Farmer's Valuable Friends
- Artist: Hawks And Owls String Band
- Format: CD
- Release Date:2/12/2008
Hawks and Owls has played for dances, festivals, corporate functions, private parties, weddings, fund-raisers, baptisms, funerals, and concerts, and has put together a great show of old time fiddle music, folk, country blues, bluegrass, Irish music, and original compositions. Award winning musician Bruce Ling plays fiddle, flat-picks guitar, picks mandolin, and plays delta-style slide guitar in their sets of music. Becca Lynn plays rhythm guitar, Jason Wheeler doubles on mandolin or flatpicked guitar, and Micah Ling plays cello. All share vocals. Bruce educates his audiences on where this old music came from, the origin of a song, or an amusing bit of history about the performers and events of the past. His understanding of the evolution of traditional music is expressed in their performances, where the audience is treated to colorful facts about the homegrown music of the 18th and 19th centuries in America, and the immigration of music from the British Isles in those periods. Hawks and Owls is also an excellent Contra Dance band, having been the House Band for the Grand River Folk Art Society for a number of years. They have played for a regular, once-a-week Irish Ceili dance in Grand Rapids at the 6th Street Hall for about 12 years now, in addition to the GRFAS 4th Friday of the month Contra Dance, other bookings for private Contra Dances, and major music festivals. They are able to provide a professional Caller for your dance, if need be. Bruce has been teaching workshops on Flatpicked Guitar, as well as Mandolin, and Old Time Fiddle at a number of music festivals across the state, including Blissfest, The Wheatland Music Festival (Spring and Fall festivals), Farmfest, Grinfest, Shady Grove Fiddle Fest, and smaller one day affairs where they have been booked to perform. He provides handouts of tablature for the tunes taught in his classes. Micah has been teaching cello for old time and Irish music demonstrations/workshops, and Becca has been teaching rhythm guitar accompaniment for old time fiddle tunes. There's a great beauty in the passing of oral tradition to others. Bruce has been blessed with great mentors, wonderful musicians and teachers. He now finds himself in his fifties with a number of students for guitar, mandolin, and fiddle, teaching the accumulated knowledge he has gained from those Old Ones, many who have now crossed over.
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