THE BOYS

Aaron Betit: Vocals, guitar

Aaron Betit: Vocals, guitar

Aaron Betit  spent his childhood studying bluegrass fiddle in Roxbury, Vermont. He has since lead the sordid life of a multi-instrumentalist. His professional musical career started at age thirteen, participating in daily performances and demonstrations with the Ticonderoga Fife and Drum Corps. At age sixteen, he toured the Adirondack fair circuit backing an Elvis impersonator on bass. He crafted his bass-baritone voice by studying vocal performance at the Hartt School of Music. Since 1997, he’s been active in the Los Angeles music scene as a founding member of the bands H!NT, Ruptured Duck, and Green Ashes, changing instruments as frequently as bands. His bands have shared the stage with the Spin Doctors, members of the Blue Man Group, and Dada.

Aaron’s guitar technique has been described as opinionated and simplistic. His vocal approach is much the same. Having grown up in New England and the Adirondacks, he drank in the music of the hootenannies and barn dances common in that area before the destructive powers of game consoles and Facebook. Having studied classical music and acoustics in college, his ear has reached an expectation his performance could never achieve.

Steve Pribyl: Uilleann pipes, flute, whistles

Steve Pribyl: Uilleann pipes, flute, whistles

Steve Pribyl has been playing irish music for over thirty years, since he first picked up a mandolin and a book of tunes at a San Francisco flea market in 1980. His musical career has also included stints playing tenor banjo and irish flute. He has since settled on uilleann pipes, though the button box has been calling, as of late. He has had instruction from Seamus Egan, Mick Moloney, and Kevin Crawford, to name a few.

He was a member of Highland Sun and Buzzworld, and a founding member of Clumsy Lovers and Craicmore: Craicmore has gone on to become very successful and lives on without him. His bands have opened for The Young Dubliners and Altan, and have played at various festivals throughout southern California. He has been a member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club since 2002, through which he has enjoyed tutelage from some of the world’s best uilleann pipers, including Mick O’Brien, David Power, Cillian Vallely, Jerry O’Sullivan, Paddy Keenan, Mikie Smyth and others. He often can be found at local Irish sessions in southern California. Straw Boys, born in 2010, is his latest brainchild.

Karen Andrews: Fiddle

Karen Andrews: Fiddle

Karen Andrews, while technically not a “boy”, is, nevertheless, one of “The Boys.” Karen’s musicality is drawn from early classical music training and a background in traditional Irish music & dance. She began studying violin at the age of seven and by her pre-teens was performing locally with the acclaimed Dallas Youth Honors Orchestra and continued playing in quartets and smaller ensembles until her relocation to California.

She first fell in love with Irish music on a visit to the British Isles in the late 1980s and as an Irish dancer she naturally wanted to learn to play the dance tunes. The love endured as she has been playing Irish music now for over twenty years. She’s drawn to the music from County Clare and Galway, being the grand-daughter of Irish emigrants from that locale. Over the years, she honed her fiddle skills at the renowned Willie Clancy Summer School in County Clare where she was fortunate to study with the best of Irish fiddlers, musicians and set dancers. Maeve Donnelly, Martin Hayes, Tommy Peoples and others have helped to foster an appreciation of the colorful and lyrical styles of the older musicians such as Bobby Casey, Junior Crehan and Tommy Potts. She enjoys playing for Irish dances and contra dances with her dance band Shenanigans. She’s chiefly known for steady rhythm for dancing and a musical memory for tunes. You will most likely find her happily playing and hosting Irish music sessions around So. California.

Barry Wilson: Cello

Barry Wilson: Cello

Barry Wilson began on the cello at the age of nine and stayed in the classical world until finding a home in the Irish and Scottish musical traditions as pioneered by cellists such as Natalie Haas and Renata Bratt. Growing up he played in the regional South-East Youth Symphony Orchestra and later in the Caltech-Occidental Orchestra, where he had the unique privilege of playing in the pit orchestra for a production of Guys and Dolls with Richard Feynman on bongos. After taking several workshops in playing Scottish music with the amazing cellist, Natalie Haas, Barry jumped into the Valley of the Moon fiddle camp and has never looked back.

Barry currently plays with Strawboys and the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, who you can find at most of the Scottish festivals in the Los Angeles area. He continues to explore cello rhythm and bass lines with Dan Auerbach and classical music with Nancy Yamagata through the Colburn School of Music.

 

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