On this week’s program, Art of the Song is pleased to host Bettman & Halpin, a duo who are fast earning a reputation for hypnotizing performances filled with irresistible lyrics, transcendent harmonies and roof-raising instrumentals. They have been a featured act at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS along with musical heroes Byron Berline, Michael Martin Murphy w/ Pat Flynn, and Tommy Emmanuel. Their music creates a fully acoustic, delightfully eclectic sound far greater than the sum of its parts: taking the listener from up-tempo down home fiddlin’, to soulful sorrowful ballads, to super hooky folk/pop with catchy melodies and lyrics that will stick with you long after the concert is over. Touring together since 2008, Bettman & Halpin have been recognized in various Regional and National competitions, including:
* Grand Prize Winners in the So Cal Live Acoustic Music Competition
* Winners in Southern California’s Topanga Banjo / Fiddle Contest
* Music Connection’s Top 25 New Music Critiques
Their 2 CDs have received national and international radio play along with critical acclaim, both reaching the top 10 on the National Folk DJ chart.
Stephanie Bettman is at the least a triple threat. An accomplished writer, singer, and fiddler: her lyrics are infused with wit and wisdom, poetry and insight. Vocally she draws comparison to the soaring soprano of Joan Baez and the plaintive emotion of Emmylou Harris. Meanwhile, her fiddling, which combines elements of bluegrass and jazz, is filled with influences from such masters as Stephane Grappelli, Byron Berline and Johnny Gimble. A former actress and trapeze artist, Ms Bettman is at ease in front of an audience and creates intimacy with her crowd no matter the size.
Luke Halpin is a renowned multi-instrumentalist. A master of the guitar and the mandolin, impressive on fiddle, banjo, and adept at nearly anything he picks up. Halpin draws inspiration from the likes of Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor and Tony Rice and holds his own in comparison. A dynamic and sensitive vocalist himself, the harmony blend he and Ms Bettman achieve is chilling and at times simply transcendent. Halpin has a long history in the music biz, having shared the stage with the likes of Merle Haggard, Lone Star and The Steve Miller Band (to name a few). His quirky sense of humor is a perfect foil to Stephanie’s dry witty presence.