My Story (at least bits of it) in  pictures.

Scenes from my life, family and friends. Click on the picture for more, or stop this foolishness and


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1967. Notre Dame. Savage Rose was our second name. We started out as Nobody’s Children (a play on the famous Rolling Stones’ billboard), finished our Notre Dame career as Indiana Joy (the regional name for a mind-altering plant).

Designed by Mike Trombetta, Phil Welchman and who-all else (as we say in the South) ? Does anyone remember that couple of days. I can but stand behind your smile. I worked all day and night, hooked all the amps and sound gear together. Somebody got us a lotta electricity. Greater North Bay Alchemical Company did the light show, Phil Ochs showed up. Captain Electric, Indiana Joy, who else, from the perspective of 35 years ago, participated in this defining moment? Who, for example, were the Acme Buggy Whip Co.? Wow!, a buck-and-a-half admission. Friday, May 3, 1968. Next day was the ND military promenade, special guest William Westmoreland.

1970 The Occasional Bluegrass Band, myself on bass, Mike Powers and Terry McManus on guitars, perform at Saturday’s Child in Porter, Indiana. Mike has become an award-winning magician, Terry is still playing and singing at Front Porch Music in Valparaiso, IN.

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Us at IUSB sometime in the '70's . i have never seen a stupider set of pants on a human being than those I am wearing. Nevertheless, we made good music.


1993 – L – R David, Steve Foss and Peter Herrly reunite for the first time since (?) 1969. Holy Mackerel! We got together at Mike Powers’ house (he had a drum set and  played mean lead guitar), borrowed a bass from Woodwind-Brasswind, and had a session. We ancients could still rock and roll. No surprise – Jagger and Richards and still going. Missing was Roy Marshall – still playing (fiddle) on the West coast.

In 1986, after a frustrating disaster at the Listowel, Ireland Fleadh, I came home spoiling for more and went to Winfield, Kansas, winning the National Hammered Dulcimer contest. That year, winners performed on the main stage  in front of 10,000 people. Here I am receiving my trophy and prize Russell Cook dulcimer. That’s Russell on the right. Yes, he’s big. Paul Goelz performed with me.

I’d had a snort or two from grandpa Swift’s home remedy by the time this photo was taken. Pretty stoned-lookin' dude there. Thanks to the Swifts and the Griers, and to Paul Goelz especially, for believing in me. Hello, and I will come back to Winfield one day.

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1989 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Sligo Town, Ireland, caught preparing to compete. A close examination would reveal the witless expression of terror on my face. I was dead last in competition order, and about fourteen others from Ireland and England had played before me and I expected I didn’t have a prayer. I thought I was rocky, but the hall was huge and the dulcimer sounded great. Four tunes: hornpipe, jig, air and reel. I was so scared I started my reel in the wrong place but managed to slide into key, I guess imperceptibly.

Thomas Fischer and Lissi Klaus were there from Germany, So were Johnny Burns, friend and mentor from Dundalk, who with the Siamsa Ceili Band won the All-Ireland first place that year with the great Raury Kennedy at the helm, and Kim Hoffmann, beloved sweetheart. So were Amy Monstream and Jean Lewis, New England dulcimists extraordinaire, who were traveling in Ireland and came up to Sligo to see me compete, and took these two photos.

Note the dazed expression as I was handed my first All-Ireland shield. That’s Joe Donovan, the great Irish dance luminary, on the left. He was assisting in the adjudication.

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This is the cover of my 1993 CD release. Kim Hoffmann, partner in music and life, is an extraordinary artist, and has done many album covers for other artists.

Tiompán Alley took four years and an Indiana Arts Commission grant to finish. I’m currently out of them, but you can be sure as soon as I have more, you’ll see them on this web site.

Still competing. 2001 Midwest Fleadh in Detroit. First place on the dulcimer, third place on the fiddle (my first-ever Irish fiddle prize). The Fleadh (Irish for “fair” – its full name is Fleadh Cheoil – “music fair”) is a blast. Go to the links page a Crotty-Doran’s site for more on this years’ Fleadh.

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2001 St. Patrick’s Church in South Bend, Indiana is host to the South Bend Celtic Heritage Center. One of the things we do is a Family Ceili(dh) every March. Here’s Paddy’s Racket and friends performing. See the upcoming events pages of this web site for more activities at St. Pat’s.

The Celtic Heritage Center is also the headquarters for Lorica (after the name of the Prayer of St. Patrick, otherwise known as “Patrick’s Breastplate”). This seven-member group started by providing liturgical music for Mass in the Irish style, quickly amassed a wider Irish and Scottish repertoire, and has been performing in the community. Here I am engineering their demo CD, recorded in St. Pat’s church. It’s a beauty!





2002. Here’s the mighty Ethan James in Kim and my kitchen, wailing away on some Irish reel on the Olwell wooden flute. He lives in Champaign, Illinois, where there is an outstanding bunch of Irish musicians.

January 2002, in the living room of Tiompán Alley. The first semi-annual (or maybe even “monthly”) Flute Summit raises their glasses in toast. That’s straight-malt – nothing but the best. Click on the picture for names.



Come back soon for more photos and fun!

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