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Friedlander & Hall together again
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Friedlander & Hall are shown in these photos from the 1970s and from present day. The folk duo will appear at The Back Room on Sunday. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Folk duo Friedlander & Hall will bring their reunion tour to The Back Room of the Barton County Arts Center, Forest and Main, Great Bend at 7:30 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $10 and, since seating is limited, advance reservations are encouraged. Seats may be reserved weekday afternoons at the Arts Center, phone 620-792-4221, or by e-mail through bartonarts1@sbcglobal.net.

Jeff Friedlander and Ed Hall played professionally as an acoustic guitar duo from 1973-2003, until Friedlander, a longtime Evanston, Ill., resident, moved to Denver. "We’re real glad to be playing together again and we hope the interest is still there," said Ed Hall, who has lived in Harvard, Ill., for the past 21 years. "We did a lot of good work and played everywhere. I am sure we played every park district in Lake County during the heyday."

Over the years, Friedlander & Hall released five albums including their latest, "Factory Town," recorded in Evanston.

"As Friedlander & Hall, we do a lot of ballads and we do originals and we like old time swing music," Hall said.

As an instrumental soloist, Hall won the prestigious National Finger Style Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield in 1991. "They only allow 40 contestants from all around the world. I got third place in 1988 and made it to the top five, four or five times. I was determined to win so I just kept working at it."

His finger picking skills can be heard on "Guitarolio," a 2007 CD release which includes original compositions and his own interpretations of such classics as Rossini’s "William Tell Overture," Aaron Copeland’s "Hoedown From ‘Rodeo’" and Henry Mancini’s "Peter Gunn" theme.

Hall isn’t the only one with bragging rights. He noted that Friedlander also placed in the top five a couple of times in the National Fingerpicking contest, and "Jeff has won guitar contests in Telluride and the Gamble Rogers Contest in Florida."

For the upcoming concert, the duo will play a mix of old and new tunes. "We are very eclectic," said Hall, who also plays banjo. "We cover lots of ground. We will do ragtime. We will do swing. We will do acoustic folk ballads and even some blues."

Hall met Friedlander in 1972 when they were students taking a camping class at a community college. "We signed up to be the entertainment at the campfire at our class outing. We practiced a few times together and then we kept playing and never stopped."

This program is presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support is provided by the City of Great Bend, and CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Great Bend.