About us

Pat Quinn
-- grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and with a name like Quinn, you know he's gotta be the Celtic Cat half of this duo. He lives in Prior Lake, MN with his wife, Mary. He has two grown children: Kelly and Gavin. Pat worked for the New Prague Schools as a speech disorders specialist.

Pat's musical instruments •
Violins:  I use two violins. One is a gift from a friend, Dave Ellwood, that had no label.  It belonged to his grandfather, who was a cousin of the Wright Brothers. When I got it, the neck was falling off, the bridge was missing, old gut strings etc and the finish was really bad. I do amateur repairs and have it in good playing condition including regraduating the top.  Usually you really don't want to strip a violin but this one needed it badly.  I stripped it and I put on 7 coats of Tung oil which is very thin and light.  The fiddle is a golden color and plays and sounds great. The other violin is made by Wilhelm Durrschmidt of Germany in 1929. It's a Stradivarius copy and has a beautiful finish with great flaming on the back.  Also plays and sounds great.
    Viola:  from time to time I've brought along a viola made by Song Instruments. It's one of the newer lines of very nice instruments coming out of China.  It's a bit of a shorter scale which makes it a bit easier to transition from the fiddle scale.  It has an amazing finish and beautiful wood.
    Octave Mandolin:  I bought this several years ago online from Dave Freshwater of  northern Scotland.  It sounds really good, is easy to play and came with a very nice on-board pickup, EQ,  and preamp system.
    Bodhran: mine is a tuneable Remo.  It has a synthetic skin so its unaffected by temperatures and humidity changes.  It's a bigger diameter so it produces nice warm low frequencies.
    Mandolin:  I play a Godin mandolin. It's absolutely trouble free.  It has a terrific built in pickup, preamp and adjustable volume with EQ all on board.  It sounds great plugged in.  It's okay not plugged in. I also own a Kentucky A style mandolin and an Epiphone A style mandolin with a pick up.  It sounds great unplugged or plugged in.  It requires an external preamp though.
    Whistles:  I play Chieftain low D and low F whistles.  My soprano D and C whistles are Sweetones.  I've learned to tweek these whistles so they sound and play really well.  They are tapered so they have a mellow sound but you can really lean into them.  I also have a couple Generation whistles and a couple I made myself from copper plumbing pipe for odd keys. 


Keith Johnson
-- grew up on the western prairies of Benson, Minnesota (thus the apt moniker of Prairie Dog) and after living almost everywhere, he now resides in New Prague, MN with his wife, Ann. He has four children: Geoff, Jenna, Maria, and Anna. He works as a media and technology director at Bloomington Kennedy High School. He previously worked in the New Prague and Hopkins school districts as well as an English and Reading teacher and as a Librarian. He has taught English, Reading, and been a media director at the middle school and high school levels.

Keith's musical instruments •
Guitar: Taylor 910ce: this is a beauty, and it sounds as good as it looks. I only wished I'd invested in such a guitar years earlier, before I'd nickeled and dimed myself for years with marginal guitars. "Taylor's ultra-premium class of rosewood/spruce guitars showcases a beautiful appointment package featuring the classic “Cindy” inlay scheme, rosewood binding with red purfling, shimmering abalone trim around the top and fretboard extension, and Gotoh tuners . . . with Indian rosewood back and sides, which seems as it it was created to be on a guitar." (from Taylor blurb)

12 String Guitar: Taylor 454ce Grand Auditorium: I held my breath when I bought this used on eBay (my first and only eBay purchase...so far). I'm not too obsessive on  the various woods that go in to guitars, but I've learned to love Ovangkol (back and sides) with a tropical American mahogany neck with Sitka spruce stop. Something about that wood combination "talked to me" as they say. Still does, too.

Mandolin: Ovation
Open D Mandolin: Applause
Octave Mandola: Freshwater
Harmonica: Hohner Blues Harp and Lee Oskar