Ingrid and Bob Fowler - Anyone remember them?

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Ed Bain

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May 6, 2002, 3:12:49 AM5/6/02
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Posted to alt.banjo , alt.music.bluegrass , and banjo-l list.

Ingrid and Bob Fowler - Anyone remember them?

Pardon my posting this to the banjo list, but
I could find a BG fiddle or guitar list.

Ingrid, and her husband Bob Fowler, were in Nashville during the
early 70's. I'm not sure when they left. He was a (great)
BG guitar player and I think he had recorded with Bill Monroe.
Ingrid was relatively unknown, but may have been one of the
best fiddle players that I ever heard.

She should have been a good 'fiddle' player. Her maiden name was
Ingrid Herman, and she was the daughter of big-band legend
Woody Herman. She had been schooled in classical music at
The Juilliard School of Music since an early age.

http://www.juilliard.edu/index-flash.html

She even had her father, Woody, who was on tour, to come to
the TINY Station Inn with his entire big-band and play for
free for the crowd which spilled out on the sidewalk. The
big-band musicians and their chairs/music stands nearly
filled the entire floorspace of the tiny Station Inn which
had been a small bus station in the past.

I think Ingrid and Bob later bought The Station, but I'm
not sure. They were involved with Marty Lanham, of Nashville
Guitar Company who some of you may be familiar with.

Apparently, they used to play in the Bay Area in the late
60's in a BG band called 'Styx River Ferry'. I didn't know
this until I did the search tonight. If anyone has any
recordings of this band, I would like to have a copy. Please?

http://www.sfbluegrass.org/press/bayareabghistory.html

When I knew them, they were probably in their late 20's, early
30's. They used to come to the old Station Inn in Nashville
and play until all hours with pickup musicians from the crowd
and people like Vassar Clement, Norman Blake, Jimmy Martin,
Bill Monroe, Kenny Baker, John Hedgecoth, and -everyone- else
who played BG in Nashville at the time.

I used to go for the Saturday night shows and then would return
on Sunday evening for the jam sessions. It was sort of an amateur
night and after sitting and jamming for a few hours, Ingrid and
Bob would take the stage and ask various people to join them
for the rest of the evening. I sucked on banjo, in my opinion.
I had been a student for a couple of years when I was asked by
Ingrid and Bob to join them on 2 or 3 occasions. She was so
nice and understanding. She would lean over to my banjo while
I was playing and play the sweetest fills on my break.

Her fiddling, as anyone who ever heard her would attest, was
sweet, and lilting with a subtle hint of classical. I would
say that she was in the top 4 or 5 fiddlers I ever personally
heard, and I've heard a few. She had a unique, beautiful style
which I have never heard again.

I quit music a few years after that and put my banjo in a case
where is has languished for about 20 years.

The reason I am posting this is that I thought of them tonight
and did a search on Google and turned up the fact that Ingrid
has apparently passed away.

http://members.tripod.com/~discjockey15/legends.html

She's just someone that I used to know in a casual way
and always loved her fiddling and her sweet disposition.

Does anyone else remember her or the scene at the Station
in those days?

Thanks.

Ed Bain
Nashville


emp...@gmail.com

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Aug 21, 2012, 12:52:22 PM8/21/12
to rre...@removebellsouth.net
Actually, yes. I used to occasionally play with Bob and Ingrid. If you will post or send me an email address I will send you a link to a video I have of them playing on stage with Pat Enright and John Hedgecoth. You can email me at: Rdav2221...@yahoo.com

paman...@gmail.com

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Feb 6, 2014, 5:32:08 PM2/6/14
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Yes, I have a recording I did one night at Paul's Saloon in the Marina District of San Francisco in the very early 70's. I was just forming my own band with two other guys and two women, called "The Buckingham Mountain School Band" and we were greatly influenced by Bob and his band, The Styx River Ferry. We played at a club near Paul's Saloon called the Camelot Club from 1972 to 1975. Send me your contact info and I will send you a copy of the tape in MP3 format. Contact me at, paman...@gmail.com.
Bob Davis
Aka, Buffalo Bob

st...@steveabhaya.com

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Dec 6, 2015, 3:40:34 PM12/6/15
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My brother, Johnny Mark Brooks, played bass for the Styx, at Paul's Saloon in SF and later in Nashville at the Station Inn, where he, in the parking lot, next door,killed himself in 2013. He had become a character in the scene there. Known as Johnny Sidedoor, he looked out for the side door and occasionally sat in on bass with various bands and was friends with a lot of the younger musicians. I think I remember Ed Bain in SF in that scene where I used to hang around and loved the Styx River Ferry. Sorry to see my brother go. He was in a lot of pain, but he loved the Station Inn people, his people, the people of Bluegrass, great people.

