About Us

Meet the Band

The Burls is a “ceilidh” or party band. Our roots are in Scots-Irish pub tunes, folk songs, and the occasional sea shanty.

Instruments include guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, smallpipes, and rhythm percussion. We also enjoy bringing out the full Highland pipes and drum tunes for a bit of variety.

Members of The Burls met in, and still support, Tunes of Glory, a Scottish bagpipe-and-drum corps in Warrenville, IL.

Members: Tom Brown, Mike Heywood, Tim Heywood, Steve Marasso

Tom Brown – Banjo, Lead Kazoo, Vocals

  • Started guitar and banjo in high school – played in rock & roll bands, then moved to folk music
  • Picked up the bagpipes in 1974 in Rochester, NY
  • Still like folk music, rock “oldies” from the 60s & 70s, Americana
  • Some of my favorites: Kingston Trio, Bob Seeger, Creedence, America, CSN&Y, Eagles

Mike Heywood – Guitar, Mandolin, Harmony Kazoo, Vocals

  • Took some guitar lessons as a young lad and ultimately got into a classic rock band during junior high and and high school – even got into some tenor saxophone, French horn, and chorus
  • Have been playing bagpipes with Tunes of Glory Pipes and Drums for over 20 years
  • Mostly a classic rock guy, but I can dig a whole bunch of other music – just enjoy playing with my bandmates, having fun, and entertaining the audiences

Tim Heywood – Drums

  • Started out in 4th grade playing trumpet.  In 7th grade, the percussion department needed someone who could read music to play timpani.  Since then, always played drums in one form or another.  
  • In 1987, tried my luck at “Making It Big” as a rock band drummer in Los Angeles.  After 17 years, moved back to the Midwest to settle down.  Became antsy to play again and joined my brother who played bagpipes in a Scottish pipe and drum band that just happened to need a bass drummer.
  • Several years down the road, my brother and a few friends from the pipe and drum band started a string band to play Irish, folk, and Americana music.  Joined ‘em!
  • Cut my teeth on 70’s and 80’s classic rock and original songs in Los Angeles, but had never played Celtic-style pub/party music with guys on stringed instruments!  I couldn’t pass up something a bit different, and now have the opportunity to play and sing with my brother in a drums, guitar, bass, banjo and vocals group!
  • Favorite groups:  Deep Purple, Aerosmith,  Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf, Dio

Steve Marasso – Bass, Harmonica, Vocal

  • Started guitar when I was eight, eventually added in the bass
  • Always in-and-out of bands – loved it
  • Started on the bagpipes in 2000 – love playing Piobaireachd genre of pipe music
  • My taste in music runs the gamut from country to metal, from Hank Williams (the original) to Black Sabbath

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