.S and Canada playing the California based band's music. Maggie is also lending her vocal and instrumental talents these days as part of two time Native American Grammy winner Mary Youngblood's all woman backup band, Sisters of the Earth. Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Luke Wilson plays cittern, banjo, dobro, just about anything else with frets, and has a great tenor voice. He is a veteran of the Canadian and European cluband festival scenes. Luke also has a long-standing career as a studio musician, arranger,and producer. Starting with his first band in 1965, Luke has been playing professionally ever since. With musical partner Ron Paul Morin he moved to England in 1970. The duo recored their first and only album, 'Peaceful Company' in 1971. It was produced by John Pearse for Capitol Records. Deciding they didn't like their Capitol contract after all, and seeking to explore other musical avenues, Morin and Wilson eventually went their separate ways. Luke played with several other British musicians during that time including Major Wiley and banjo player Pete Stanley. In 1975 Luke moved back to Canada to Calgary, Alberta, set up shop as a luthier, and formed the band Buckdancer's Choice. A few years later after Buckdancer's Choice broke up, he formed the band Lost in the Colonies which played many Canadian festivals. By this time Luke was widely known for his improvisational skills on numerous instruments, and his ability to play and fit into all kinds of musical settings. He lent his talents to numerous well known musicians and bands at the time such as Backline Orchestra, the Diamond Joe White Band, Ken Hamm, and others. Moving with musical partner and wife Maggie McKaig to Nevada City, California in 1988, Luke has since played with many of Nevada County's finest bands and musicians including Utah Phillips, Alasdair Fraser, and Saul Rayo. He began playing with the Celtic Wonder Band in 2002. Luke also plays slide guitar and banjo in ukelele wizard / political songwriter Dan Scanlan's band 'Jukolin' When not playing, arranging, or producing music, Luke also continues his work as a luthier in his shop Wolfnote Studios, a skill handed down by his grandfather. Shawn Prescott Haussler is also a native of the central California coast. Her vocal renditions of traditional tunes as she accompanies herself on harp never fail to move audiences. She is also highly skilled on flute and Irish whistles. Shawn honed her skills amidst the redwood trees, local pubs, and coffeehouses of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Moving to Nevada County in 1999 with her husband Doug and their triplets, she soon met Maggie and Luke, and began to share her talents with other local musicians on stage and in the recording studio. Her musical abilities combined with her natural grace and beauty on stage never fails to mesmerize audiences. The Celtic Wonder Band was frequently joined by other talented musicians. Beautiful vocal harmonies, and dynamic, creative arrangements were the bands trademark, as they made their way through Irish, Scottish, American and Original songs, airs and dance tunes.
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