It’s commonplace for people to proclaim Haley an amazing fiddler given her age. Mature beyond her years and a consummate performer on stage, Haley is indeed a phenomenal fiddler who has already earned her place among the top Irish fiddlers anywhere in the world regardless of age! Perhaps, predictably, Haley is a champion fiddler having earned numerous top honors at national and international competitions… most recently placing 1st in the All Ireland Championships in Under 15 Fiddle Slow Airs category at the All Ireland Fleadh in Ennis, Ireland. She also earned the title Junior Fiddler of Dooney in 2015, 1st place titles at the 2013 All Ireland Fleadh in both the Under 12 Solo Fiddle and the Under 12 Fiddle Slow Airs categories, and MidAtlantic Fleadh titles nine years in a row, winning her first trophy in the Under 12 age category at only six years old. In addition to being a dynamic solo performer, Haley has performed with many of the most top performers in Irish music today and she is the youngest member of Green Fields of America and the John Whelan Band.
Though she has long been a vocalist, Megan only recently found her inspiration to perform in the Irish music scene after assisting in an impromptu sound check, which moved John Whelan to stand and exclaim, “Don’t stop singing!” With the backing of seasoned DADGAD guitarist Don Penzien, Megan brings her own powerful and emotive style to much-loved traditional Irish songs. While relatively new to the genre, Megan already has captured the attention of top Irish musicians: John Whelan, 7- time All-Ireland accordion player, “Brilliant – the perfect voice for traditional Irish music”; Bridget Fitzgerald, master sean nós (old style) Irish singer, “Really lovely. Just beautiful”; Damien Connolly, All-Ireland accordion/melodian player, “Wow! so much emotion in her voice!”; Sean Clohessy, recipient of multiple All-Ireland titles, “Simply beautiful”; Don Meade, All-Ireland harmonica player, “Her song was the absolute highlight of this festival for me.”
Don also has long been a top-flight performer of Irish traditional music. He is frequently on the road playing concerts and festivals with top Irish musicians around the world. It was the never-ending traditional music playing at the Irish pub he frequented while earning his Ph.D. (clinical psychology) in Athens, Ohio that inspired Don to play. It was then when he began his exclusive use of the “DADGAD” guitar tuning with tips from such notables as Zan McLeod and Daíthí Sproule. Widely recognized for his reserved backing style, Don’s dexterous work on guitar provides solid, driving rhythms to traditional tunes as well as perceptive and sensitive accompaniments to songs and airs.
This trio spontaneously joined forces a little over a year ago when all attending the Ormond Beach Festival. The enthusiasm of the crowd and their joy in performing together encouraged them to seek out more opportunities as a trio.