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MP3 Storm Session--Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson, with Murray Campbell and Michael Zisman - Edge of the World

North American acoustic folk with world influences, including Celtic, central and eastern Europe.

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, WORLD: World Traditions

Artist Information


Maggie McKaig:
guitars, accordions, vocals

Luke Wilson:
banjo, tenor guitar, vocals

Murray Campbell:
violin, oboe, english horn, vocals

Michael Zisman:
electric bass, mandolin

Recorded 2008 at Flying Whale Studio, Grass Valley, California Engineered by Bruce Wheelock

Mixed and Mastered by Maggie McKaig, Luke Wilson, and Bruce Wheelock

Graphic Design by John Rives at DiscWrite CD Promotions, and Maggie McKaig

Original art work by Liz Collins


"Thirty years ago, Maggie McKaig took hold of the horn of her saddle and the handle of her guitar case and headed to Alberta, Canada, where she worked as a ranch hand during the day and worked on her musical guitar chops and songwriting at night. One day she wandered into the shop of Luke Wilson, luthier (who then and now plies his meticulous craft with the same lovely tools once used by his grandfather) and musician. Somewhere in the process of his fixing some aspect of her guitar, and playing the banjo for her, they fell together, and thirty years, two sons, and five albums later, they are still going strong.

Their band, Storm Session, which includes Scottish violinist and horn player Murray Campbell, as well as San Francisco jazz bassist Michael Zisman (who also plays mandolin), performs astonishing and eclectic music: once known as folk, the music now definitely classifies as “world”. In addition to their long love affair with Celtic forms, Maggie’s been digging deep into her Russian ancestry, and her accordion, for some new tunes, such as the lovely “La Napoletana Mazurka”, as well as commemorating the journey she and Luke took to Italy in 2006, beautifully concocted in the album title, and in the songs “Neptune’s Garden”, “Travelers”, and “Tutto Va Bene”. Onstage with Luke and Maggie, in addition to two world-class musicians, is an array of instruments that are part of their music: accordion, guitar, tenor guitar, banjo, dobro, violin, oboe, English horn, electric bass, and mandolin.

A year ago, during a thunderstorm, Luke leaned in to kiss Maggie just as lightning zigzagged across the sky outside their home (a home that at any given moment holds, in addition to a baby grand piano and numerous accordions, about nineteen stringed instruments). This is not why their band is called Storm Session, but it’s a sign of the spark in their marriage, and in their music, that makes their partnership such an extraordinary gift."
--Shirley Knott, California author, playwright

"Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson are two of the finest folk musicians, singers,and songwriters performing today"
--Utah Phillips

"For over 15 years, Maggie McKaig has remained one of my favorite musicians and songwriters. Unceasingly original and provocative, the landscape of work is unfailingly refreshing and thought provoking."
--Carolyn Crane, Radio Journalist, Nevada City, CA

Together since 2005, the four musicians of Storm Session are from distinctly different musical backgrounds--jazz, classical, traditional Scottish, folk/country/newgrass-- yet produce beautiful and unusual music together.

Fan Mail:

--We are so happy that we ventured out and to your show last night.
Thank you. It was beautiful. Lovely, lovely.... Poignant, funny, touching, wacky, eccentric, grounding... A great night.

--Warm, evocative, moving, loving, shining was the evening, and so are the two of you. Congratulations on your marriage and your life and your music and your friends and friendship -- and a new and fabulous CD.

--I really enjoyed being part of your music Friday night. It was such an enjoyable evening with a beautiful gathering of folks.

--It was so wonderful to see the two of you just shining up there, glowing with all your new beautiful music and your adventures, and your friends there to celebrate you. I am very glad to be one of those friends. You played beautifully and with heart. Thank you for sharing your music with us all.

--I loved every minute of you and your man''s concert! Your song at Pioneer Park was amazing too, you are on a roll.

--We love the CD!!!

--What a lovely collection of songs, what heartfelt musicianship and ease with a large crowd! I am in awe of you two, and when you sang your love song, I kind of lost it. Thank you for putting on an inspired musical evening. Bravo!

--It was such a fabulous show!!! …it was a great crowd, a true testament to your quality. You have much to be proud of!!

--You guys were awesome! We were so happy to be able to be there! We''ve been listening to the album over and over and it just gets better and better!

Dear Storm Session,

My heart is windswept,…….. there are tremors in my knees, tears of joy fall like the monsoon rains, hurricane winds are featherweight to how your music has blown me away, and I am forever your humble servant of grateful ear, heart, mind, and soul..

