Bing Futch

Bing Futch

 Orlando, Florida, USA
SoloAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Singer/songwriter Bing Futch has made a name for himself by taking the Appalachian mountain dulcimer to electrifying extremes. African and Native American rhythms, blues, bluegrass, funk, jazz, Celtic, country/western, middle eastern and latin influences mix with rock and pop grooves.

Band Press

What's In A Name? – Music Connection

"As a founding member of Christian techno-punk band Crazed Bunnyz, singer/songwriter Bing Futch emerged on the college radio scene during the summer of 1986 with the album "Achtung: Musik Klirrfaktor" and has been recording and performing ever since. Over the years he has made a name for himself as a high-energy solo performer and frontman in other bands such as Johnny Quest and Mohave.

"He's created music for film, video, live theater, performance art and themed attractions. Voted "2006 Songwriter of the Year" by the Songwriters Showcases Of America, Bing's theatrical framings toe the line between tribal, roots, rock, pop and musical theater. Mainly, it's his love affair with the Appalachian mountain dulcimer that has brought forth an exciting wealth of music that showcases the timeless and traditional beauty of the instrument as well as taking it into extreme states of electric and electronic experimentation." -- Dean Rezzen, Music Connection

Try It, You'll Like It – Red River Valley Dulcimer Club

Everyone take a little time to tour www.youtube.com, specifically Bing Futch. He is an awesome MD player/performer and is nice enough to post his Dulcimerica video series on line so everyone can enjoy them. You won't regret spending hours in front of the computer screen as he performs just for you in the comfort of your own home. Watch and be mesmerized as he plays so fluently and with such heart. You'll be amazed at the volume of videos available on his site, and others as you search through the youtube world of cyberspace.

Try It, You'll Like It – Red River Valley Dulcimer Club

Everyone take a little time to tour www.youtube.com, specifically Bing Futch. He is an awesome MD player/performer and is nice enough to post his Dulcimerica video series on line so everyone can enjoy them. You won't regret spending hours in front of the computer screen as he performs just for you in the comfort of your own home. Watch and be mesmerized as he plays so fluently and with such heart. You'll be amazed at the volume of videos available on his site, and others as you search through the youtube world of cyberspace.

Dulcimer workshop teaches art of playing loose, from the heart – Coshocton Tribune

COSHOCTON - There were dozens of dulcimer workshops Friday during the Heritage Craft & Dulcimer Music Festival, but one taught by Bing Futch wasn't about structured technique.
Advertisement

"We're going to be boisterous and we're going to stir up the peace in this workshop," Futch told the group of participants.

He started his Primal Mountain Dulcimer workshop with some breathing and stretching exercises.

"The more loose you are the more you get the tension out of the way - the better you're able to get the music out," he said.

He encouraged participants to dream up a picture of a misty morning on a Scottish island with the warm sun on their shoulders.

"Take that picture and feeling with you," he said.

He then led them through some exercises that should help them express themselves individually when playing with a group, such as in a jam session setting.

"You can mix it up in groups and still sound good," he said. "Believe the music coming from you is pure and true and what it's supposed to be."

Shannon Baughman plays guitar and hammered dulcimer, and now the entertainer wants to learn how to play the mountain dulcimer.

The mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer are not related, though they share the same last name. The hammered dulcimer dates back to Biblical times, and has 50 to 150 strings that are hit with small hammers, not plucked.

The mountain dulcimer is an American instrument developed in the Appalachian mountains. Its three to five strings are plucked or strummed.

Baughman's mountain dulcimer was a Christmas gift from Mark Wade, the 1998 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion with whom Baughman has recorded some music.

"Now I have to learn to play it," she said.

Hunter Walker, 14, from Beckley, W.Va., has been playing the mountain dulcimer about the same six months, too.

He first picked up the instrument at the Tamarack in Beckley.

"I pretty much haven't put it down since," he said.

He's excited about being in Roscoe Village for his first dulcimer festival, and looks forward to the Mid-East Regional Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer Championships today.

