Artist Profiles: Tempest

Tempest in 2012

Tempest is an American Celtic rock band founded by vocalist and mandolin player Lief Sorbye, drummer Adolfo Lazo, guitarist Rob Wullenjohn, and bassist Mark Showalter. They are based in Oakland, California.

Tempest has been recording and performing since 1988 and has released numerous CDs. The band’s sound goes beyond a folk-rock band. Although Tempest’s foundation is traditional Celtic folk music, the group also incorporates Norwegian, American folk and progressive rock elements.

Their CDs have received critical acclaim not only in North America and Europe but all over the world as well from Japan to Argentina.

Tempest keeps its enthusiastic followers satisfied with frequent touring in the USA and abroad. The band has appeared at major music festivals worldwide.

The lineup has had numerous changes throughout the years. The group is led by founding members Lief Sorbye and Adolfo Lazo.


Bootleg (Heyday, 1991)
Serrated Edge (Beacon, 1992)
Sunken Treasures – Previously unreleased tracks from 1989 to 1992 (Firebird, 1993)
Surfing To Mecca (Firebird, 1994)
Turn Of the Wheel (Magna Carta, 1996)
The Gravel Walk (Magna Carta, 1997)
The 10th Anniversary Compilation (Magna Carta, 1998)
Live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (Tempest, 1999)
Balance (2001)
Shapeshifter (2003)
15th Anniversary Collection Box Set (2004)
The Double-Cross (2006)
Lief’s Birthday Bash Party (2007)
Prime Cuts (2008)
Another Dawn (2010)
The Tracks We Leave (2015)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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