Scarlet Runner String Band

About Us

The Scarlet Runner String Band has been together in it's current configuration for about 25 years. We are one of the many musical groups that have formed from the members of the Pretty Shaky String Band over the years. We really don't remember when we started playing together. We started out playing for contra and square dances. For many years, we were the main dance band for the Looking Glass Music and Arts Association in Lansing, MI monthly dances. We also played for the Ten Pound Fiddle dances in Lansing occasionally and for other dance groups in Michigan.

We also played for the occasional house party, wedding reception, etc. and for many years, we played at the Woldumar Nature Center near Lansing in the spring and in the fall for fundraising events for the nature center. In 1988, we were asked to accompany the Lansing area group Lady of the Lake on a couple of tracks of their cassette tape.

After a time, we began to realize that we were starting to accumulate a significant number of songs to go along with the tunes that we had played at the contra and square dances. We worked at developing our singing abilities and then in 1997, we were hired to play at the Bliss Fest in northern Michigan. Later we were hired to play for a contra and square dance in Louisville, KY, our first out of state job.

In September, 2009 we began seriously talking about making a CD and started rehearsing and recording weekly. We had been talking about making a CD for almost the entire time we had been together, but this was the first really serious attempt to complete the project. The recording was completed by fall, 2010 and our first CD was released in November, 2011.

Band Member background

Mike Ross - Mike lives in Bath, Michigan, just north of East Lansing and plays many instruments (fiddle, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, penny whistle), sings, and writes many songs. He has previously played in several groups around Lansing, most notably Hard Tack and Pigs Feet which had a tune collected by Ray Alden and issued as part of the Young Fogies record he issued in 1984. He had a cassette tape issued by Marimac Records in 1994 "Apple Blossoms for You". He also accompanied the Ill-Mo Boys on 2 tracks of their 1992 cassette tape "Fine As Frog's Hair".

Brian Hefferan - Brian grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and moved to the Lansing area when he attended college at MSU. He grew up with music around him, his father played the accordian, and aunts and uncles played the fiddle, piano and other instruments. In high school, he played the saxophone and later on started playing the banjo. He played in several bluegrass groups over the years. Brian is interested in and plays a wide variety of musical styles, plays several other instruments, and sings. More recently, he has started to play the ukulele and with his spouse Lynn, is the group The Fabulous Heftones.

Larry Johnson - Larry grew up in the Dewitt, Michigan area where he still lives. He has played the guitar for many years. He also plays the mandolin and the banjo. He has written several songs and has issued 2 CDs of his own music.

Dave Langdon - Dave grew up in Owosso, Michigan and now lives in Okemos. He plays mainly the upright bass for the band but also plays the fiddle. Dave has also played with several bands prior to joining the Scarlet Runner String Band.