Schedule & Tour Leaders 2025

HW
Beyond the Tartan:
8th -18th April

Sims studied for seven years with Burns, the legendary jazz mandolinist, laying the foundation for Harmonious Wail’s acoustic string sound. He furthered his studies with Matt Glaser at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, honing his skills while immersing himself in the “gypsy” music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli (Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bireli Lagrene, Duane Allman, David Grisman, and Louis Armstrong are also on his list of musical heroes). Sims also plays a 1937 Gibson Tenor Guitar (tuned as an octave mandolin), sings, writes and arranges for the Wail. He founded the group in 1987.

Vocalist Maggie Delaney-Potthoff is a captivating performer. Equally at home scatting over a bebop tune, soaring on a solo, or blending with the Wail’s tight vocal harmonies, she delivers both powerhouse tunes and ballads with confidence and ease. Her sensual, sinuous movements (a product of her background in dance and theatre) and her use of a cardboard box played with brushes as a drum add to the charm she exudes onstage.

Tour Leader Photo & Bio
Beyond the Tartan:
18th - 28th April

Tour leader TBC – more details coming soon!

Beyond the Borders:
29th April - 9th May

Jason Wilber is an American singer, guitar player, songwriter, and recording artist. In addition to his work as a solo recording artist, he is also known as the long time lead guitar player for singer-songwriter John Prine. Jason Wilber’s work with John Prine includes the Grammy Award winning CD Fair & Square, and the Grammy nominated CDs Live On Tour, In Spite of Ourselves (which spent 32 weeks on the Billboard Country Charts), and Prine’s final album Tree of Forgiveness. In addition to playing guitar on John Prine’s 2017 album For Better or Worse, Jason also served as a Co-Executive Producer. Jason has accompanied John Prine on duet recordings with Iris Dement, Allison Krauss, Susan Tedeschi, Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Kathy Mattea, Amanda Shires, Fiona Prine, Lucinda Williams, Josh Ritter, Patty Loveless, Lee Ann Womack, Connie Smith, Melba Montgomery, Morgane Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves, and Sara Watkins.

Beyond the Tartan:
8th - 18th May

Stephen Fearing was born in Vancouver in 1963 and grew up in Dublin where his schoolmates included future members of U2. Beginning in 1981, Fearing became something of a musical nomad, living variously in Vancouver, Minneapolis, Guelph, ON, and Halifax, NS before settling in Victoria, BC. A founding member of the Canadian roots-rock super-group Blackie and the Rodeo Kings — alongside Colin Linden and Tom Wilson — Fearing is a two-time JUNO Award winner in both band and solo categories and has 26 albums to his credit: 13 solo albums (11 studio, one live, one compilation); 11 studio albums with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings; two with Andy White as Fearing & White. Over a vibrant and acclaimed career, Fearing has collaborated with multiple marquee artists including (but not limited to) Nick Lowe, Cassandra Wilson, Richard Thompson, Patti Loveless, Bruce Cockburn, Sarah McLachlan, and Margo Timmins. Throughout Canada, the UK, and Europe, Fearing is a sought-after touring artist, electrifying festival stages, concert halls, and intimate venues alike with a unique performance style, cementing his reputation as a roots troubadour, songwriting storyteller, and master guitarist.

Beyond the Standing Stones:
18th - 31st May (SOLD OUT!!)

David Roth strikes many chords, hearts, and minds with his unique songs, offbeat observations, moving stories, sense of the hilarious, and powerful singing and subject matter. As singer, songwriter, recording artist, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and instructor, David has earned top honors at premier songwriter competitions – Kerrville (TX) and Falcon Ridge (NY) – and taken his music, experience, and expertise to a wide variety of venues in this and other countries full-time for more than three decades. The Chicago native has called Cape Cod home since 2000.

