History of Steelin' Tin

The History of Steelin' Tin

Picture of the Band

Steelin' Tin began as an unnamed duo in October 1999. The founding members met as a result of their mutual interest in a local Southern California act, the O'Brien Brothers. Lifelong San Diego resident Chandra Visser helped to maintain the first official website for the O'Brien Brothers, in part helping to handle e-mail addressed through that site. When Sean Bryant moved to northern San Diego County, he had not seen the O'Brien Brothers for over a year and found himself in a good situation to finally see them once again.

Finding them on the Internet, he sent a message to them, which was handled by Chandra. They both showed up at Hooley's Pub to hear the 'Dublin Duo', where they were both asked to play a song. After that, they discovered that they both wanted to make a go at performing music, and they began rehearsing together.

Steel strings on the guitar and tin whistles being their primary instruments they hit on what became Steelin' Tin. The first appearances of the duo were at a local pub, Tom Giblin's. They were also given the occasional opportunity by the O'Brien Brothers to perform individually or together for a song or two.

Steelin' Tin's founding members have remained a constant part of the group, but they have had several other members come and go, Pat Mabry - guitar, James Grundy - bass guitar, Ed Farley - keyboards, Leonard Stanley - guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals. Current members are, Chandra Visser - rhythm guitar, lead vocals, Sean Bryant - tin whistle, bass guitar, lead and backing vocals, Stephanie Gudeman - oboe, English horn (we call it Irish sax), mandolin, guitar, backing and lead vocals, David Taylor - guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals.

The first paid appearance of Steelin' Tin was at a local coffee house, Cafe Elysa, in February 2001. They were considered good enough to get more gigs there. Steelin' Tin played at several open mic nights in San Diego County. They eventually became well-liked regulars at The Packing House in Fallbrook and The Blarney Stone in Claremont. When the hosts of the Sunday Blarney Stone open mic night eventually stepped out of that role, Steelin' Tin stepped in and as a result of their performances, earned a slot in the 2001 St. Patrick's Day festivities of The Blarney Stone. They also earned a Wednesday night gig filling in one week for The O'Brien Brothers.

We did do a live recording in January 2003, but it didn't work out as well as we had hoped, but we were able to get a demo out of it, which is currently available for only $5. We are currently working on another recording, so, please be patient... Good things come to those who wait!!!!!



Picture of Stephanie Stephanie is a professional entertainer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She studied music performance and composition in college, as well as taking lessons with some of the best teachers around on double reeds, voice and early music performance -- Dr. James Paul, Tom Axworthy, Scott Hostetler, Ron Fox and Betsy Spear.

She is the band leader, recording engineer and composer for the group Night Orchestra and also leads other specialty theme and historical entertainment groups. She plays and leads a vast variety of musical shows: Medieval, Renaissance, Victorian, Irish, jazz, rock, classical, or original pieces. She loves music and performance, and feels most fortunate that she was given this gift.

Some of the companies Stephanie has worked for include: Disney, Capitol, Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Barona and Viejas Casinos, Legoland, Loren Smith Productions, Allied, Allstar, Music As You Like It, Quantum, and All Star Productions.



Picture of SeanI was born before my time in Des Moines, Iowa to truck farmers who only succeeded in growing weeds and small station wagons. Soon they found a market for the weeds and were able to afford to get me back out of the pawnshop, at which point the family moved to California.

Six months in Marin County led my parents to abandon America for Germany, but after 4.5 years became despondent over the lack of vacuous entertainment. After my seventh birthday, the family flew to New Jersey and immediately came back to get me out of the airport locker, then once again returned to America.

Since challenge is good for building character, my parents moved to Colorado Springs. I stayed alone in New Jersey in order to build character, but only succeeded in making badly formed ashtrays.

After two years the family finally reunited in California for mysterious reasons still not revealed to my brothers or me. Each of us is still trying to escape the state. One brother has managed to get as far north as San Jose, the other to San Bernardino County where he poses as a married father and music teacher until he can complete his escape.

Science Fiction had an impact on my early life since my brothers were both raised as extraterrestrials (hunted by government agents, riding bicycles across the night sky, etc.) even though all six of their eyes clearly resembled my indisputably Earth-born father's.

Music was also important since it was the only way my parents could keep me from attempting to feed on strangers. I began studying music in order to get around its affect on my brain. I determined that the best way to understand something is to study it from the ground up - from inside. Being a performer has given me insights that I hope one day will let me free myself to once again feel (and taste) the kindness of strangers.

Today I pose as a kindly, mild mannered singer and musician, however I still have not been able to completely suppress my true nature - which those around me occasionally are able to glimpse.

In the interest of truth in advertising and lending laws, the following clarifications should be noted:
1. Parents were a normal, young, middle class couple; Father joined the United States Air Force, hence the move to California followed by stationing in Germany for four and a half years.
2. Parents did not leave child in airport locker - only one flight was necessary to achieve New Jersey.
3. Parents did not abandon child in New Jersey; he was brought to Colorado as though he were part of the family.
4. Reason for return to California was not mysterious, but Sean still does not get to know why.
5. Science Fiction was a form of literature read by family members, none of whom have extraterrestrial ancestry or upbringing for at least the last 2,000 years.
6. He did study viola in Junior High, but was too short to reach both the floor and the instrument and had to choose between being able to walk or being able to play Chopin; walking won
7. More than ten years after last playing viola, he began to teach himself tin whistle, and when that did not get the chicks, he began to teach himself to play the bass he had owned for ten years.
8. He really is a kindly, mild mannered singer and musician, however it still may not be a good idea to get near him if he is not sufficiently restrained.
9. The guy who wrote these clarifications is probably on drugs and wants another shot



Picture of Chandra I was born January 30, 1965, in San Diego, CA at Clairemont General Hospital (which is no longer a hospital, but a rehab center..... Fitting, isn't it). I have lived in San Diego all my life (over 30 years of it in the same house I have never strayed far from home (the West side of Arizona & Nevada, the South side of Oregon, except for a trip to Mexico City when I was about 9 years old. I do plan someday to go to Ireland, but that will be a long time coming unless I win a trip or someone gives me plane tickets.

I first started playing guitar in 7th grade, I have always liked to sing, but never really put the two together until 10th grade, when I went to John Muir Alternative School, I joined guitar class again, Ernie (the teacher) asked everyone to bring in music that they wanted to learn. This school had a show every Friday called Town Meeting this was the first time I had ever played and sang, in front of people, Ernie and I played Reunited. After that, people kept asking me when I was going to play again. I played several more times throughout my time at Muir.

My friends talked me into going to hear this band called 'The O'Brien Brothers' down at Hennessey's. Well, after my first time hearing them, they couldn't get rid of me (they still try once in a while). One night I asked them if I could play tambourine to one of their songs 'So Far Away' and they let me, that was the beginning my musical career. The next year I asked if I could sing a song on my birthday, they played and I sang 'Blowin' in the Wind'. A little while later I bought a new guitar and started practicing and I once again asked if I could do a song, but this time they were shocked to hear that I wanted to play guitar as well, that is how I got started back into music.

In December of 2006 I was very ill and ran a high fever for about 2 week, when the fever broke I had lost 80% of the hearing in my left ear, I will probably be fitted with a hearing aide in May 2007.

I would really like to thank: