Bing Futch - Festival Co-Founder
Performer and Instructor
With a big smile and a wild toss of his dreadlocks, Bing Futch kicks off every performance with a buoyant energy that is inviting and innervating. Using Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele, drums and electronic effects, he deftly navigates the varied waters of folk and pop with passion, wit and a genuinely huge heart for sharing music with a crowd. Known for his musical shape-shifting, Futch switches the channels on style with every new song, sung in a limber tenor voice and woven together with the other instruments. His casual way with any audience, coupled with a fierce originality on the lesser known mountain dulcimer, makes each show a one-of-a-kind and good-timing romp. As a nationally touring solo performer he's headlined at such events as The Florida Folk Festival, Old Songs Festival, The Big Muddy, Kentucky Music Weekend and Common Ground On The Hill. With a strong love for traditional music, Futch has enjoyed a career on both sides of the folk and rock divide, first as guitarist for CCM post-punkers CRAZED BUNNYZ in 1986 and much later in 1999 as co-founder of MOHAVE on mountain dulcimer. That band, with bassist Mike Burney and drummer McGyver, took off after their debut performance at the House of Blues at Walt Disney World and over the course of the next seven years would become a crowd favorite and open for the likes of MOLLY HATCHET, ST. SOMEWHERE and THE CRESTS.
In 2006, Futch began performing solo at county fairs and festivals across the country, along the way opening for Grammy-award nominated artists Sam & Ruby, bluesman Scott Ainslie and sharing the stage with Grammy-award nominated act The Dixie Beeliners among others.
Futch's music has been featured in film and video productions, video game soundtracks and exhibits at the Orlando Museum of Art. He was composer and musical director for "The Jungle Book: A Musical Adaptation" which ran for 66 shows at Stage Left Theater in Orlando, Florida. He also contributed music to the soundtrack of The Castle of Miracles at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.
When not performing, Futch can be found teaching music workshops at various festivals and colleges, presenting music education programs at schools and libraries and producing episodes of his video podcast "Dulcimerica" which has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and is currently in its seventh season.
Introduction To Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer! (MD)
This easy-to-digest workshop will get you understanding the chromatic mountain dulcimer not only as its own instrument but also as it relates to the diatonic mountain dulcimer (give or take a few frets.) We'll work out of the DAD tuning and get familiar with the notes on the fretboard using reference frets and other visual tricks. I'll not only demonstrate how to convert all of the chords that you already know from diatonic to chromatic but I'll also show you how to change those familiar shapes in order to get cool new extended chords and chord progressions. Best yet, I'll get you over the hump of how to approach playing it by starting with tunes you already know and then dressing them up with the new options at our fingertips. You'll have more than a passing relationship with the instrument by the end of this workshop! (Intermediate - Advanced)
A Spoonful Of Blues (MD)
Brand new workshop but perfect for those who want to learn the blues on the mountain dulcimer. We'll go quickly through the basics of Delta blues on the instrument and then shift focus to the one-chord modal strut of the song "Spoonful" which has been recorded by Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Cream. We're gonna do a whole lot of playing in the key of E, first barreing and then capoing at the first fret, so don't forget your capos and get ready to have some juke jointin' time with some blues on the mountain dulcimer! (Intermediate)
Learning To Play Native American Flute
This beautiful, haunting and expressive instrument dates back 4000 years on the North American continent. Originally used in courtship and later in ceremonies and, more recently, ensemble performance, the Native American flute now enjoys great popularity in all types of music. You'll be surprised at just how easy it is to play! In this workshop, you'll learn basics: flute anatomy, how to hold it, breath control, major and minor scales, ornamentation techniques and how to discover your very own spirit song. Must have a six-hole Native American flute in the key of "B minor." You can purchase one from Ray Wood at Island Flutes. Be sure to tell him it's for Bing's workshop. (All Skill Levels)
The Manatee Orchestra - Mountain Dulcimers (MD)
Back by popular demand! Everyone had such a great time last year performing in the Saturday evening concert (even if half the audience was on stage) so we're going to do it again this year with three brand new songs that will feature mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, pennywhistle, steel drums and ukuleles on stage at the Saturday evening concert. The Manatee Orchestra will refuse no player, all skill levels are welcome. This session is specifically for the mountain dulcimers. Check the schedule for the hammered dulcimer, pennywhistle, steel drum and ukulele sessions. (Beginner - Advanced)
Taking A Bite Out Of Apple's Garageband
Also back by popular demand! This was a very crowded session, so we're preparing this time with a big screen and pro audio so you can really get the most out of this informative session. Many of you have Mac laptops or desktops with Garageband pre-loaded on there. Some of you are already mucking around with it while others aren't sure where to begin. In this workshop, I'll demystify Garageband using a video screen so everyone can see the details. What kind of equipment do you need? What all can you do? What are plug-ins and why are they so important? What's a loop and how do you use it? Everything from basic recording to advanced sound equalization and mixing techniques. If you've ever wanted to record your own albums you'll have a good head start by the end of this class! Laptops running the latest version of Garageband are encouraged but not required. If you're not running Apple, the basic instruction applies, no matter what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you're using. (Beginner - Advanced)
How To Play "Juke Joint Hen"
Alright, you asked for it. This workshop will endeavor to teach you how to play my version of "Cluck Old Hen" which I call "Juke Joint Hen." It's on "Dulcimerica: Volume 2" and I've played it on-stage with the likes of Stephen Seifert and Butch Ross; it's one of my most requested tunes and many people have given their own spin on my roadhouse blues approach to this ancient old tune. In any case, I'll teach you how I do it currently, note-for-note, with all the bells and whistles including bends, staccato accents, rapid slides, one-handed tapping, right and left hand palm muting and, finally, a two-octave solo on the bass string. This workshop will not @#$%! around; we will be getting after it so bring your game face and a dulcimer with a 1 1/2 fret (you'll need it for the walking bass. Oh. Yeah.) (Advanced)
Practical Applications For Looping
This is a new workshop that ties together the performance aspect of looping with the practice time at home aspect, which is key to working out arrangements, songwriting, practicing solos or simply creating walls of sound just for the simple exploration of it. I'll also cover performing with a looper, some basic bullet points, details you might've missed, as you attempt to work the machine into your set (take it from someone who has, and continues to, run that ragged road.) If you take this workshop, you must know what a looper is. If you've got one, bring it and a small battery-operated amplifier (can be something like a Roland Micro-Cube for $120 or even the little Danelectro Honeytone N-10 Mini Amps for $20) because part of understanding your looper pedal is using it. I'll have my rig set up for those who want to give it a go, which is always fun the first time someone gets to layer tracks and play off of your self. No wonder more and more people are starting to loop! (All Skill Levels)