Who We Are
Greg Mirken's childhood propensity for taking apart toasters and telephones, later tempered with his university science training, resulted in the patience for doing meticulous work on fine musical instruments. At age 20 he'd buy a cheap guitar or fiddle, take it apart, and put it back together again.. He worked at the Dobro Company doing repairs, artists' set ups, and along the way sanded a lot of lacquer and pounded in a lot of frets. Through the years, seminars and late night sessions with other luthier types have taught him much, but the instruments themselves remain the best teachers. Mandolin is his original instrument, but he also plays Dobro and English concertina. He claims not to play the guitar, but picks snatches of Dan Crary or Tony Rice tunes just to keep people guessing. His personal instruments are mostly vintage, but he's added a few modern instruments in recent years.
Margie Mirken left the toaster alone, but incessantly tinkered with her banjos to improve the tone and playability. Mrs. Elta Stowers of The Stage music store in Anaheim was a mentor, encouraging Margie to work on and play with very fine old banjos and guitars. Even as a teen, Margie commissioned custom instruments from California builders, hanging out and watching construction whenever she could. She plays five string banjo, guitar, Appalachian dulcimer and Irish harp, and dabbles in upright bass. Most of her performance instruments are by contemporary builders.