Singer/songwriters Laura Pole, Greg Trafidlo, & Neal Phillips have been together for about 30 years now. Laura & Greg started performing as a duo in 1989, and Neal joined them in 1993.
Trifolkal's music is an eclectic blend of original and traditional favorites, along with tunes by some of today’s best songwriters, including Steve Gillette, Kate Long, Tom Paxton, Laura Smith, Steve Key, and others. The trio’s warmth, beautiful harmonies, and witty songs have delighted audiences from the U. S. Capitol to Baja California.
Trifolkal (and/or its members) have shared the stage with artists such as Robin & Linda Williams, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, Tom Paxton, Kathy Mattea, Peter Yarrow, and Janis Ian. Laura, Greg & Neal have performed at many coffeehouses, festivals, fairs, churches, and house concerts, including the Oak Grove Festival (Staunton, VA), Two-Way Street Coffeehouse (Chicago area), Bluebird Cafe (Nashville, TN), Ramblin' Conrads (Norfolk, VA), and Little Carnegie of the South (Macon, GA) and other great venues as well.
Their award-winning songs have been featured on national radio programs including NPR's Car Talk, The Midnight Special, The Folk Sampler, and Dr. Demento. Trifolkal and its members have released many recordings including six trio CDs: Silver, Winkin', Tao from the Mountain, Songs of the Season, To Those Who Feel, and Foxfire. Greg’s first solo CD, Old Dog, New Tracks earned two WAMMIE nominations from the Washington Area Music Association. The trio also contributed a track to the nationally released project Freedom is a Constant Struggle (Folk Era Records) joining folk luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Si Kahn, Judy Collins, and Tom Paxton.
Laura is a “Cajunblend” from Louisiana whose music career dates back to 1973. Her voice is her finest instrument, and what an instrument it is---pure, beautiful and moving---often compared to Judy Collins, who indeed was one of Laura's early musical influences. Classically trained in piano and voice, she has over 25 years of experience as a music director for youth programs. Laura gave birth to her first solo CD, “Born to Sing,” in January 2005. Many fans have come to “adore” Laura’s “baby”. Here’s what one of them, Dick Grossman, has to say about “Born to Sing”: “A wide range of music is one impressive thing; a wide range in a singing voice is another. Put them both together and you have "Born to Sing" --- an angelically sung feast for the ear, the heart, and the soul.”
Laura has written numerous songs inspired by her experience as an oncology nurse and cancer-pain management specialist. She created the Music, Touch, & Laughter program which she presents with trio members Greg and Neal. In addition to her musical talents, Laura is an accomplished chef and healing artist specializing in healthy, natural foods.
A Chicago-area native, Greg Trafidlo has been playing guitar since 1961, when he joined Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. His guitar and vocal work with the Greater Chicago Bluegrass Band and mandolin playing with the Bass Mountain Boys earned him early critical acclaim. His song "Foxfire" won the Grand Prize at the Louisville Area Songwriters' Competition. Roanoke Virginia's City Magazine named Greg "music person of the decade" for his contribution to the area's arts scene. Greg's solo recordings, "Carved in Song,""Folk Singular," "Old Dog, New Tracks" and "Co-Writers in Disguise" received extensive airplay and widespread critical acclaim. In 1998, he received two WAMMIE nominations from the Washington Area Music Association for best album and best male vocalist in the folk category. Greg has co-produced all of the trio's recordings, as well as albums and demos for other artists. He appeared in theatre productions including Stonewall Country and Cotton Patch Gospel. Greg has been an advanced tai chi instructor and has certification from China in the oriental healing art of Chi Gong. With his advanced training in Music Evoked Imagery, he leads songwriting and creativity workshops applying Guided Imagery through Music (GIM) techniques. (You can also visit Greg's personal web site.)
Neal Phillips is a singer/songwriter with a unique, flowing guitar style, a dry sense of humor, and a flair for intelligent, evocative lyrics and melodies. His thought-provoking, quirky, and funny songs have been performed by Bob Zentz, Holly & Glenn Yarbrough, and Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, among others. Neal's songs have won several awards including the USA Songwriting Competition and the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. His music has been played on The Midnight Special, The Folk Sampler, Traditions, and other syndicated radio programs.
As a songwriting team, Neal and Greg have enjoyed rewriting the lyrics of famous songs to humorous effect. “The Starbucks of County Down,” a parody of a famous Irish tune, was featured on Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes. "The Tumbler" (a takeoff of “The Gambler”), appeared in Sing Out! Magazine and has been a favorite of Bob Zentz and other folkies for years. “The New Adventures of Old Maui” is a whaling song for songwriting aficionados.
In addition to his work with Trifolkal, Neal has recorded 10 solo albums including “The Wit Album,” a compilation of his parodies and novelty songs. He has also performed in the Philadelphia area at the "Mount Airy Home Companion," the Philadelphia Society for Arts, Literature & Music (PSALM), other local coffeehouses, and the Philadelphia Area Songwriters Alliance (PASA) house concert series. Neal has also played guitar in many community theater musicals, including Next to Normal, Godspell, The Last Five Years, Hair, Seussical, Pippin, Bonnie & Clyde, Legally Blonde, Little Shop of Horrors, and Spring Awakening. Visit Neal's ReverbNation page to hear more of his music.