The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin Thursday at 7 pm at the Frisco Depot, 401 S. 3rd in Muskogee.
As a teenager Wil Maring sat for long summer hours at her family’s roadside vegetable stand, picking out self-made tunes on her Sears guitar to pass the time. She never dreamed of the path she would one day follow.
Wil has become a highly respected songwriter, a winner of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest, a Kerrville New Folk Finalist, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry with her original music, in addition to touring extensively in Europe and Japan. Added to the contributions of the accomplished musicians with whom she tours, it becomes a beautiful original acoustic music that straddles the fence between bluegrass, folk, and acoustic country, sometimes containing subtle hints of Celtic, old time and even pop music.
As Dave Higgs, respected host of Nashville Public Radio’s nationally syndicated bluegrass program describes the performance, “Absolutely, hands-down some of the most mesmerizing, exciting, interesting and enjoyable acoustic music I have ever heard. Wil’s songs are just in a league of their own, and the picking.... the interplay between (the musicians) is simply astonishing.”
Robert Bowlin started at age 1 and a half playing the ukelele, graduated to his dad’s guitar at age 5, and has been creating unique and beautiful guitar music ever since. He won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas in 1979 and got 2nd in the Flatpicking Guitar Contest in 1978. His professional career has included stints with artists such as Maura O’ Connell, Kathy Mattea, Tom T. Hall, the Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe, Ray Price, Bobby Bare, Faron Young, Ricky Van Shelton.
He was a session guitarist and fiddler in Nashville for countless recordings. He has played onstage with artists such as BB King and Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and Vassar Clements. He has performed his original music on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome.