Tempest (band)

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Loz tempest.png
Celtic Folk-Rock Band
Background information
Origin Oakland, California
Genres Celtic rock, folk, progressive rock
Years active 1988–present
Labels Magna Carta, Firebird Arts & Music
Website www.tempestmusic.com
  • Lief Sorbye
  • Adolfo Lazo
  • Kathy Buys
  • Josh Fossgreen
  • Ab Menon
Past members
  • Brian Fox
  • Michael Mullen
  • James Crocker
  • Damien Gonzalez
  • Rob Wullenjohn
  • Jay Nania
  • Mark Showalter
  • Ian Butler
  • Jon Berger
  • Dave Parnell
  • John Land
  • Todd Evans
  • Jim "Hurricane" Hurley
  • Sue Draheim
  • Mark Skowronek
  • Ronan Carroll
  • Darren Cassidy
  • Ariane Cap
  • Caith Threefires
  • Vince Lucchesi

Tempest is an American Celtic rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area, based in Oakland, California.[1] They fuse together the traditional Celtic music with Norwegian and European folk, American folk, and progressive rock.

Band history[edit]

The band formed in 1988 with Lief Sorbye (mandolin, vocals), Adolfo Lazo (drums), Rob Wullenjohn (guitar), and Mark Showalter (bass). The band has seen a changing cast of musicians, with Lief and Adolfo remaining as founding members since the band's beginning.

The current lineup consists of Lief Sorbye (mandolin, vocals), Adolfo Lazo (percussion), Kathy Buys (fiddle), Ab Menon (guitar), and Josh Fosgreen (bass), with members from around the world: Lief from Oslo, Norway, Adolfo from Havana, Cuba, Kathy from San Francisco, California, and Josh from Santa Rosa, California. In 2010, Tempest released Another Dawn - it was Tempest's 11th full-length studio album. In 2006, Tempest released their 10th full-length studio album, entitled The Double-Cross. In 2007, the band released a live CD, entitled Lief's Birthday Bash. The Birthday Bash CD was recorded on the evening of 23 March 2007 at Ashkenaz Dance Community Center in Berkeley, and features tracks including a number of musicians that Lief has played with over the years: both past Tempest members and some members of Golden Bough as well. Much of the recent live CD is actually acoustic. Tracks from Tempest recordings may be sampled on the discography page of the official Tempest website.

The band has held the honor of being invited to play a number of times at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and they also host an eclectic music and arts festival of their own, in Auburn, California, on the first weekend of May each year. The festival is called Karfluki Fest, and has featured such artists as It's A Beautiful Day, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Fairport Convention, Shana Morrison, Wicked Tinkers and Fishtank Ensemble, in addition to an array of side show acts such as belly dancers, a sword swallower, jugglers, acrobats and fire dancers.




  • Bootleg (1991)
  • Serrated Edge (1992)
  • Sunken Treasures (1993)
  • Surfing to Mecca (1994)
  • Turn of the Wheel (1996)
  • The Gravel Walk (1997)
  • The 10th Anniversary Compilation (1998)
  • Live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (2000)
  • Balance (2001)
  • Shapeshifter (2003)
  • 15th Anniversary Collection Box Set (2004)
  • The Double-Cross (2006)
  • Lief's Birthday Bash Party (2007)
  • Prime Cuts (2008)
  • Another Dawn (2010)
  • The Tracks We Leave (2015)
  • Thirty Little Turns (2018)

Compilations featuring Tempest[edit]

  • To Cry You a Song - A Collection of Tull Tales (1996)
  • Philadelphia Folk Festival, 40th Anniversary Box Set (2001)

Related groups[edit]

Lief Sorbye occasionally plays in an acoustic Celtic folk duo called Caliban, usually joined by a current or former Tempest fiddler, such as Kathy Buys, Michael Mullen or Sue Draheim. They have released one self-titled recording and often do shows during Tempest tours.

Kathy Buys was the fiddler with a world fusion band called The Druid Sisters Tea Party.

Bassist John Land was previously in a band called Coyote Pudding. They had one release, titled Joking, Drunk, or Bored as Hell.

Lief Sorbye has released two solo albums, Springdans (1987) and Across the Borders (1994).


  1. ^ Official Tempest band website: http://www.tempestmusic.com, Retrieved: 29 March 2013.

External links[edit]