HJ/EDHerald Journal, Jan. 30, 2006

Branson's Bruce Hoffman returning to Howard Lake for concert

By Lynda Jensen

The sweet strings of Bruce Hoffman’s fiddle will be heard in Howard Lake in February, when he will return to his home town to perform on the heels of his CD release “A tribute to Charles “Pa” Ingalls.”

Hoffman, who graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly High School in 1983, is a regular entertainer in Branson, and plans to bring a complete lineup of talent from Branson back with him for a show Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School.

“I play about everything,” he commented. His usual music includes country and bluegrass, and he has played alongside the likes of Pam Tillis, Ricky Skaggs and Tanya Tucker.

He’s played a fiddle all his life, but hit the Branson scene in 1994. He does between 400 to 500 shows a year, and has done as many as four of them per day.

For his new CD, he was able to use the original fiddle owned by Charles Ingalls, father of Laura, which is kept at a museum in Mansfield, MO, otherwise known as the original Ingalls home.

The museum staff trusted Hoffman enough to allow him use of the vintage instrument, which he did for the CD. “It was such an honor to use it,” he said of the fiddle.

The CD includes help from a few friends, such as Pam Tillis “The Gypsy’s Warning,” Buck Trent in “Home Sweet Home,” and the Dillards from the Andy Griffith show fame.

Other musical selections on the track include “Old Dan Tucker,” “Buffalo Gals,” and “Oh Susanna.”

Many from the area may remember Hoffman as part of the group High Noon from 1984 to 1992, before he headed to Branson.

The show planned in Howard Lake is called “Bruce Hoffman and the Best of Branson – a Branson entertainment review,” and will feature country singers Splinter Middleton and Clay Cooper, along with the music and comedy of Trent Wideman, and of course, Hoffman’s fiddling talent.

There will be two shows, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Howard Lake Lions are hosting the event.

Tickets are available $15 in advance or $17 at the door at local businesses or the high school. For patrons 12 and under tickets will be $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

To order call Mike (320) 543-2531, Terry (320) 543-2610 or the web site hllions.org. Proceeds will benefit school youth programs, most of which will go toward HLWW.

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