Biography and Promo Photos
Bruce Ling was born in Chicago, and began playing guitar at age four under the tutelage of his father and uncle, semi-professional musicians involved in Country/Western and Rock and Roll, respectively. He says, "My earliest memories are of picking the melody lines to Hank Williams and Ferlin Husky records on a 1930's Kay arch-top guitar". He still uses this guitar when playing Delta Style slide guitar blues.
Moving to Grand Rapids, Mich., and
spending the 70's in various "Barnyard Rock" pick-up bands, busking on street corners in So. Calif., New Orleans, and Cape Cod, and
doing occasional promoted shows, the 80's and 90's found Bruce
working regularly with long-term bands. The venues included music
festivals, private parties, corporate functions, etc. The music
consisted of Bluegrass, Folk and Appalachian songs, and popular music in
the genre of Neil Young, The Eagles etc. Interspersed were shows
performing with blues bands on the electric mandolin.
During the late eighties Bruce began playing the mandolin as a
result of a left index finger injury that lasted six months. The guitar
couldn't be chorded properly with only three fingers as the mandolin
could. In 1990 he began playing the fiddle, winning the first of many
fiddle contests three years later. He now performs and records with
guitar, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, fiddle, viola, and cello, and also
teaches students of all ages to play these instruments.
Admired for his musicianship and vocal range, Bruce has shared
the stage with guitarist Jerry Reed, singer Bobby Goldsboro, guitarist
Harvey Reid, blues man Peter "Madcat" Ruth, saxophonist Boots
Randolph, and Grammy Award winning Reggae band Gizzae,
and has opened for folk
singer Anne Hills, and Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet with his band
Beausoleil. He has performed with national award winning dulcimer player
Rick Thum, and Jazz greats Chris Brubeck and Bill Crofut, and has
fiddled for the moving feet of internationally known dancer Ira
Bernstein, and Michigan hoofer/caller/instructor Dan Gorno. The first
dance he fiddled for was at the prestigious Wheatland Music Festival,
Michigan's largest traditional arts festival.
Bruce owns a recording studio, and multi-instrumentally
records and produces sound-beds for corporate DVD's, commercial radio
spots, and video soundtracks. His clients range from local businesses to
the globally known Prince Pasta Co. In addition to recording and
producing his own CD, How it all Started, he also appears as a
guest artist on numerous recordings.
He took 1st
place in the first fiddle contest he entered, the Wild Rose Moon
Festival, in northern Indiana in 1993,and again in 1995.
In 2001, at Michigan's largest contest festival, the Shady Grove
Fiddle Fest, Bruce took 1st place in Mandolin, 2nd in flatpicked guitar,
and 3rd place in fiddle. He has since
been asked to, and has been participating as, a contest judge at
Since 1997 Bruce has fronted his own band "Hawks and Owls",
playing a mix of acoustic based Country blues, Bluegrass, early Swing,
Appalachian, Irish, and original fiddle tunes and songs. He has also
performed and spoken on many radio programs, stage productions, media
interviews, and televised spots. His understanding of the evolution of
traditional music is expressed in his 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.
and Owls: the acoustic evolution of rural American music
House Concerts, Festivals, Lessons, Corporate Functions, Dances, Workshops, Residencies
P.O. Box 501
Comstock Park, Mi. 49321-501
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