Both competitions will be held at the Triple Locks Center, with the mountain dulcimers at 1:30 p.m. and the hammered dulcimers at 3 p.m.

Winners go on to the nationals in Winfield, Kan., in September.

Events in Roscoe today include a street festival, which means there are craft vendors, demonstrations, antique tractor displays, a petting zoo and, of course, music on the Main Stage and throughout the village.

Futch is a featured performer along with Rick Thum at 6 p.m. tonight at the Roscoe United Methodist Church.

Futch, who now lives in Orlando, Fla., first picked up a dulcimer in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1985.

"It's a lovely instrument, and once you start, you're hooked," he said.

kdickerson@nncogannett.com
740-295-3442

Dulcimer workshop teaches art of playing loose, from the heart – Coshocton Tribune

COSHOCTON - There were dozens of dulcimer workshops Friday during the Heritage Craft & Dulcimer Music Festival, but one taught by Bing Futch wasn't about structured technique.
Advertisement

"We're going to be boisterous and we're going to stir up the peace in this workshop," Futch told the group of participants.

He started his Primal Mountain Dulcimer workshop with some breathing and stretching exercises.

"The more loose you are the more you get the tension out of the way - the better you're able to get the music out," he said.

He encouraged participants to dream up a picture of a misty morning on a Scottish island with the warm sun on their shoulders.

"Take that picture and feeling with you," he said.

He then led them through some exercises that should help them express themselves individually when playing with a group, such as in a jam session setting.

"You can mix it up in groups and still sound good," he said. "Believe the music coming from you is pure and true and what it's supposed to be."

Shannon Baughman plays guitar and hammered dulcimer, and now the entertainer wants to learn how to play the mountain dulcimer.

The mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer are not related, though they share the same last name. The hammered dulcimer dates back to Biblical times, and has 50 to 150 strings that are hit with small hammers, not plucked.

The mountain dulcimer is an American instrument developed in the Appalachian mountains. Its three to five strings are plucked or strummed.

Baughman's mountain dulcimer was a Christmas gift from Mark Wade, the 1998 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion with whom Baughman has recorded some music.

"Now I have to learn to play it," she said.

Hunter Walker, 14, from Beckley, W.Va., has been playing the mountain dulcimer about the same six months, too.

He first picked up the instrument at the Tamarack in Beckley.

"I pretty much haven't put it down since," he said.

He's excited about being in Roscoe Village for his first dulcimer festival, and looks forward to the Mid-East Regional Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer Championships today.

Both competitions will be held at the Triple Locks Center, with the mountain dulcimers at 1:30 p.m. and the hammered dulcimers at 3 p.m.

Winners go on to the nationals in Winfield, Kan., in September.

Events in Roscoe today include a street festival, which means there are craft vendors, demonstrations, antique tractor displays, a petting zoo and, of course, music on the Main Stage and throughout the village.

Futch is a featured performer along with Rick Thum at 6 p.m. tonight at the Roscoe United Methodist Church.

Futch, who now lives in Orlando, Fla., first picked up a dulcimer in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1985.

"It's a lovely instrument, and once you start, you're hooked," he said.

kdickerson@nncogannett.com
740-295-3442

Back To Music's Roots – Morris Daily Herald

Back to music's roots
By Heidi Terry-Litchfield - hlitchfield@morrisdailyherald.com


Musicians and music lovers alike were thrilled with the weather this weekend, after a brief shower Saturday morning threatened the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival, only to clear up to bright sunny skies.

"It's been beautiful weather in a beautiful park," Diane Ippel said. "We've had a good turn out."

She said when they moved the festival up a month several years ago because it conflicted with NASCAR weekend in Joliet, they lost some of their festival goers. Since then, however, the numbers have increased and a lot of old faces, coupled with new ones, are making their way to Morris for the festival.

Musicians come from all over the United States to participate in and teach workshops at the Dulcimer Festival held in Gebhard Woods State Park each year.

Bing Futch performed this year at this festival for the second time.

From Florida, Futch said he travels all over the United States to participate in dulcimer festivals.

