Bruce Ling is one of Michigan’s finest musical treasures, a River-side mystic, eloquent story teller and passionate caretaker of America’s collection of traditional music. Raised in a multi-faceted musical family, Bruce found his calling at the ripe age of eight, earning his first $5 playing in a garage on Chicago’s South Side for a birthday party. He grew up learning from many older musicians, and became the recipient of a vast amount of “Oral Tradition”: songs and stories passed on from older to younger generations.
He has since honed an extraordinary repertoire of traditional string-band tunes from near and far. He plays with equal flair and skill on fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and flat-picked guitar. With stage performances that channels the expressive style of Will Rogers, he paints musical portraits celebrating the colorful history of rural America with a broad repertoire of both original and time-savored traditional folk songs. As singer and songwriter, Bruce understands the importance of keeping the history of this timeless musical genre alive and well. He shares his keen knowledge with caring and passion, and his inspiration has propelled a legion of young musicians to continue playing these songs…a true testament to Ling’s talents as a teacher and mentor.
Whether performing solo, joined by his wife Becca Ling who is a world class old-time rhythm guitarist, or combining forces with additional members in Hawks and Owls string band, Bruce’s dynamic versatility is unmatched. His expertise on the fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and guitar in concert performances and Old Time Contra and Square dances is heralded by critics and fans alike.
Bruce’s original songs showcase both his eclectic life and the unique characters that he’s met along the way, and are inspired in great measure by his experiences spent living alongside Michigan’s wild and scenic Rivers, and the denizens and creatures who inhabit them.
Bruce Ling and Hawks and Owls string band offer audiences an engaging and memorable live performance experience.