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                                         Photo courtesy of Kim Datema


A few of the lineups.

Click on a pic to enlarge, click X to return

with taylor shepherd, becca shiltEDITED.jpg (89677 bytes) With Bill VanVugt, Andy Urqhart, Nick Kroes.JPG (238252 bytes)
Teese, Becca, Bruce0131.jpg (61082 bytes) with alegra cangelosi, bill vanvugt, nick kroesEDITED.jpg (207990 bytes)

with bill, bec, nick, bruceEDITED.jpg (95344 bytes)bryan whittemoreEDITED0133.jpg (102409 bytes)


About Hawks & Owls

The Beginning

It was the fall of 97, and in came an unexpected phone call from a man I didn't know.  The unfamiliar voice said, "the Kalamazoo Folklife Organization is having their annual fundraiser, would you like to bring your band down and participate?"  "Of course," said I, even though I didn't have a band, or was playing regularly with one at the time.  "Bruce, what's the name of your band?," was the next question, and my immediate improvised response was "Hawks & Owls", a way of honoring the many Birds of Prey that have crossed my path since I was a child.  I had always been the kid everyone brought the injured wild things to, and had spent a few years volunteering in the hospital at Blandford Nature Center, focusing on the care and healing of Raptors.
The line-up for that first show was Bill VanVugt on guitar, Andy Urqart on bass, and me on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar.  We played an hour set of Bluegrass, Irish, Appalachian, and Country Blues, the crowd went wild, and a band was born.        
bruce and becca Edited20010149.jpg (51176 bytes) 1SarekFallasburgFestival9.28.020207.JPG (44503 bytes)
crawdad2_0200.jpg (29647 bytes) P-1254.jpg (221494 bytes)
BeechForest0123.JPG (215981 bytes)
I had, around that time, met Nick Kroes at the monthly Wheatland Music Co-Op jam session up at Remus, Michigan.  He was looking for a working fiddler to play with, and I found his "frailin"  style on the banjo to be without compare, so I promptly inducted him into our group.  Nick has a great web-site that I pass on to everyone.  It's at You'll find all sorts of historic notes on the tunes we play, and lots of tasty music downloads.
          Due to the diversity of the shows I book, the personnel shifts from time to time to accommodate the needs of my clients.  Whether the job requires tasteful mandolin melodies for a corporate dinner function, hours of bluegrass and fun music for a company picnic, a 45 minute set of tight instrumentation and harmonies for a major music festival event, etc., I have the musicians for the job.  I've spent over 30 years working with many bands and musicians around the state of Michigan, and I sometimes use my old band-mates for the different styles of music I get called on to perform.

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