The Blackbirds are Paul Wehling on banjo, bouzouki, guitar and vocals, Sam Adams on piano accordion and vocals, and Sean Egan on clarinet, tin whistle, percussion and vocals.
Paul Wehling's attraction to Irish music began at a session in County Clare, during a trip to Ireland in 1987. With his brother Matt, he was a founding member of Clumsy Lovers, a band which dominated the Minneapolis-St. Paul Irish/Celtic music scene in the early Nineties, making two recordings and winning a Minnesota Music Award. In addition to playing with the Blackbirds, he is a highly sought after accompanist, performing with such well known Irish Musicians as Sean O'Driscoll and Paddy O'Brien.
Sam Adams brings a body of beautiful but seldom heard Welsh songs, airs and dances to the Blackbirds' repertoire. He grew up playing Welsh hymn tunes on the piano, later switching to piano accordion. In Minneapolis, he has been a member of the Welsh singing group Cerdddoriaeth Ceiniog ("Penny Music") and the Celtic duo Heaven and Hell, and took top honors in the vocal competition at the Minnesota Celtic Festival. His playing can be heard on recordings by harper Kathryn Mannyng and pianist-composer George Maurer.
Sean Egan first began playing Celtic music with Noel Rice and Sean Cleland in the seminal Chicago Irish band Baal Tinne, while studying music at DePaul University. He became known to Minneapolis and St. Paul audiences through his work with the popular Irish/Celtic group Field Day, which featured Kate and (Clumsy Lover) Jode Dowling on whistle and fiddle, and appeared on the Irish Music and Dance Association CD "Hunger No More". He can also be heard on recordings by Sean O'Driscoll, Kathryn Mannyng and Dan Newton, among others.