Beyond the Borders:
25th May - 4th June

Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Emmy~winning songwriter Kitty Donohoe
doesn’t consider herself an Irish or Celtic artist, but she clearly draws from that
part of her heritage (as well as her American roots) in the music she creates.
With a love of language, an ear for melody, and the soul of a storyteller, she’s
been praised in the press equally for her voice, her musicality and her
songwriting. Sing Out!, one of the oldest and most respected folk music
magazines in the industry says that Kitty is “one of the rare singer~songwriters to sensuously weave words and melody into a strong and mezmerizing fabric.”
Legendary Chicago radio icon Rich Warren calls Kitty “far above and beyond most singer~songwriters.” He also included Kitty in his list of “50 of the most
influential songwriters of the past 50 years.” She backs herself on guitar, cittern, and piano, and whether performing a song that sounds like it was written 100 years ago or yesterday, Kitty’s clear and compelling voice carries it all with confidence and passion. Her latest release is “The Irishman’s Daughter.”

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Beyond the Tartan:
10th - 20th June

Tret Fure began her career at the age of 16, singing in coffeehouses and
campuses in the Midwest. At 19, she moved to LA in hopes of obtaining a
record deal. Within a year she was performing as guitarist and vocalist for
Spencer Davis, touring with him and penning the single for his album
“Mousetrap”. She went on to record her own album “Tret Fure” in 1973, on
MCA/UNI Records, with the late Lowell George of Little Feat as her
producer.
A prolific artist in the contemporary singer-songwriter arena, Tret Fure has
released 18 albums and CDs over the course of her 53 year career. In
addition to being a gifted songwriter, Fure has engineered and produced
countless recordings by a variety of artists, including her own work.
A few of the highlights from her career include winning of the South Florida
Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter Competition in 2 out of 3 categories, Best
Overall and Best Up-Tempo Song, winning the Women in the Arts “Jane
Schliessman Award” for Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Music and
winning the “A Still Small Voice 4U” songwriting competition with her song
“Monuments”.
2023 brings Tret’s 18th CD, “Lavender Moonahine”, a CD addressing the
times in which we live. This will continue Tret’s stellar string of award-
winning music.
In addition to touring and recording, Tret teaches guitar and songwriting
individually and in workshop settings. She paints pet portraits on
commission and, an accomplished cook, Fure has also published a
cookbook, “Tret’s Kitchen”, featuring her own recipes. Along with bridging
the marketing, production, music and art worlds, Tret served for 6 years as
President of Local 1000, The Traveling Musicians Association–a union
geared toward helping traveling musicians find security and longevity.
Tret is truly a Renaissance Woman!

Beyond the Tartan:
18th - 28th June

Kate Campbell is a southern singer-songwriter who writes and sings memorable folk songs infused with undercurrents of delta blues, folk, pop, and country that originate from a musical landscape spanning the less-travelled back roads from Nashville to Muscle Shoals to Memphis. Over the course of 20+ years since her acclaimed debut album Songs from the Levee, she has resisted the temptation to follow musical trends but instead chooses to set the pace for her unique musical journey clearly palpable in her latest release Damn Sure Blue, a heart-felt collection of tunes that pays a respectful nod of admiration to the Man in Black and reverberates with the soulful sounds of award-winning Americana guitar whiz and producer Will Kimbrough.

Beyond the Borders:
26th June - 6th July

Katie Dahl is a songwriter and playwright whose work is as expansive as Lake Michigan and as deeply rooted as its rocky coastal bluffs. A small-town celebrity on the Wisconsin peninsula where her family has lived for 175 years, she is now a radio-charting folk artist who tours around the world. Clear-eyed and tough-minded, fresh and funny, Katie “delivers razor-sharp lyrics with a hearty, soulful voice” (American Songwriter). Katie’s four albums of original songs showcase her creamy alto and trademark wit, as well as her unflinching authenticity. Her recent work finds her exploring more vulnerable territory than ever before, from anxiety to body image to the challenges of growing up queer in an evangelical church. Richly steeped in the American songwriting tradition, Katie navigates the muddy waters between the personal, public, and political with tenderness and dexterity.

dana cooper
Beyond the Tartan:
29th June - 9th July

More details coming soon!

Dan Seb1
Beyond the Tartan:
7th - 17th July
Dan Sebranek is a renowned singer, songwriter and musician who started his musical career at the age of 14 with musical roots in bluegrass, folk and rock and roll. He has shared the stage with Johnsmith, Michael Martin Murphey, Hans Mayer, Bill Miller, John Prine, Perry Jordan (Heartsfield) along with Pure Prairie League. In Dan’s early days as a troubadour he performed primarily with the duo, Runaway. Currently Dan is performing solo acoustic music around the world.

