Singer-guitarist and sometime sideman Bill Ihling started playing in bands at about the same time that Willie Nelson played Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball. Even though he grew up in the middle of the tumultuous, liberated 60’s, Bill’s youth was musically repressed; Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass was about as wild as it got at Bill’s house…at least while his parents were around to make sure that none of “those horrid rock and roll records” came in contact with their treasured RCA console stereo and vast collection of Mantovani and Percy Faith LP’s. His first musical adventures took place in the trumpet section of his grade school band, but once he got an earful of late 60s FM radio, the tone and power of legendary bass players like Jack Bruce, Felix Pappalardi, John Entwhistle, and Jack Casady changed his musical life forever. For the next 35 years, Bill played bass and sang harmony with a string of local rock, bluegrass, country, and reggae outfits. In 2012, Bill turned loose his ”inner troubadour”; his current solo performances as a singer/guitarist feature a wide variety of tunes from the “Americana“, 60s-70s singer-songwriter, ”old school” country, and 60s-70s rock & pop formats.
After all those years of playing so many styles, Bill’s solo repertoire is eclectic, representing dozens of artists and songwriters whose work he admired during his long career a sideman. In addition to his solo work, Bill enjoys taking ”pinch-hit” gigs as a sideman-for-hire on electric and upright bass, rhythm guitar, and harmony vocals.
A lifelong Jersey Boy, Bill moved to Kansas in 2004, to fulfill a long-time dream of owning a farm in the the wide-open spaces of the Heartland. For almost 10 years, he and wife Dianne grazed beef and raised vegetables on “Buffalo Hollow Farm” near Reading, KS. In 2014, realizing that Dorothy was indeed right – there really is “no place like home” – he moved back to his native NJ. He and his bride recently bought a woodsy homestead out in the nether reaches of Holland Township in Bill’s beloved Hunterdon County.