Since July, 2007 Bill Ring has
lived in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, playing clubs in
the Ithaca area and recording with some of the area's best instrumentalists
and singers. His band, Ironwood is a constantly evolving ensemble, currently
including lead guitarist Dave Redmond and jazz/Americana bassist Joe Crum,
plus surprise guests. The most recent CD, Faithless Angels, also
features vocalist Angie Beeler, drummer Barry Miller, Joey Dugan on flute,
and cellist Suzanne Schwartz. This is his second recording since moving
north. The first was titled Ironwood. See the Ironwood
page for more information. See the Show
Announcements page for details of upcoming appearances. All recordings
are available through CDbaby.com
In 2002, Bill moved from New York City, his life-long
home, to a renovated barn in the Catskills, where he set up the recording
studio in which he completed his first five CDs. The first four compiled
remastered versions of his earlier recordings. The fifth, Still On
My Mind, was recorded and mixed in his new studio.
"The barn has the most incredible sound -
better than any studio I've ever worked in. The high ceiling and oddly
angled walls give it a natural ambience like nothing I've ever heard.
The first time I walked into the place I clapped my hands, listened to
the reverberation, and just about knocked the landlady down and forced-fed
her my deposit check." Before moving to Trumansburg, just north of
Ithaca, he made sure to sample the unique reveb sound of that barn, a
sound which he often employs in his more recent recordings.
"The completion of Still On My Mind
was the end of a creative and technical Odyssey that began with buying
my first guitar at age 16 and getting my first sound-mixing gig as roadie
for the Elephant's Memory in 1969. I've been writing songs, performing,
and engineering ever since."
Bill Ring began playing in New York City in 1968.
His first band, Another Country, was a folk-rock group that played mostly
at the appropriately named Cafe Bizarre on Third St. in Greenwich Village.
That club, along with pretty much every other venue they ever played (including
the old Sterns department store across 42nd St from Bryant Park!) has
long since been torn down and plowed under.
After 15 years of solo performing, Bill joined
with Sally Eaton and Peter Pasco to form a new version of Another Country,
featuring assorted acoustic instruments, three-part harmonies, and the
considerable songwriting talents of all three. The acoustic edition of
Another Country appeared frequently at Speakeasy and Folk City, both of
which no longer exist. (Anyone notice a trend here?)
Along the way he mixed live sound for performers
including Herbie Mann, Aretha Franklin, Paul Butterfield, Kiss, and many
others. He has also been an electronics designer, and chief tech at a
major New York studio.
After Another Country, Bill began working with
his backup band, Ironwood, which at one time or another included most
of the musicians listed in the notes of the CD Bill Ring and Friends.
There was also a short-lived collaboration known as Sixteen Wheeler, which
featured Bonnie Burns, Jaki D'accardi, and David Ruderman for one gig
at Wetlands, and Rod Horowitz in place of David at the Eagle Tavern.
In 1991 Bill teamed with Constance Taylor to front
Ironwood. They also appeared as a duo under the name Cool Dolphin. (Constance
now lives and performs in San Francisco. Check out her
Besides the clubs mentioned above, Bill Ring has
been heard live and recorded on many NY area radio stations, including
WBAI and WQXR, and on college and community stations around the USA. His
Angels: Featuring Joe Crum
and Dave Redmond. With vocals by Angie Beeler, Barry Miller - drums,
Joey Dugan - flute, Suzanne Schwartz - cello. Fourteen previously
unrecorded original songs by Bill Ring. For more information, click
here. Available from CDBABY.com
Featuring Joe Crum, Don Fenton, Stacy Farina, Sue Spencer, and Dave
Redmond. With special guests Larry Real on dobro and Joe Hodes on
lead guitar. Fifteen original songs by Bill Ring, fourteen never
released before. For more information, click
here. Available from CDBABY.com
On My Mind: Beautifully recorded in the sweetest-sounding
barn in the Catskill Mountains, Still On My Mind features drums
and percussion by Bob Lepre, acoustic and electric bass by Rusty
Boris, fiddle by Brahm Stuart of Shaman, sax by Chuck Hancock, harmonies
by Bibi Farber and Constance Taylor, and acoustic and electric guitars,
harmonica, and vocals by Bill Ring. A bakers dozen original songs
performed, arranged and engineered by Bill. Available from CDBABY.com.
Are Here: The fourth and final album compiling Bill
Ring's pre-millennium recordings, which were previously available
only on private release cassettes. The first seven songs are similar
to the material on Bill Ring and Friends: Old-time country sounding
instrumentals featuring fiddle, banjo, guitar, and harmonica, but
with less than traditional lyrics. The next three songs are electric
productions that might have been included in Invisible Fingers.
The next four songs are solo folk numbers, including a tribute(?)
to the guru of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, and the title song,
whose gist can be gathered from a quick glance at the cover art.
The album concludes with a pair of instrumentals: one an acoustic
improvisation in 10/8 time based on a diminished scale, and the
other a dreamy meditative piece featuring harmonium and whirling
gong. Available from CDBABY.com.
a Violet Sun: Dark, death-obsessed Newage weirdness
beginning with a Quicksilver-esque rock number and ending with a
30+ minute sound sculpture featuring rain stick and assorted small
percussion instruments. In between lurk four Goth-folk pieces that
many aficionados consider among Bill Ring's best-written songs.
Some very cool, dreamy instrumental work here as well, particularly
the electric guitar lead on Sand. Only six songs, but an hour's
worth of highly unusual music. Very different from his other albums,
and well worth repeated listening. Available from CDBABY.com.
Fingers: "Except for the Mehndi hand illustration
by Loretta Roome, this CD is an exercise in solipsism. What I could
play myself (guitars, harmonicas, vocals) I did; the rest (drums,
keyboards, wind instruments) I programmed in midi. This is probably
as close to a rock album as I'm likely to come." All of the
mixes on this CD were previously available only on limited edition
cassettes Don't Worry, It's Only Me; The Fall of the House of Escher;
and Invisible Fingers. They have been remastered for improved sound
Available from CDBABY.com.
Ring and Friends: Digitally remastered cuts
from early cassette releases Heaven Somewhere, Ironwood,
and Cool Dolphin. Also includes two songs recorded live
at the Sun Mountain Cafe. All original songs. Lots of acoustic
instruments, including 6- and 12-string guitars, fiddle, mandolin,
banjo, flute, harmonica, harmonium, and percussion, with some
electric bass and even an electric guitar thrown in. Backup vocals
by Bonnie Burns and Constance Taylor. Folk/blues/country. Available
Country: With Sally Eaton and Peter Pasco. Many covers
with some originals. A few CD's exist, but very much a rarity.
If you REALLY have to have one, email Folksmith.
Virtually all acoustic, including a couple of a capella
numbers. Folk style.