Mary Cortesi is a Wisconsin based singer-songwriter. She has been writing and playing live music for over 20 years. Influential genres include Americana, folk and old country tunes. She is influenced by various artists including Brandi Carlile, Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, Nora Jones and John Smith/Dan Sebranek. She has been one of the producers of The Larryfest bluegrass festival ,in  La Farge Wisconsin, creating a stage of performers to support original singer-songwriters and bands from through out the nation. Mary plays music with her husband, Dan Sebranek and they travel on musical tours to Ireland each year.
 
Dan and Mary look forward to traveling the beautiful country of Scotland and sharing the magic together with our group.
Barb Bowers 1000px
Beyond the Tartan:
17th - 27th July

When not spending time in Ireland or Scotland, Barb lives on the coast of Maine, three of the most beautiful places in the world. Barb has worn many hats in her life, including working in non-profit arts with theater, music and visual arts. She has served as executive director of a community theater, a film festival and was the ED, artistic director and development director of a performing arts center. This brought her in contact with musicians from all over the world, and as a result, also led her to the world of Inishfree Irish Music Tours and Scotland Folk Tours. She knows most of the tour leaders very well, and sees them throughout the year at music events and conferences. She currently works as a tour liaison for Inishfree Tours. Barb has nearly 30 tours under her belt in the last eleven years, and makes her home in County Clare during the summer months. She has ancestors from both Ireland and Scotland, with the MacLean Clan on the Scotland side.  Piano lessons as a child, self-taught guitar and ukulele don’t technically make her a musician………her favourite instrument is her voice, and sometimes she shares it.

Beyond the Standing Stones:
28th July - 10th August

Tim Grimm has toured and recorded with his friend, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, appeared with Harrison Ford in the film Clear and Present Danger, and has shared the stage with writer and poet Wendell Berry. Tim has had the #1 songs of the year (most played) on Folk radio in 2020 (GONE), 2017 (GONNA BE GREAT), 2016 (WOODY’S LANDLORD) and 2014 (KING OF THE FOLKSINGERS). Grimm grew up and has lived in southern Indiana, and has been called “The Poet Laureate of the rural Midwest”. Film director, Ken Kwapis, calls Grimm “Indiana’s Renaissance man” (Grimm’s song THE LAKE was in the soundtrack for A WALK IN THE WOODS, starring Robert Redford). With 12 albums under his belt, he consistently reaches the top of the Euro-Americana and folk charts and has become known as one of the best storytelling songwriters in America. As an actor, he has appeared in numerous feature films and for 2 years co-starred in NBC’s Reasonable Doubts. . As an actor, he has appeared in numerous feature films and for 2 years co-starred in NBC’s Reasonable Doubts. Current projects include voicing Eugene Debbs and composing music for the documentary film The Revolutionist for WFYI- PBS affiliate, and acting in a new feature filming- SWING SHIFT- portraying actor Richard Jenkin’s brother. He also narrated and wrote a song for the WFIU 13 episode podcast radio drama series— The Ernie Pyle Experiment. He tours across the states and western Europe each year, and his most recent album- GONE, was the #1 Folk album of 2021.

Peggy Promo pic
Beyond the Tartan:
29th July - 8th August

Peggy Johnson has been a staple of the Oklahoma City acoustic music scene since 1985 when she planted her Georgia roots in the Red Dirt plains, blending her southern style with the populist politics of Woody Guthrie’s legacy — through her songwriting, her unabashed public persona, and her huge capacity for enveloping a crowd in the emotional safe haven of song.

Peggy fell in love with the acoustic guitar and Bob Dylan’s music at age 14, thus beginning a lifelong journey of folk music — music for folks! She played the talent shows, the open mics, the showcases, on up to the big stage, opening for Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, John Hartford, and Jesse Colin Young after a few years in the U.S. Navy, playing in the ship’s band.

Taking her music on the road in the Southern half of the country, Peggy honed her love of Americana music, ranging from the blues to traditional folk to the fine art of storytelling through her songwriting. With her clear voice and intricate guitar-playing, she can hold a room full of people in the palm of her hand, taking them places they are willing to go, like the ocean, the farm, the kitchen, or even all the way to the shores of Scotland.

