Walt Schlichting went back to Ireland after high school, taking a degree in Archeology at University College Cork. He started playing the tin whistle there. He has since taught himself to play fiddle, mandolin, flute, mandola, concertina and “ukelele bass”. An incorrigible experimentalist, Walt has also built instruments, including our deerskin bodhran about thirty years back. Walt is the group’s multi-instrumentalist and often throws his voice into the mix as well.
Tom first sang in public while living in Ireland as a twelve-year-old. His rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” almost got him a part in the seventh-grade musical there, but his Texas accent was too atrocious to play any of the scripted parts. The appreciation of his Irish schoolmates provided the confidence to walk into tryouts at his North Carolina junior high the next year and he’s been performing ever since. Tom sang in high school and college, did folk music solo acts, spent three years with the early music group of the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Since moving back to Michigan in 1992, he’s enjoyed playing Irish and assorted American music. Besides singing lead and harmony vocals Tom plays guitar, harmonica, dulcimer and various occasional back-up instruments.
Lynn Surbrook is a Sanilac County native and classmate of Walt and Tom's sister Anne who joined Ourselves formally in the summer of 2008, after many jam sessions and guest spots with us. Lynn has a strong affinity for bluegrass and old country music and has sat in with Holy Mountain Boys and Black River Bluegrass Boys. He travels several times a year to music festivals around the country and this experience shows to good effect in the Ourselves mix. Lynn sings lead on some new songs he brought to the group, and adds guitar leads, mandolin chords and a nice new flavor to the sound.
Ourselves has played many different venues over the years, from an annual house concert at a convent with an audience of ten to outdoor concert stages at Ann Arbor, Algonac, St Ignace, Port Huron, West Branch, Evart, Howell, Chesaning and many more. They’ve even played in three restored movie theaters in Rogers City, Harbor Beach and Lapeer. Ourselves has produced five CDs in small production runs, of which the newest, Ourselves Beo (Live), a 2-CD St Patrick's Day concert album, is still available.