Bruce Winges got an earful of bluegrass and old-time music when, fresh out of the University of Kentucky, he landed his first newspaper job in Huntington, West Virginia.
It was there that he met legendary old-time fiddler Joe Dobbs, who owned a music shop on the west end of town called Fret ’n Fiddle. The shop had just opened and quickly became a gathering place for pickers and players throughout the area. Joe and his brother, Dennis, repaired and sold guitars, fiddles and just about anything else with strings. Bruce bought two S.L. Mossman guitars from Joe in the 1970s.
Bruce’s journalism took him north to Akron, Ohio, where he worked for the Beacon Journal for 37 years. He was editor of the paper for 12 years before retiring in 2019. During all those years Bruce played his guitars, mainly for his wife, Bonnie, and the four walls in his house.
One morning over breakfast several years ago Bruce and his brother-in-law, Jerry Andrews, talked about their shared love of bluegrass. Jerry thought it might be fun if Bruce sat in a bit with his band, Crandall Creek. That brought Bruce out from the four walls of his house and onto the stage.
Bruce now handles publicity and principal photography for Crandall Creek. He also is a partner in Copper Mountain Records.