And yes, there are a few important things in life, as all good travelers know, and although I have never spent a night in Viterbo, I HAVE through your music. Which brings me to the ''green, round, but with a point'' fact that you will forever be my heroes.

Congratulations on your new release!


Ali Leon...musician, artist, from Canada/Mexico

Maggie and Luke have long been active in supporting people and organizations they believe are helping change the world for the better. They have frequently performed at concerts and rally''s benefiting such organizations and people including:

Hospitality House; Peace Center of Nevada County; Rosalie Sorrels; Unitarian Universalist Church of the Mountains; South Yuba River Citizen''s League (SYRCL); The Center for the Arts-Grass Valley; KVMR Radio; Mariposa Waldorf School; Yuba River Charter School; Nevada City School of the Arts; St Joseph''s Cultural Center; Miner''s Foundry Cultural Center; Elizabeth Martin re-election campaign; Canadian Midwives Association; Nevada County TeleVision NCVT.


Maggie and Luke wish to thank:
Our two fine sons Tennyson and Bryn Wilson for their support and understanding; Sue McKaig for being a very cool sister; Bruce Wheelock and Judy Patton for making Flying Whale a great place to record; Michael Z. and Murray C. for putting up with us with such grace; Jon Wondergem for holding down the shop; John Rives for his creativity; Liz Collins for her visions wondrous; Lance McCollum for his beautiful guitars; Mimma and Franco Ferrando for their gracious Chianti hospitality; and for being splendid friends overall—Carma Berglund, Marylou Brigham, Amber Cone, Barb Dakin, Laura Duncan, Sands Hall, Craig and Laura Rohrsen, and Debra Swan. Grazie mille!

And what exactly is "Edge of the World" about?

On the "Edge of the World", we hear stories of gods and goddesses, heroes, mere mortals, mythical beasts, and mayflies. We may find ourselves dancing to jigs, tangos, or mazurkas, while Storm Session''s unusually eclectic and gorgeous instrumentation of accordion, guitar, tenor guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin, oboe, english horn, bass, and vocals, transport us through both tempest and calm, revealing, above all, life''s amazingly profound ability for renewal.

Storm Session performs a mix of original songs and instrumentals, as well as traditional folk music from many world cultures, including Celtic, Russian, Italian, Argentinian, Middle Eastern, and lots of what one might call Canadiamericana A wild mix, but the talents of these four musicians bring it all together into a mesmerizing and delightful brew. Maggie and Luke''s vocal harmonies grow from thirty years of singing together, and are ignited by the pair''s instrumental prowess. Scottish fiddler and horn player (oboe and English horn) Murray Campbell adds a decidedly unique aspect, playing lovely harmonic lines-- all of which is then set into an inspired groove by the artful and soulful playing of jazz bassist Michael Zisman-- who also plays great mandolin.

Storm Session is ever fascinating as they show us how music from many traditions connects. Maggie''s Russian blood rises right out of this one, springing from songs and dances she did with her first generation Russian American mother as a child. Some of the songs were inspired by a trip Maggie and Luke made to Italy in 2006. As she describes it "While in Italy, I was wooed by Neptune in a Renaissance garden, dazzled by an accordion playing Gypsy woman on a dimly lit street corner in Rome''s Trastevere, and discovered at long last what the big thing is about truffles, amidst the challenges of wearing stilettos on cobblestones in a medieval hill town. Meanwhile, on the home front, I was pondering such ideas as what being an elder is all about, why two wonderful young friends joined the Marines, and as always, how to deal with a life that so often turns on those proverbial dimes in the blink of an eye."

Storm Session was honored by having a cut from their first album "Storm Sessions" included on the 2006 Acoustic Rainbow Sampler, which resulted in the very exciting fact that their music is now being enjoyed and aired on over four hundred radio stations around the world. They were also chosen to have one of their songs featured on a Global Rhythms Magazine compilation CD.

About Storm Session''s first CD "Storm Sessions":

"Emotional and produced perfectly. First-class acoustic music."
--Programme director: Christian Claesberg, RTW RADIO, Herford,Germany

"Passionate, real, soul companionship in the words, exquisite instrumentals. The first song on this CD, ''Everything'' is the song I want at my wedding. I keep thinking I have found the best song on this album (Everything, Ya Los Dias...) but the more I listen, the more each song becomes a friend, uplifting, compassionate, raw, light of spirit, making me dance and cry and smile and sing. I play it over and over."
---Genna Pieri, Reviewer, CD Baby

And the long list: Who are these people? What else have they done? etc...

