Skip to main content

Three Times Through

Their acapella vocals transport you to the North Sea, the Caribbean, or to a remote village pub in County Clare.

When the Beatles conquered America, Jeff Peach swapped out his middle school clarinet for a Höfner bass guitar. When he heard Earl Scruggs on TV’s Beverly Hilbillies, bass morphed into banjo, which led to hammer dulcimer and on to Planxty and Irish bouzouki. Jeff’s bodhran playing owes more to rock bands than to seisiúns. His strong baritone is half the vocal power of the band.

Gale Peach put her violin in its case on the last day of high school orchestra. When she opened the case again after college, she found a fiddle inside. Whiskey Before Breakfast was her first traditional tune, and she soon won a blue ribbon with it at the Cal State Fullerton banjo ­fiddle contest. Gale avidly reads through Irish and Scottish tune collections and brings them to the band.

Greg Mirken flexed his fingers around the 60s folk revival, but his brother and his buddy had already taken banjo and guitar. So like his hero, bluegrass founder Bill Monroe, Greg chose mandolin. He focused on bluegrass and old­ time until an orphan English concertina rolled into his music instrument repair shop and he found its tone a perfect match with Jeff’s dulcimer and Gale’s fiddle.

Shape and texture default to Marge Mirken, who lives in the groove, rolling rhythms and bass lines along on Celtic harp, or chopping swing chords on guitar. When a tune needs banjo, she mixes claw hammer and 3­finger styles. Her thoroughly American voice is the other half of TTT’s vocal duo.