Join Peggy Johnson in her continuing musical journey of this beautiful world. Experience first hand the joy of exploring new places through connections with local folk and local songs. There are songs yet to be written and Peggy is always ready with wide-eyed wonder to pave the way and find them.

Beyond the Tartan:
29th July - 8th August

Buddy Mondlock writes songs. He does it so well that some great songwriters have recorded his songs on their own albums. Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, and Janis Ian, to name just a few. When Buddyʼs not on the road you can find him in Nashville but he grew up in Park Forest, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He sang Crosby, Stills and Nash songs with his sisters and answered his little brother’s questions from the top bunk. His new CD, “The Memory Wall,” was funded entirely by fans, friends and family through a Kickstarter campaign. “I was overwhelmed by the support I got and even more by the sense of community that came out of it.” This, his sixth release, draws on some veteran Nashville musicians including Dan Dugmore, Stuart Duncan and Kenny Malone. Along with his concerts Buddy teaches songwriting workshops as well. In 2012 he was on staff at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson college in North Carolina teaching two intensive courses over a week’s time. And in 2013 Buddy returned once again to the Kerrville Folk Festival to perform and teach at the song school there.

Bassist, guitarist, vocalist, chemist. The chemistry degree might do more for his bottom line but Mike Lindauer’s heart is in the music. His uniquely expressive and fluid style on the fretless electric bass has caused him to be sought out by singer songwriters in particular, both in the studio and on the road. Mike regularly tours with Buddy Mondlock, Al Stewart (of The Year of the Cat fame), Dave Nachmanoff, Krista Detor and Richard Berman. He also fronts the 7 piece band Swing Thing and is a member of the new-acoustic trio Natural Bridge.

Mike and Buddy have been playing concerts in Ireland for over 20 years and have been leading Inishfree Tours there since 2014.

Beyond the Standing Stones:
12th - 25th August

Scotland’s Paul McKenna has long been ranked among our finest younger singers and songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience, often expressed through his songs, a combination that’s brought frequent comparisons to the great Dick Gaughan.

Paul was a featured artist at the world-renowned Transatlantic Sessions in 2019. Alongside Cara Dillon, Tim O’Brien, Molly Tuttle, and the multi-talented house band, he performed a string of shows across the UK.

Performance highlights over recent years include Edmonton Folk Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Celtic Connections.

Hootenanny pic #3
Beyond the Borders:
16th - 26th August

Who are The Famous Brothers?  Best answer: Classic bluegrass harmony with an original comic twist.

The Famous Brothers hail from the mining town of Monkey’s Crevice, West Virginia where they created a unique three-part harmony style and wrote most of their memorable song list, with titles like “Armageddin’ Ready for the Second Coming (‘Cause the First One Came Too Fast)” and “I Got Twenty Ways to Kill You With My Swiss Army Knife”.

The Chicago Tribune calls the Famous Brothers “exceptionally witty.  [Their show] has such clever lyrics, tuneful ditties, splendid harmonies and so warm a demeanor, you can sense a great deal of audience pleasure”; the Chicago Reader says they’re “funny, smart, sweet-voiced, and overall amiable”, while the Windy City Times anoints them “a surefire crowd-pleaser, keeping the audience laughing and clapping along”.

The Brothers had a critically-acclaimed five-month run at Chicago’s Royal-George Theater with their show Here Come the Famous Brothers! and have appeared at such popular Chicagoland venues as FitzGerald’s, The Hideout, The Old Town School of Folk Music, The Goodman Theater, Uncommon Ground, The Green Mill, The Mayne Stage, The Empty Bottle, The Den Theatre, Beat Kitchen, Martyr’s, and the dearly departed Lyon’s Den.  They’ve also crossed state lines to play the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan, the Hoosier Theater in Whiting, Indiana, the Contemporary Art Gallery in Chautauqua, New York and the Lee Street Theater in Salisbury, North Carolina.

They have released three cds, Here Come the Famous Brothers!, Inbred Talent and Born Famous, all available for purchase on their website.

Some people say that the Famous Brothers bear a remarkable resemblance to three Chicago performers: singer/guitarist Rick Vamos as Ricky Famous, TV personality Will Clinger as Willie “B” Famous and actor/improviser Darren Stephens as  Darren “2B” Famous.

Tour Leader Photo & Bio
Beyond the Borders:
25th August - 4th September

Tour leader TBC – more details coming soon!

