Mary Kay Aufrance vocals, accordion, percussion
About the Name...
Tom and Mary Kay offer two distinct music acts:
the Gairin Music and Magic and Slim and Minnie. Both acts feature
folk music with beautifully crafted songs and tunes on accordion,
mandolin and guitar. The Slim and Minnie show is for audiences who
love old songs, especially cowboy songs, campfire sing along music,
turn of the century parlor songs and traditional American folk revival
favorites. Likewise, the Gáirín Music and Magic act
features Celtic songs and tunes. Many Celtic songs became the basis
for American folk music, as folks traveled to America from Ireland,
Scotland, Wales and other Celtic lands.
Four CDs, a music book and hundreds of gigs ago, the husband-and-wife singing duo Tom and Mary Kay Aufrance got out their old guitar, mandolin and accordion and decided to create their own music act. Today, they're performing folk music as Slim and Minnie and also Gairin Celtic Music, still blending their voices as they do their hearts but also enjoying performing more than ever.
'People know us as two singers who blend our voices as we do our hearts. Our original arrangements and harmonies extend musical traditions, and we have never tried to immitate anybody else. Plus, we always make our shows fun for all audiences by using the homespun humor of our characters Slim and Minnie or our Gairin Magic schtick. But, even though we offer disarming accessibility, you will hear influences from the very beginnings of folk music starting with the origins of music itself in pre-Renaissance choral times, interspersed with a few scenes stolen straight from opera like Mozart's Marriage of Figaro!'
'We have performed for rogues in pubs as well as for genteel audiences with symphonies, and we've stood on dusty lanes in Renaissance faire villages and with the wind in our hair on stage at outdoor festivals as well as in the confines of the rehab. unit of our local hospital. So, our music truly fits many moods and events. We also offer original music when the occasion fits.' Mary Kay's original music fills our new CD Musical Dreams. Her songs and tunes range from the ethereal mood music of Musical Dreams and Go Ask the Rain -to- her rollicking ballad of Mr. Potato Head.
The Aufrances have been performing and writing music since the 90's, when they got their start at summer faires and Tahoe-Tallac Association events at Lake Tahoe. 'Our first group was the acappella singing group the Motley Madrigals.' The Motlies became popular at Renaissance faires and theme events in the Lake Tahoe area, by mixing slapstick humor with seriously beautiful 4-part vocal harmonies.
In addition to singing, Tom also plays 6 and 12-string guitars, Irish bouzouki and mandolin. He got his first mandolin as a college student, because it was small enough to play it in the front seat of his car while working on his night job as a security guard. Mary Kay also plays accordion and bodhran. Although her beginnings in music included a variety of musical arts, starting as a dancer at the wee age of 2, and then going on to piano, guitar, violin,and voice, the accordion has always been her favorite instrument.
The Aufrances have done a little teaching as part of a State of Nevada and Carson City Symphony program called Strings in the Schools. They served as music instructors for the program, with the goal of bringing the enjoyment of making Celtic music to the program's nearly 80 students of all ages.
We started recording in 2005, and have released four CDs - Ramblin' Irishman, In the Moon of Wintertime: Christmas Music, Musical Dreams and Shamrocks, Thistles & Silver Spurs. In 2009 we published a music book with our arrangments of the songs on our Ramblin' Irishman CD plus more.
You can hear all our CDs and
look inside the music book on our web site and on Amazon.com
You can see us in action on youtube at
Two performers. Two mic stands.
Sound system requirements: