Secret Emchy Society is an international collective of musicians led by Cindy Emch. The members vary from town to town and show to show - but you can always be guaranteed of a goddamn good show.
Cindy Emch (vocals / guitar) sings foot-stompin' heart-breakin' songs about good friends and hard times. She also writes the bands songs and makes a good rhubarb cocktail. Before starting SES she was also in Vagabondage, Rhubarb Whiskey, Feral, Sinners Tonic, and the Oakland Wine Drinkers Union.
Marco Baroz (lead guitar) is a Texas born, Bay Area based guitarist who plays with both Secret Emchy Society and Lucy & the Long Haul. He is awesome.
Tolan McNeil (vocals / lead guitar / producer) has recorded records and performed with such known and lesser known Canadian royalty as Pink Mountaintops, Destroyer, Neko Case, Frog Eyes, Daddy’s Hands, Fine Options, Chet, Himalayan Bear, Carolyn Mark, Black Valley Gospel, David P. Smith, Trembler’s of Seven, and MD Wren and the Sick Kids. Currently Tolan is making his third solo record, to be released as soon as it’s finished…
Sean Malroy (fiddle) is a San Francisco based violin player who has played in the raucous bands The Sweet Trade and Vagabondage. When he is not playing fiddle for SES he can be found playing in the house band at Oasis SF or performing his original electro-compositions as Fern Factory.
JBird McLaughlin (harmonies / design) is an internationally acclaimed artist and musician who not only records harmonies for SES, but also designs many of the bands posters, tshirts, and album art. She was recently an artist in residency at Merrick Gallery and formerly in the band Hearse. Her current music project is Lady Bush & Odd Balls with Sweet Dee.
Joel Fernandes (lead guitar / drums) has played guitar with Tower of Dudes, and Hearse, touring with Carolyn Mark, and played shows with the likes of Damo Suzuki and Steve Barrie. Joel is currently living in Portugal and ready for the SES international tour.
Ed Cagnacci (harmonies / bass) is currently based out of Portland, OR. He was formerly in the band Feral with Emch, and has played with The Family Band, Officer Down, Fabulous Disaster, and more.
Jon Langmead (drums) is a drummer extraordinaire who has worked with Tanya Donnelly, Beckylin & Her Druthers, Choo Choo La Rouge, and many other excellent musicians.
Jack Moriarty (drums) is based in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington and has played with Lavender Country, Raygun Jones, and Misery Whip. SES is happy to have Jack drum on our PNW shows.
Grayson Walker (accordion) performed some very excellent songs on the first SES album. He is currently not playing with SES but is making some very interesting music on bandcamp.
Hans Winold (upright bass / harmonica) was born in the midwest and has plucked his strings in punk, jazz, folkpunk and country bands (Bug, FrontJunk, Vagabondage) all along the West Coast. He has been playing music with Emchy since the mid-2000's.
Shawna Virago (lead guitar) is a songwriter celebrated for her striking lyric-based songs. Her songs twist together folk, alt-country and punk. Virago was one of the nation’s first openly transgender women to perform and tour nationally, and has performed as an out transwoman since the early 1990’s. You should get her album on bandcamp.
Jacob Aranda (harmonies / lead guitar) was born and raised in rural Illinois. He learned to play the guitar from his brother. He currently lives in Northern California and performs with Secret Emchy Society, Beckylin & Her Druthers, Tarnation, and as a solo performer. You can and should buy his music on bandcamp.
Mya Byrne (lead guitar) is a rich, powerful Americana storyteller, delivering a blend of country, glam-pop, blues and poetic folk songwriting. Out and proud, she is a leader for the presence of queer trans women in country and Americana, and is one of the first two trans artists to play AmericanaFest. You should buy her album on bandcamp.
Carolyn Mark (vocals / piano) is a Juno-nominated Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter. She has recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the duo The Corn Sisters with American colleague Neko Case, as well as with the bands the Vinaigrettes, Jr. Gone Wild, Showbusiness Giants, the Fixin's and the Metronome Cowboys. www.carolynmark.com
Terri Upton (harmonies / bass) is a core member of the SES Canadian touring band and is the inspiration behind the song Whiskey Fightin' Terri. She has also played bass and sang her heart out with Frog Eyes, Carolyn Mark, and many many more.
Michele Kappel (harmonies / drums) is Baltimore bred (getting her musical start in a theater company there) and Bay Area seasoned by stints in The Kirby Grips (Garage-Pop/Sympathy For the Record Industry), The Frisky Frolics (20s/30s Jazz and Hokum), Laura Benitez & the Heartache and The Heartache Sisters (Country), and her own torch and twang project, Yours Truly, Michele. Photo by Jill Tracy (2021)
Sweet Dee (harmonies / bass) is a core member of SES's Canadian touring band. She also plays with Carolyn Mark and is a solid half of the duo Lady Balls & Odd Bush with JBird McLaughlin
Dennis Siemens (upright bass) has previously recorded/played with (as the) Crow Flies, Himalayan Bear, MD Wren, Hearse, and many others. This is his first crack at helping to produce songs, but his proudest moments have been recording Carolyn Mark in California, igniting rockets as a Sick Kids encore in southern Alberta, and mounting the only known nomeansno tribute concert last year.