Beyond the Standing Stones:
1st - 14th September (SOLD OUT)

Johnsmith is one of those artists so often under-recognized – he possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored, or overlooked. For the past thirty-plus years, Johnsmith has been sharing his music all across America and abroad. He has become a favorite at festivals, clubs, and house concerts alike. In addition to being a Kerrville New Folk Winner, Johnsmith has released seven solo CDs to rave reviews, leads musical tours to Ireland, teaches songwriting, and has served as a staff songwriter in Nashville. With his faded jeans, his twinkly blue eyes, and his infectious smile, John immediately connects with audiences. You get the sense of a man who loves his life, his family and friends, and who loves nothing more than sharing that love in song and stories all across this land.

Beyond the Tartan:
14th - 24th September

Jackson Grimm marries folk pop melodies with the lonesome sound of traditional Appalachian music. In a region with a strong music culture, it is no surprise that Grimm’s songwriting is representative of his musical birthplace: Asheville, NC. His songs run the gambit from an homage to a traditional country waltz in “If Not For You”, an unrequited love song driven by a Beatles-esque melody in “I’d Hold You (But I Don’t Wanna Hold You)”, to a drunken partygrass song à la Old Crow Medicine Show in “Last Train Home”. Grimm lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and can be found playing solo or around Western North Carolina with bluegrass band, The Bull Moose Party.

Patrice Pike
Beyond the Tartan:
20th - 30th September

Listeners of Patrice Pike’s music, often describe it not as a genre, but as an experience. 

Music is meant to inspire, to evoke emotion, to create a shared experience of the human condition. Pike’s music and well-crafted lyrics create their own melodic solution to how we can navigate a world full of heartbreak with hope. Even in her songs that don’t shy away from hard topics such as poverty, gun control, and different forms of tragedy, Pike’s music is always about hope and finding the strength to continue. Pike’s music reminds us to be compassionate with ourselves and others, and to celebrate all that this life has to offer. Patrice has toured with Blues Traveler, Sarah MacLachlan, Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews, John Fogerty, Sinead O’Connor and many others. 

GC&BR2
Beyond the Tartan:
23rd September - 3rd October

Gin, Chocolate & Bottle Rockets combines the musical styles of three solo-artists-turned-bandmates. Hailing from Southern Wisconsin, Jen Farley, Shawndell Marks and Beth Kille blend their voices into sublime 3-part harmonies, backed by Marks on keyboard, accordion and bass, Kille on guitar and mandolin and Farley on percussion. Individually, these performers have collected numerous musical accolades across multiple genres.

The Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) has recognized both Marks and Kille with Female Vocalist of the Year honors, and Farley’s powerhouse singing netted GCBR the Blues Song of the Year honors for their original tune “Flash Flood” in 2019. They were collectively honored with the 2015, 2017, 2020, 2021 and 2023 MAMA Award for Ensemble Vocalists of the Year and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame now that they’ve amassed five wins in this category. Their sophomore album, entitled “Lean” was released on May 31st, 2018, and won Folk/American Album of the Year at the 2019 MAMA Awards.

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Beyond the Tartan:
5th - 15th October

Texan Brian Kalinec has been called “a combination of Woody Guthrie, John Steinbeck, James Taylor, and Rodney Crowell in the stories he tells” in a review in music magazine Rootsy. Marilyn Rea Beyer, host of Midnight Special & Folkstage, WFMT describes Brian’s performance and writing as “Down to earth vocals with some “What was that, again?” lyrics.“  Winning events such as the Songwriter Serenade Competition and the Big Top Chautauqua Song Contest, placing second in the Woody Guthrie Song Contest and being chosen as a three-time finalist in the UK Songwriting Contest, has brought Brian significant recognition as a writer.  He was nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Musician of the Year in the Texas Music Awards.  He has appeared at the Kerrville Folk Festival, and venues such as Uncle Calvin’s in Dallas, The Bugle Boy in La Grange, and as a featured guest on Folkstage on WFMT in Chicago. Brian has also played Houston’s Mcgonigel’s Mucky Duck and Anderson Fair. He has been an Official Showcase Artist at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) and appeared as an Alternate Official Showcase Artist at SWRFA in 2023. 

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