"This is a beautiful setting next to the canal and ponds and among the trees," he said. "The people in Morris are also very friendly."

Futch said he travels to the festivals for the love of music.

After performing as a guest last time, he was a featured performer this year. He taught three workshops and held a couple of concerts.

He said playing in Gebhard Woods reminds him of "where the music comes from."

"This is the only festival I participate in that is predominantly all outdoors," he said. "You don't forget the roots of the music out here and being in nature you can lift the music up."

Tents scattered throughout the park kept the sun off as the musicians performed original music, as well as music borrowed and made their own.

Performers didn't require a tent to enjoy playing.

Along the path leading to the Illinois & Michigan Canal, Monte Klein and his wife, Monica Robinson-Klein performed with Jill Stargardt and Charlie Stewart to an audience of whomever stopped by and listened.

Still others picnicked around the lakes, while the music floated in the air around them.

"We come here to listen to the music we enjoy so much," Carol Hamilton said. "We drive down from Chicago because this isn't something you can go hear any day of the week."

She said she grew up visiting her grandmother down south and remembers listening to the steel guitar and banjos play.

"This festival takes me back to that time, a simpler time when I was a child and it makes me happy," she said.

Back To Music's Roots – Morris Daily Herald

Back to music's roots
By Heidi Terry-Litchfield - hlitchfield@morrisdailyherald.com


Musicians and music lovers alike were thrilled with the weather this weekend, after a brief shower Saturday morning threatened the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival, only to clear up to bright sunny skies.

"It's been beautiful weather in a beautiful park," Diane Ippel said. "We've had a good turn out."

She said when they moved the festival up a month several years ago because it conflicted with NASCAR weekend in Joliet, they lost some of their festival goers. Since then, however, the numbers have increased and a lot of old faces, coupled with new ones, are making their way to Morris for the festival.

Musicians come from all over the United States to participate in and teach workshops at the Dulcimer Festival held in Gebhard Woods State Park each year.

Bing Futch performed this year at this festival for the second time.

From Florida, Futch said he travels all over the United States to participate in dulcimer festivals.

"This is a beautiful setting next to the canal and ponds and among the trees," he said. "The people in Morris are also very friendly."

Futch said he travels to the festivals for the love of music.

After performing as a guest last time, he was a featured performer this year. He taught three workshops and held a couple of concerts.

He said playing in Gebhard Woods reminds him of "where the music comes from."

"This is the only festival I participate in that is predominantly all outdoors," he said. "You don't forget the roots of the music out here and being in nature you can lift the music up."

Tents scattered throughout the park kept the sun off as the musicians performed original music, as well as music borrowed and made their own.

Performers didn't require a tent to enjoy playing.

Along the path leading to the Illinois & Michigan Canal, Monte Klein and his wife, Monica Robinson-Klein performed with Jill Stargardt and Charlie Stewart to an audience of whomever stopped by and listened.

Still others picnicked around the lakes, while the music floated in the air around them.

"We come here to listen to the music we enjoy so much," Carol Hamilton said. "We drive down from Chicago because this isn't something you can go hear any day of the week."

She said she grew up visiting her grandmother down south and remembers listening to the steel guitar and banjos play.

"This festival takes me back to that time, a simpler time when I was a child and it makes me happy," she said.

So Much More Than 'Bob Marley with a Dulcimer' – The Daily News

Futch: So much more than ‘Bob Marley with a dulcimer’

By Steve Wildsmith
of The Daily Times Staff

Bing Futch doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a rocking chair-sitting, overalls-clad mountain man, strumming a dulcimer on the porch of some backwoods cabin.

In fact, when the dreadlocked African-American from Orlando, Fla., hauls out his instrument on Saturday night at “The Pickin’ Porch” in Townsend, it’s apt to cause a little head-scratching. He’s come to expect it, however — as well as the satisfied smiles that follow when he starts to play.