karlhein...@gmail.com

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May 20, 2016, 3:02:54 PM5/20/16
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Hello Ed,
I am a German Music-Fan and I don´t know if your wish for a cd or an other recordings from The Styx River Band is yet still current.
I have found a complete CD on "Spotify" with the Title: The Styx River Ferry Live at San Francisco 1966" with 23 Tracks.
I hope this will be help you.
The CD is brand New (2016) from the Label Westside.
Many Greatings from Germany/Bavaria to you
K-H Wimmer


bill.mc...@verizon.net

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Apr 14, 2019, 9:38:49 PM4/14/19
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I joined the Styx in 1968, on mandolin. Ed Neff had been doubling on mando/fid, and was then free to play fiddle. Bruce Nemerov on bjo. Chuck (dang, can't think of his last name at the moment, but it'll come) on bass. Ingrid wasn't fiddling that much then. They still had a residency at Don's Red Barn on Mission Street at the time. In a few months we found ourselves in North Beach, at Mooney's Irish Pub, regulars on Fri & Sat nights. The band dissolved about '69, and the Fowlers moved to Nashville. They taught me a lot, though it took some more years for the lessons to sink in. I've got some stories to share. Best wishes to all. I'm still playing regularly (mando/fid), with my Fair Market Band, at the Hollywood Farmers Market (CA) every Sunday 8a-noon. --Bill McClellan

vmanc...@gmail.com

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Mar 29, 2020, 11:34:17 PM3/29/20
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Ingrid was my cousin. Grew up with her in LA area. I remember Styx River Band in SF when she was married to Bob.
She moved back and forth from Nashville to West Hollywood. Ending up in Nashville where she passed away. Her son Tom Littlefield is still there in the music business.
Thanks for posting. Adds some to the memories.
Message has been deleted

connie...@gmail.com

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Mar 30, 2020, 1:50:54 AM3/30/20
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I do. Ingrid & I are 2nd cousins who lived in 2 different countries.
Can anyone add in info about her music?
Do you have, ideas in where to find or just anyhelp would be appreciated.
Connie
conni...@me.com

vmanc...@gmail.com

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Mar 30, 2020, 9:49:26 PM3/30/20
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Rdav
I’d love to have a copy of the video link of Ingrid and Bob. My email is vmanc...@yahoo.com
I’ll send it off To My cousin Connie too
Thanks in advanced
Vince Mancuso

dspa...@gmail.com

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May 26, 2020, 6:00:53 PM5/26/20
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I would also absolutely love any and all video footage of Ingrid Fowler if anyone still reads this! She was my sister and brother's birth mother and would love to share any footage anyone has of her with them.

Please feel free to email me at dspa...@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

Donald Humphreys

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May 31, 2022, 1:20:35 AM5/31/22
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Donald Humphreys

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May 31, 2022, 1:41:23 AM5/31/22
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On Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:38:49 PM UTC-7, bill.mc...@verizon.net wrote:
> > 's
> > Ed Bain
> > Nashville
> I joined the Styx in 1968, on mandolin. Ed Neff had been doubling on mando/fid, and was then free to play fiddle. Bruce Nemerov on bjo. Chuck (dang, can't think of his last name at the moment, but it'll come) on bass. Ingrid wasn't fiddling that much then. They still had a residency at Don's Red Barn on Mission Street at the time. In a few months we found ourselves in North Beach, at Mooney's Irish Pub, regulars on Fri & Sat nights. The band dissolved about '69, and the Fowlers moved to Nashville. They taught me a lot, though it took some more years for the lessons to sink in. I've got some stories to share. Best wishes to all. I'm still playing regularly (mando/fid), with my Fair Market Band, at the Hollywood Farmers Market (CA) every Sunday 8a-noon. --Bill McClellan

I first heard Styx River Ferry (Bob and Ingrid Fowler, Chuck Wiley (Bass), Ed Neff (fiddle and mandolin), Bill McClellan (guitar) and Bruce Nemerov (banjo I think but am not sure)) at the Coffee Gallery in San Francisco in early 1968.
Sean Mooney had just opened his bar/entertainment venue on upper Grant Ave and it was a stop on my way home from work.
He had engaged a traditional Irish band that didn't attract an audience so I promoted the Styx River Ferry. Sean hired them and they were a big hit for a time. the Styx broke up and Bob and Ingrid went to Paul's Saloon in the Marina District. I moved and they moved and lost contact.
Early on I kept in touch and even took guitar lessons from Bill McClellan for a short while when most of the Styx were living in a house on Enterprise Ave. off Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley.
I hoped to promote them and ended up with a reel-to-reel Master tape of a recording of the Styx River Ferry (Josh Graves on dobro) which I still have. Nothing to play it on however.
Don Humphreys (humphrey...@hotmail.com)
P.S. As far as I know Ed Neff is still performing with a group in Petaluma, CA
PPS. After the Styx left Mooneys I found the High Country at Saturnalia in the Mission and got them a gig at Mooneys where they also filled the place for some time.
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