Maggie McKaig is a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who makes her home in Nevada City, California. A guitar player since she was eleven years old, this 5th generation California central coast native, aside from being a musician and songwriter, practices as an herbalist, Jin Shin Jytsu practitioner, ranch hand, cook, mom, and musical theatre director/writer. She began her performing musical career in Calgary, Alberta, and spent nine years in Canada playing at many music festivals and clubs, including Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and North Country Folk Festivals. One of her greatest influences were the 20 years she has spent directing youth musical theatre productions. Specializing in producing original plays based on stories from around the world, she has worked and performed with such artists over the years as Miguel Santos, Monica Bermudez, Ricardo Diaz, Zakariya Diouf, Naomi Washington, Laura Elaine Ellis, Nader Shahin, Amina Goodyear, Susu Pampanin, Danny Duncan, Mestre Beicola, Mary Dollar, Jo Krieter, Aunty Linda Pi''ilani, Carlos Gonzalez, Ed Holmes, Janet Koike, Carolyn Brandy, George Brooks, Emily Klion, Russel Wright, Michelle Jordan, and Kaila Flexer.

Maggie has also taught guitar at Alasdair Fraser''s Valley of the Moon Fiddle Camp, in which she learned how little sleep one can get by on. She occasionally performs with two time grammy winner Mary Youngblood as guitarist and backup singer. Maggie also performs with other fine Nevada County musicians, including Peter Wilson (with Luke as the Wilson Triplets), Sands Hall, Joe Fajen, Charlie Brock, and the young folk songstress Mariee Sioux.

Canadian Luke Wilson is, as anyone who has ever heard him will agree, a very unique banjo player, and has been performing for more than 40 years. He spent the early 1970''s in England and Europe, and recorded an album with partner Jesse P. Morin for Capitol Records called "Peaceful Company". From 1974- 1985 he performed with many top Canadian folk musicians such as Valdy, Diamond Joe White, Ian Tyson, Ken Hamm, members of Prairie Oyster, Ron Casat, and Bill Eaglesham. He was one of Calgary''s top session players from 1976-1985, recording numerous commercials and various albums. In California, he has performed with a wide variety of musicians, such as Utah Phillips, Alasdair Fraser, Saul Rayo, Peter Wilson, Sands Hall, Dan Scanlan, Charlie Brock, Kimberly Bass, and many other talented Nevada County musicians. Luke also works as a record producer, and as well is a master luthier, working out of his shop, Wolfnote Studio, near Nevada City CA.

Michael Zisman holds a Bachelor of Music degree from New Jersey''s William Paterson College, where he studied jazz with teachers such as Rufus Reid, Todd Coolman, Harold Mabern, Joe Lovano, and Norman Simmons. After moving to New York City in 1985, Michael began performing with jazz legends such as Cecil Payne, Junior Cook, George Coleman, Phil Woods, Jimmy Cobb, David "Fathead" Newman, Clark Terry, Eddie Henderson, Jerome Richardson, Kenny Burrell, Herb Geller, Don Friedman, Junior Mance, Mundell Lowe, James Williams, and many others. Michael also performs and records with some of the jazz stars of today including Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Joe Farnsworth, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine, Dena DeRose, Akira Tana, and Matt Wilson.

In 2000, Michael returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to serve as the Artistic Director, Education Director and Programs Manager of the Stanford Jazz Workshop (SJW) and Festival until 2006. He continues to perform with many of top artists working in jazz, such as Ernestine Anderson, in addition to conducting clinics in music education and the music business for jazz schools, festivals and conferences around the country, and serving as a consultant for agents and artists, festivals, clubs and music education organizations.

From Scotland, Murray Campbell moved to Nevada County early in 2005, and has performed and recorded with many Northern Californian musicians since then including Paul Kamm and Eleanor MacDonald, Alasdair Fraser, Kipchoge Spencer, Issac James, Vermillion Lies, and the Belfry Brothers. Having been both traditionally and classically trained as a musician in Scotland, he also studied in the Hague for a number of years. He loves to get people up to dance, and teaches a number of Scottish dances. Campbell is also a Sonologist and mathematical physicist.

Maggie and Luke Discography
--Edge of the World 2008
--Storm Sessions. 2006.
--Small Wonder. The Celtic Wonder Band. 2004
--Grand Promenade. 2003
--Lost In The Colonies. 1984 (Produced by CBC. Engineered by Don Pennington at CBC in Calgary, Alberta.)
--Peaceful Company. Luke P. Wilson and Ron Paul Morin. 1971 for Capitol Records. London, England.


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