A brief history of Golden Bough

  After several years of performing as a duo, Paul Espinoza and Margie Butler formed Golden Bough in January of 1980.  Their concept was to combine traditional Celtic music with a more contemporary acoustic sound; highlighting their own compositions.  They were joined in their endeavor by fellow folk-artist, Lief Sorbye.   The band's first recording was made with a 5-piece line-up in 1981.  This recording also included violinist Margot Duxler and multi-instrumentalist Simon Spaulding, who performed with Golden Bough during 1980 and 1981.

   By the beginning of 1982, Paul, Margie and Lief found themselves travelling as a trio and developing the music for Golden Bough's next release. In late 1982 violinist Florie Brown joined the band. Through the next several years Golden Bough toured the U.S. and Europe regularly and recorded 4 albums. By the end of 1987, Lief decided he wanted to pursue a more electric sound. Bidding a fond farewell to Golden Bough, he went on to form the Celtic-rock band, Tempest. From 1993 through 1996, Golden Bough became a quartet once again, with the addition of flute player Richard Ferry, who joined the band on their recording, "Kids at Heart". 

   In February of 1992, a member of different sort joined Golden Bough. Nina Black began as the band’s manager. Besides booking performances, Nina soon started to help out in other areas; the creation of promotional materials, contributing artistic ideas and acting as an assistant artistic director for several Golden Bough projects. With her degree in music, Nina also does musical research and scores musical arrangements, when needed. More than just a manager, Nina has become an invaluable member, in both the business and the artistic sides of Golden Bough to this day.

   In the fall of 1997,  Florie left Golden Bough to raise a family.   Alison Bailey, who brought an intense and exciting fiddle style of her own into the band replaced Florie.  Alison toured with Golden Bough up until March of 1999.  During that time, Golden Bough recorded "Song of the Celts", which received rave reviews.  Wanting a more driving sound and looking to develop her fiddle styles further, Alison left Golden Bough in March of 1999.  She was replaced by Sue Draheim, a well-respected musician, who has performed and recorded with John Renbourn and Any Old Time String Band.  Sue's fluid violin playing and complimentary vocal style was a natural fit for the band.  After a two year stint, she decided to join with another Golden Bough alumnus, Lief Sorbye in the Celtic rock band Tempest.

   In April of 2001Kathy Sierra joined Golden Bough and brought a new level of energy and excitement to the band.  A talented and energetic artist, Kathy has performed in various setting with orchestras in Hawaii and California while developing her fiddle style.  Kathy majored in drama and music and this is apparent in her comfortable and likeable stage manner.  Her vocal harmonies blend naturally with Paul & Margie and, together, the three create a rich, full sound.

  Golden Bough's first European performances were in the streets and small folk clubs of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Holland and Switzerland in the early `80's. These simple beginnings soon led to major tours of European cities and a recording contract with a top European folk music label. Other activities that Golden Bough has been involved in over the past several years include peace marches in cities all over Europe protesting the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, musical presentations for tens of thousands of elementary school children and events for human rights, religious freedom and drug rehabilitation.

   Since their inception, Golden Bough has become a popular and in demand group on both sides of the Atlantic, gaining critical acclaim and enthusiastic support from folk fans wherever they perform. Blending their voices in pristine harmony, they back themselves on an array of rare and more common acoustic instruments, including; Celtic harp, penny-whistle, violin, octave-mandolin, mandolin, accordion, guitar, harmonica, recorder and bodhran. In the recording studio, as well as on stage, Golden Bough captures the essence and joy of traditional folk music and captivates listeners with the uniqueness of their original compositions. With songs and instrumental pieces ranging from ballads to lively jigs, reels and sing-alongs, Golden Bough provides an atmosphere in which the listener can enjoy unique entertainment within and beyond the boundaries of traditional folk music.  Their music is well received and enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

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