“I get plenty of looks, even without a dulcimer in my hands,” Futch told The Daily Times this week. “People don’t know what to expect when I start playing. They’re thinking, ‘What’s going to happen? It’s Bob Marley with a dulcimer.’ But except for maybe one or two tunes that are Caribbean, I’ll open up with something really Old time, because that lets them know I really respect the roots of the music and the instrument.

“I’ll do ‘Flowers on the Wall’ by the Statler Brothers, some Johnny Cash and my originals, which are not too far from the base, because I love Americana and folk music.”

Futch hails from California, where he was working at Knotts Berry Farm theme park in 1985, a year out of high school, when he first discovered the dulcimer. At that point, he was already a musician — but playing keyboards left him feeling less than satisfied.

“Nothing was really speaking to me until I was walking through Ghost Town, on my break from parking patrol, and I heard someone playing this instrument,” Futch said. “What grabbed me immediately was how ethereal-sounding it was. It was so organic, and it spoke to me — I was instantly captivated. I asked the lady who was playing it what it was, and she told me that it was a dulcimer.”

Within five minutes, she had coaxed him into giving it a try; a week later, he spent his paycheck on a dulcimer of his own — a Cripple Creek teardrop flywood. Shortly thereafter, he was playing full-time, and since then, he’s never looked back. In 1986, he founded the Christian techno-punk band Crazed Bunnyz, a trio that found popularity in the international underground college radio scene. Around the same time, he started a solo career that would eventually lead to success as a composer of music for film, television, theater and various commercial and theme-park attractions.

In 1993, he left California for Florida. Eventually, he formed the Americana band Mohave, which traveled across Florida performing at such venues as the Walt Disney World House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe Orlando and more, opening for acts like Molly Hatchet, Subject to Change and The Crests. In 1994, he named his first dulcimer — Jolene, after the Dolly Parton song — and, ever since, he’s christened them all.

“I don’t know why I named her that; I guess I thought she was a bad influence on me because I was spending all my time with that instrument,” he said with a chuckle. “So I went back and named all the ones I had bought before. Mostly, they’re all girls, although I have named a couple of them after guys because of their characteristics.”

Helen is the name of the dulcimer that brings him to Townsend. It’s a product of dulcimer maker Mike Clemmer, whose family owns Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop in Townsend, and an instrument of which Futch is quite fond.

“A couple of ladies in my dulcimer group in Orlando had some of his instruments, and I saw they had a very interesting design,” he said. “I’m constantly switching tunings, so I wanted one with two fretboards, and somebody told me that Mike could make me one. So I went to his Web site, talked to him about customizing one for me. It gives me the ability to play in two different keys simultaneously without stopping the show, and it’s just a beautiful instrument with a fantastic sound.

“Mike gave it to me at the Unicoi Festival in Helen, Ga., so that’s why I named her Helen. No matter where I go, she gets stares.”

When the Clemmer family started booking acts for this year’s “Pickin’ Porch” — a Saturday night concert series showcasing dulcimer and Old Time artists — Futch immediately jumped at the chance to play one of the shows. It gives him the opportunity to “see where Helen was ‘born,’” he said, as well as to share his talent with appreciative fans.

“I like to give them a little tour of what the instrument can do,” he said. “I’m play some old chestnuts that people will be familiar with, living in the Appalachian region, and I’ll play some covers, and I’ll be doing some of my original tunes, which range from being kind of rhythmic and groovy to doing some straight-up country and bluegrass tunes I’ve written.

“It’s just a little tour around what the dulcimer can do — blues and Irish music and lots of the soft stuff, too, because I like playing sweet and low, where it sounds really great. It’ll run the gamut.”

Originally published: May 16. 2008 3:01AM
Last modified: May 15. 2008 2:4

So Much More Than 'Bob Marley with a Dulcimer' – The Daily News

Futch: So much more than ‘Bob Marley with a dulcimer’

By Steve Wildsmith
of The Daily Times Staff

Bing Futch doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a rocking chair-sitting, overalls-clad mountain man, strumming a dulcimer on the porch of some backwoods cabin.

