Green Flag Band is an Athens, Georgia-based folk-music ensemble that stays close to the heart of traditional Irish and other Celtic music. Band members are Carl Rapp on fiddle, Dave Coons on banjo, vocals, and guitar, Ken Ross on accordion, and Julia McDermott on hammered dulcimer and vocals. These musicians, sharing a love of Irish music and dance, have played Irish and other styles of folk music in the Athens area for years, joining forces in 2008 to become Green Flag Band.
CARL RAPP - Fiddle
Carl Rapp has been playing the fiddle [aka the violin] since he was about eight years old, when the principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony was also teaching string players in the Atlanta Public Schools. In college, he played classical music with the Emory Chamber Orchestra, and since the early 1980s he has played continuously with the Athens Symphony. In 2002, with great fear and trepidation, he accepted a most gracious invitation to join an Irish music group called Banish Misfortune (now sadly disbanded). Being unable to quench his enthusiasm for all forms of Celtic music, he now plays it at every opportunity with his two Celtic groups, Collateral Relations and Green Flag Band.
DAVE COONS - Banjo, guitar, vocals
Dave Coons has been playing guitar and banjo since he was a kid growing up in the 60's folk music era. Besides his work with Green Flag Band, he solos as a singer/songwriter under the name Dave Howard, frequently performing in local venues like the Terrapin Brewery as well as regularly appearing in several Florida venues. His solo album of original songs entitled Mother Highway was produced in 2010. In addition to guitar and banjo, Dave plays piano, having played keyboard for the popular New York area band Wallop for several years. He also is the composer of the musical Great Expectations!
KEN ROSS - Accordion
Ken Ross studied the piano accordion as a youth, under duress from his parents, but quickly gave that instrument up in favor of the drum kit, which he played in various rock and blues bands throughout high school and college. Ken returned to the accordion in his 40s while desperately searching for a relatively benign outlet for his mid-life crisis. He quickly turned to playing Celtic folk music because of the alluring melodies and lively beats.
JULIA McDERMOTT - Hammered dulcimer, vocals
Julia McDermott’s music training began with classical piano, then silver flute, but quickly shifted to the joys of playing folk music when she first heard the sounds of a hammered dulcimer. She began playing the instrument in the Appalachian tradition, about 20 years ago. Later, Julia studied with Karen Ashbrook and Maggie Sansone at workshops, learning to play the hammered dulcimer in the Irish/Celtic traditions, and quickly shifted her focus and repertoire. Julia is beginning to study Anglo-concertina and is now doing some singing in Green Flag Band. She and husband Carl Rapp form the duo Collateral Relations.