Mama's Midlife Crisis

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Mama's Midlife Crisis, an all-woman Celtic band, formed in March 1998 when five Bakersfield, CA, mothers and musicians began jamming, and then performing together. The original lineup included Kym Masera…
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Mama's Midlife Crisis, an all-woman Celtic band, formed in March 1998 when five Bakersfield, CA, mothers and musicians began jamming, and then performing together. The original lineup included Kym Masera Taborn on fiddle, recorder, guitar, and vocals, Andrea Van Nest with piano, guitar, recorder, and vocals, Rachel Neal playing lap harp, banjo, guitar, and contributing more vocals, Jill Egland on bodhran, flute, accordion, trombone, percussion, and vocals, and Nancy Sharp Blanton brought in fiddle, mandolin, tin whistle, clarinet, and vocals. Initially, they played a mix of Irish folk and klezmer music. Then Rachel Neal moved away, Kym Taborn and Andrea Van Nest also left the group, and remaining members Nancy Blanton and Jill Egland were joined by Mary Fewel Tulin on 12-string guitar and cittern, and Georgann Holzer Greene on fiddle. They all brought strong musical backgrounds to the group, having played instruments since they were children -- Greene still plays the same violin that she's had since age ten. The revised four-member lineup phased out the klezmer, went fully Celtic, and recorded their debut album, Live From the Living Room, which was released in 2000.

The Mamas balance active personal and professional lives with performing gigs and recording sessions. Blanton is a trial attorney; Egland is a playwright, writer and editor, social activist, and voice coach; Tulin is an organizational consultant; and Greene, having retired from special education teaching, is now the group's "full-time Mama." 2001 finds them at work on their follow-up album, as well as continuing to perform Celtic music in the public schools, and also at stores, cafes, and restaurants, and events such as the Kernville Bioregions Festival, plus charity fundraisers like Night on Eye Street.