In fact, when the dreadlocked African-American from Orlando, Fla., hauls out his instrument on Saturday night at “The Pickin’ Porch” in Townsend, it’s apt to cause a little head-scratching. He’s come to expect it, however — as well as the satisfied smiles that follow when he starts to play.

“I get plenty of looks, even without a dulcimer in my hands,” Futch told The Daily Times this week. “People don’t know what to expect when I start playing. They’re thinking, ‘What’s going to happen? It’s Bob Marley with a dulcimer.’ But except for maybe one or two tunes that are Caribbean, I’ll open up with something really Old time, because that lets them know I really respect the roots of the music and the instrument.

“I’ll do ‘Flowers on the Wall’ by the Statler Brothers, some Johnny Cash and my originals, which are not too far from the base, because I love Americana and folk music.”

Futch hails from California, where he was working at Knotts Berry Farm theme park in 1985, a year out of high school, when he first discovered the dulcimer. At that point, he was already a musician — but playing keyboards left him feeling less than satisfied.

“Nothing was really speaking to me until I was walking through Ghost Town, on my break from parking patrol, and I heard someone playing this instrument,” Futch said. “What grabbed me immediately was how ethereal-sounding it was. It was so organic, and it spoke to me — I was instantly captivated. I asked the lady who was playing it what it was, and she told me that it was a dulcimer.”

Within five minutes, she had coaxed him into giving it a try; a week later, he spent his paycheck on a dulcimer of his own — a Cripple Creek teardrop flywood. Shortly thereafter, he was playing full-time, and since then, he’s never looked back. In 1986, he founded the Christian techno-punk band Crazed Bunnyz, a trio that found popularity in the international underground college radio scene. Around the same time, he started a solo career that would eventually lead to success as a composer of music for film, television, theater and various commercial and theme-park attractions.

In 1993, he left California for Florida. Eventually, he formed the Americana band Mohave, which traveled across Florida performing at such venues as the Walt Disney World House of Blues, Hard Rock Cafe Orlando and more, opening for acts like Molly Hatchet, Subject to Change and The Crests. In 1994, he named his first dulcimer — Jolene, after the Dolly Parton song — and, ever since, he’s christened them all.

“I don’t know why I named her that; I guess I thought she was a bad influence on me because I was spending all my time with that instrument,” he said with a chuckle. “So I went back and named all the ones I had bought before. Mostly, they’re all girls, although I have named a couple of them after guys because of their characteristics.”

Helen is the name of the dulcimer that brings him to Townsend. It’s a product of dulcimer maker Mike Clemmer, whose family owns Wood-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop in Townsend, and an instrument of which Futch is quite fond.

“A couple of ladies in my dulcimer group in Orlando had some of his instruments, and I saw they had a very interesting design,” he said. “I’m constantly switching tunings, so I wanted one with two fretboards, and somebody told me that Mike could make me one. So I went to his Web site, talked to him about customizing one for me. It gives me the ability to play in two different keys simultaneously without stopping the show, and it’s just a beautiful instrument with a fantastic sound.

“Mike gave it to me at the Unicoi Festival in Helen, Ga., so that’s why I named her Helen. No matter where I go, she gets stares.”

When the Clemmer family started booking acts for this year’s “Pickin’ Porch” — a Saturday night concert series showcasing dulcimer and Old Time artists — Futch immediately jumped at the chance to play one of the shows. It gives him the opportunity to “see where Helen was ‘born,’” he said, as well as to share his talent with appreciative fans.

“I like to give them a little tour of what the instrument can do,” he said. “I’m play some old chestnuts that people will be familiar with, living in the Appalachian region, and I’ll play some covers, and I’ll be doing some of my original tunes, which range from being kind of rhythmic and groovy to doing some straight-up country and bluegrass tunes I’ve written.

“It’s just a little tour around what the dulcimer can do — blues and Irish music and lots of the soft stuff, too, because I like playing sweet and low, where it sounds really great. It’ll run the gamut.”

Originally published: May 16. 2008 3:01AM
Last modified: May 15. 2008 2:4