Red Thistle Music
Susan is an award-winning fiddler in the Scottish tradition. She regularly plays for Scottish country dance events on both coasts and in Canada. Drawing on her classical training, she also spins lovely sounds for quieter listening.
Susan has appeared on many Scottish music recordings, with the bands Tullochgorum and Reel of Seven, and with Red Thistle Music and the Bayside and Benside Ensemble.
Michael has played bodhrán and percussion with Red Thistle Music since its founding, and has been playing Scottish music for over 30 years as part of bands and sessions on both coasts of the US and in Scotland.
As well as the critically acclaimed album Bayside & Benside, an album that doubles as the soundtrack for Ron Colby's documentary film Scotland's Caddies, Michael has also played for and produced a handful of recordings including The March Hare, The Breakdown, and Six for Sixty. More recently, he has played in California and Scotland with a variety of musicians including his wife, Susan Worland-Bentley, and Gary Innes, Étienne Ozorack, and John Taylor.
A former Red Thistle dancer himself, Lyle has an identical twin brother, Lance, who also does Scottish music and dance (in the Boston area). Lyle started dancing in 1983 and added playing for Scottish Country Dancing after attending a workshop in 1987. He then joined Kim McGarrity's band, "Fiddlesticks and Ivory," which played in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland. Lyle inherited this band after Kim's passing.
Lyle still manages to fit in some dancing at the Mountain View class and at each July, at the Scottish Pinewoods Dance weekend, in Massachusetts.
Red Thistle Music became the official band of The Red Thistle Dancers in 2001. Featuring the talents of Susan Worland-Bentley on fiddle, Michael Bentley on bodhran, vocals, and percussion, and Lyle Ramshaw on keyboard, the trio has played together for over a decade, often in support of dance performances, but also in ceilidh and country dance settings, as well as music-only events and weddings.
All three members of Red Thistle Music have been involved in the Scottish and Celtic musical tradition for many years here in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as touring throughout the United States and Europe.
Red Thistle Music is frequently joined by guest musicians and singers for performances, including Janet Kurnick on violin, and Calli Morrow on harp.