Alice Flynn is a native Montanan whose ancestors were settlers during the homestead days of the state. Alice's pioneering relatives worked in mining, forestry, ranching, farming, and railroading, the major industries of Montana. Music was always an important part of the life of the family. Earl McConnell, Alice's maternal grandfather, was a fiddle player and singer who would entertain from Ringling to Musselshell and all areas of his county, playing for dances and neighborly gatherings. His fiddle now is in the hands of Alice's son, Ryan, who plays folk music on the mandolin and classical on the violin. Alice's grandfather, Lawrence Flynn, came from Ireland with the heritage of storytelling and music that connected the family to their homeland.
A degree in fine art led Alice to a career as a painter and illustrator, but music has always been a major influence in her life. Alice developed her vocal technique under the private instruction of coloratura Suzanne Gorder. From Italian arias to Gershwin to traditional folk songs, Alice's passion is singing, especially songs of Ireland and Irish immigration.
Dave Zimmerman is a retired wildlife biologist who pursued a career in Alaska after graduating from the University of Montana. He returned to Montana with his wife, Sue, in 1999. Dave has performance experience as a singer in various sized ensemble groups, madrigals and sacred music of the Renaissance, and operettas. He has performed roles such as the knight Bumbleheart in Princess Ida, policeman in Pirates of Penzance, and Koko in The Mikado. These performances were produced by the Juneau Lyric Opera. Starting in Alaska, Dave began playing the bodhran in contra dance bands as well as performing on harmonica and bodhran at the Alaska Folk Fest. Dave's instruments in The Meadowlark are traditional Irish drum (bodhran), bones, and harmonica.
Ryan Flynn, or "Mando Flynn" as his fellow high school students call him, began music studies on the violin in fifth grade orchestra class. When Ryan's uncle Leo moved to England and gave him his mandolin, it was easy for Ryan to begin playing the jigs and reels on mando that he learned from the local Irish session. His first paid gig was at age 13, playing on St. Patrick's day with his mother, Alice, and other musicians from the session. Ryan now plays classical music on his grandfather's violin and traditional folk music on the mandolin. He has a talent for composing tunes and a bright future in both music and computer multi-media endeavors.
Carol Dailey is a mother, musician, composer, teacher, care giver, and piano tuner (call Ears To Hear if you need your piano tuned). Carol's moving compositions such as "Proud Lament" and original lyrical arrangement of "Tam Glen" add another emotional element to the band's performances. Carol plays both fiddle and piano in the band.
Bozeman, Montana, USA
Q."WHAT ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?"
A."Our sound is shaped by music that has stood the test of time - traditional songs and tunes from the U.S., Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Wales. Montana is a state settled by many immigrants who brought their music to the mountains and plains."
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