Bill Robinson and Friends
Bill Robinson and Friends have made a solid name for themselves in the hammered dulcimer, folk and bluegrass communities throughout the United States and abroad. A string multi-instrumentalist, Bill is an authentic traditional hammered dulcimer player with a bluegrass style and repertoire all his own.
Music on the hammered dulcimer has been part of Bill's life from the very beginning. He is a third generation player, beginning with his paternal grandmother. His daughter, Monica, performs on hammered dulcimer in Michigan. Through stage appearances, recordings, and teaching, Bill is inspiring a new generation to carry on the music he learned from his ancestors.
Bill's "Friends" are his longtime playing partners. Ed Cosner is a fiddle champion and teacher of students who have gone on to play with country stars. Sterling Wilson has performed with Bill on guitar and vocal since the ‘60s. Merle Lawson is a great 5 string banjo player, considered the best by many. Greg Ferguson is Bill’s right hand man on guitar and vocal - he tells everyone that he’s the only friend Bill has left. Marvin Robinson, on bass and vocal, is indeed related (Bill’s first cousin).
Bill was named the 2003 North American Country Music Association International “Instrumentalist of the Year” in the bluegrass category, and received the “Little Jimmy Dempsey Instrumentalist of the Year Award.” Bill was inducted into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame, has received five Illinois Arts Council Master/Apprentice Program awards and three Fellowship awards, was nominated for the National Heritage award, and is a member of the Artstour. Bill has received a lifetime membership in the Original Dulcimer Players Club, and the Pioneer Award from the Illinois Country Music Association. And in 2012 he was the recipient of The Gebhard Woods Dulcimer and Traditional Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.