Alan is available as a soloist or as a member of various Irish-music ensembles, described below. For a wedding, ceili, or other special event, Alan could also work with you to craft a custom duet or trio from among the following musical colleagues, depending on your specific preferences and needs.

Established Groups

  • West Wind with Mike Crossley (flute), Charlene Adzima (fiddle, vocals), and Bob Newton (octave mandolin, etc.). To book West Wind, please contact Bob Newton at rcnewton@wisc.edu, (608) 251-1072. See also the West Wind web site.
  • Capitol Ceili Band, with Bryan Whiting (flute) and Chelcy Bowles (piano), asserting ourselves as the best Irish dance band in the state. Contact Alan for booking. See also the Capitol Ceili Band Web site.
  • Birch with Elizabeth Simcock (flute, bodhrán (drum), and vocals). Specializing in weddings and other intimate situations, Elizabeth uses the rich tones of her bodhrán to frame Alan's flights of fancy through his vast fiddle and melodeon repertoire, joins him occasionally for beautifully matched flute/fiddle duets, and for variety tosses in a song or two while Alan lays out an empathetic violin accompaniment. Contact Alan for booking. See also Birch's Facebook page.
  • Fair Play with Josh Perkins (guitar, vocals, concertina). Read about Josh below.

Custom combinations

of two or three musicians...

  • Charlene Adzima—fiddle and vocals Charlene is a rising star in the national Irish music scene who recently moved to Madison. Her 2008 solo fiddle album impressed us all! She also cultivates a fine soprano voice with songs both in Irish and English languages. See also Charlene's Myspace page.
  • Chelcy Bowles—Harp and piano. Chelcy is a professional harpist and music professor who has been performing Irish music with Alan since the mid-1990s, including as members of The Snug and the Capitol Ceili Band. Her Irish harp repertoire is ideal for wedding ceremonies, and her piano accompaniment with Alan on fiddle makes about the best Irish dance music in the state! See also Chelcy's Web page.
  • Bill Peden—Uilleann pipes, whistle. Bill was one of the first to introduce Alan to the inner mysteries of Irish music back in the early 1990s, and they performed in The Snug together for many years. If you're looking for the traditional kings of native Irish instruments at your event, played the way you'd have heard them from the masters of bygone days, you want Bill on uilleann pipes and Alan on fiddle.
  • Josh Perkins—Guitar and vocals. Josh's masterful guitar technique and captivating voice, reminiscent of Irish legend Christy Moore, was a founding member of West Wind (see above). Alan and Josh's music, which tends towards the challenging and to the beautiful parts of the Irish repertoire, has also been well-received in duet form for concerts and events.
  • Elizabeth Fine Simcock
  • Elizabeth Simcock—Irish flute, bodhrán (drum), and vocals. Elizabeth (at left) is best known as part of nationally successful Celtic vocal group Navan. She and Alan have developed a very comfortable Irish instrumental duet over the years (see Birch above).
  • Bryan Whiting—Irish flute. Bryan and Alan, old pals and neighbors in Madison's "Irish music ghetto," share a dedication to the "old way" of playing Irish dance music the way it should be played: so that it makes you leap on your feet and step it out, even without modern devices such as guitars or drums. Bryan and Alan are also long-time figures in Wisconsin's Irish set-dancing scene, which gives them an intimate understanding of Irish dance music rarely found among musicians. But their lively music has also been very welcome at weddings, parties, and pubs.

...and maybe a dance caller, too

  • Heidi Hakseth—Dance caller for Irish ceili dances whose cheerful persona has the amazingly magnetic ability to get everyone in the room out of their chair and onto the dance floor. See also dancefabulousmadison.com.
  • Steve Pike—Dance caller for American contra dances (which can use Irish dance music) and for basic Irish sets. Steve is a very experienced, smooth hand at guiding novices and experts alike through these social dances.