|Brian Volke - Singing, Guitar and Mandolin
Brian was once told by a friend that when he played guitar, he grew two feet taller. This is a testament to the magnetic presence this unassuming character possesses on stage. First inspired by his dad, then by the Beatles and the Monkees, not to mention Elvis, Brian took up the guitar at age nine.
Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Brian's musical journeys led him to Celtic music where he fronted the band Celtic Clutter, which included his buddy Neil Slater , producing one self-titled EP in 1996.
Calgary beckoned and there Brian formed Tir Na Nog (Irish for Land of the Young) with Kerri Brown in 1999. Tir Na Nog released its first CD entitled Home Again in 2003. An accomplished artist, Brian also did the paintings shown on the cover of the CD.
A big fan of many different styles of music, Brian loves to sing songs by his favourite songwriters. People like Bruce Cockburn, Richard Thompson and Pete Townshend have inspired him to write. Naturally he also loves to sing his own songs: quirky existential/transcendental romps that highlight the small things in life.
Apart from being a talented singer/songwriter, Brian is one of the finest, high-energy flatpick maniacs to play on six strings.
No stranger to the media, Brian has performed on live radio (CBC) and TV (The former A Channel's Big Breakfast) and most recently on A Room Full of Sound on Shaw TV. As well, music from his bands' recordings have been aired on CBC, CKUA, Accuradio and even KTAO in Taos, New Mexico.
Over the last thirteen years Brian, along with Tir Na Nog now My Son Ted, have been mainstays at the Water Valley Celtic Music Festival, as well as performances at the Lethbridge Folk Club, the East Coast Kitchen Party at the David Thompson Resort in Nordegg, Calgary's Rocky Mountain Folk Club, the East Coulee Spring Fest and other assorted pubs, clubs and living rooms.
As well, Brian has been performing shows along with fellow Tirna-Ted Christie Simmons, which include performances at the Calgary Stampede in 2010 and 2011.
As of this writing, (May 2014) Brian is looking forward to getting his hands on the long awaited followup CD. It's going to be called Carmel's Parlour, and it's at the factory in Vancouver at this moment being gestetnerred by the nice folks at DMA.