Stephen listened to American country and Irish folk in his early childhood. Artists such as Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson. Luke Kelly, the Dubliners, Jim McCann, Paul Brady, The Furys all featured in his early childhood. In his teens Stephen was heavily influenced by the Brit pop scene and bands such as Oasis and the Stone Roses. It was in his late teens that Stephen discovered Rory Gallagher, his biggest influence, both as a musician and as a person. Listening to Rory and Hendrix, he of course began exploring the blues, discovering artists such as B.B king, Albert king, Freddie King, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. And then from there he naturally started listening to jazz, especially artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong.
Stephen was 15 when he first picked up the guitar and he has been a most dedicated and hard working musician ever since, working with various bands and writing original material. In more recent years Stephen studied Music with North Western Regional College and has worked with some of Northern Ireland's most well established bands such as Portabello and The Soul Seekers.
Maighread was exposed to a lot of American Country music in her childhood with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride and Kenny Rogers being amongst her favourite artists during that time. Maighread also recalls her first attempt at writing music at the age of about 13. At this time Maighread was discovering Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Aretha Franklin and other artists that really inspired her. Throughout her teens Maighread found herself listening to music that was rooted in blues, rock and soul, developing a love for authentic art.
In more recent years Maighread has worked with blues band, The Beekeepers who are also based in Donegal. It was during this time that Maighread really honed her craft as a frontperson. The Beekeepers are a five piece blues band playing a mix of blues, rock, funk and soul whose influences are as diverse as Stevie Ray Vaughan to Big Moma Thornton, Muddy Waters and John Mayall, The band is widely recognised as one of the best blues outfits across the North West.
Maighread has also recently returned from her tour in the United States where she performed in some of Chicago's top blues venues including Rosa's in Chicago where she was joined by Harry Hmura and Sugar Blue and the world famous Buddy Guy's Legends Club where she was joined onstage by The Jimmy Johnson Blues Band.
Maighread wowed the audience in Legend's Club with Karl Guy saying:
“She's a star! Maighread got up on the stage and blew us all away!! We look forward to having her back!”.
During her time in Oregon, Maighread performed with the amazing Ben Rice Band where she got an amazing reception!! For the final performance of her tour, at the beautiful Foxfarm Winery, Portland, Oregon got this review:
"We were fortunate enough to have Maighread perform at our Winery in Oregon.She joined our traditional, local bluesman Ben Rice and our guests were all curious as to see what this wee girl from Ireland could know about the blues…. Let me just say, she knows it, she shares it, and she PREACHES it when she is on-stage!Somehow Maighread straddled the shadows of Etta James and Janis Joplin and kept the show rolling, and the audience howling for more. Maighread is a wonderful, fiery contradiction: lovely, a young spirit, but an old-soul. She is the only performer we’ve had who got TWO encore requests and one marriage proposal. I pray that she makes it back to Oregon so that we can have her perform at our big outdoor venue."
- David Fish/Proprietor Foxfarm