The songs of the working class, justice, and the environment are combined with songs of romance and interpersonal relationships by Magpie, a duo featuring Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner. When Leonino and Artzner first came together, in September 1973, Leonino was in her senior year at Kent State University. Upon her graduation, the following spring, the duo moved to Takoma Park, MD, and became active participants in the Washington, D.C.-area folk community. Magpie's debut album, Magpie & Friends, released in 1978, and their third album, If It Ain't Love, released in 1986, showcased their eclectic repertoire. Their second album, Working My Life Away, released in 1983, focused on the songs about the struggles of the working class. Living Planet, released in 1990, and Circle of Life, their first album of children's songs, released in 1992, examined ecological issues. Seed on the Prairie spotlighted their songwriting.
Although rooted in the folk tradition, Magpie has incorporated a wide variety of influences into their music. In addition to elements of acoustic country music, pre-World War II swing and blues, the duo has performed contemporary folk-like songs by a diverse range of songwriters. Magpie frequently performs at schools and museums, including the Smithsonian Institute, and has become master artists at the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. A number of Magpie's recent performances have been in conjunction with topical singer/songwriters Kim and Reggie Harris. A quartet album, Spoken in Love, was released in 1997 on Magpie's Long Tail Records; Give Light followed two years later, and in the spring of 2000 the duo resurfaced with John Brown: Sword of the Spirit. Inspired to collect several songs that recalled December, Magpie put together several originals as well as a few favorite Hanukkah and Christmas songs and released Last Month of the Year in 2002. ~ Craig Harris