The Band!

  The Burning Desire String Band was started over 25 years ago as the premiere touring band of Frederick Park.
M Mueller (fiddle, guitar) is an original member of the band. Bob Willoughby (piano, fiddle, guitar) toured extensively throughout the U.S. with Frederick during the 1980's and 1990's. The addition of Bob Lucas (banjo, guitar, fiddle, vocals), with his accomplished musicianship and incomparable abilities as a singer, brings new and powerful energy to the group. Although the composition of the band has changed throughout the years, this makeup proves to be its strongest manifestation yet.

  These musicians' versatility allows the Burning Desire String Band to make just the right music for Frederick Park’s many styles of dance presentation, from Southern Appalachian big sets and squares to smooth New England contras and quadrilles, yes, and even to the blues! One of the most unusual combinations of excellence and artistry working today in the dance world, these boys have some serious "chops".

Having returned from our first trip abroad we wish to thank all of our hosts and the organizers who helped make our trip such a fine success.

Please check back here soon to discover the image, sound and video files from our visits to Scotland, Denmark & France.

- The Players -
  Frederick Park has been collecting and sharing traditional dances for more than 35 years. He is an internationally known teacher, dance historian, choreographer, and interpreter of traditional dance. Notable as hero of beginners' dances, he also is highly celebrated amongst those who have a lifetime investment in learning traditional dance. His repertoire includes four couple set dances in the traditions of his native Southern mountains, New England, and Western style square dances along with Sicilian Circles, Big Circle Dances, Three Couple Dances and dances for irregular number of couples from many sources. Frederick also teaches English country dance, French traditional dance from Chavignol (Sancerre, Cher), Cajun French two-step and waltz, Scandinavian turning dances and play-party or singing games from Appalachia and the Sea Islands of Georgia on America's southern Atlantic coast.  Mr. Park is a master storyteller. He has performed and taught at most every major dance festival in America and several "across the pond". Frederick Park
  Bob Lucas is a songwriter, actor, singer and multi-instrumentalist. He is currently the music director and songwriter-in-residence at the nationally famous Mad River Theater Works. Lucas formed the ground breaking folk group “Eclectricity,” touring internationally with Theodore Bikel. His songs have been recorded by international recording stars such as Alison Krauss, New Grass Revival, Sam Bush, and Kathy Chiavloa. His CDs include The Dancer Inside You, Rushsylvania, and Kin, a mix of duets and solos with his daughter Chloe Manor. As faculty with the Augusta Heritage Center, Pinewoods, Swannanoa Gathering, and Common Ground On The Hill music camps, he has taught songwriting, singing, banjo, guitar and fiddle. He has performed at festivals all across the U.S and Canada. Bob Lucas
  M Mueller has been playing for dances for thirty years. As a member of the String Beings and The Waits, he toured extensively throughout the United States, and with the Bayou Seco Trio, he toured Mexico, Great Britain, Germany, and France including the Bal d’Europe in Gennetines. Mueller has spent much of his life studying folk violin styles from various traditions. Beginning with the traditions of Appalachia and New England, he branched out to the styles of the southwestern U.S., Italy, Mexico, and Scandinavia. Living for a year in Italy and three years in Mexico, Mueller claims “the folk soul of a people speaks through its folk violin.” M Mueller
  Bob Willoughby started playing music with his family in the mid 1950s, and, with an expansive knowledge of music, is a gifted musician in many genres including old time, blues, Cajun, and jazz. Bringing his soul-tinged piano and fiddle style to The Burning Desire String Band, Willoughby’s own musical style retains the flavor of great players from past generations. His recordings include blues, old time, soul and the recording Best of Mapleshade – 13 Shades of Blue. From the 1970's when he played bluegrass bass and country piano in Nashville to the 1990's when he played fiddle for the touring dance company “The Fiddle Puppets,” Willoughby has been a hit with audiences and dancers. Some of his past gigs include the Shetland Folk Festival, Edinburgh Folk Festival, BBC TV, Wheatlands Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and Ashokan, Mendocino, and Fiddlehead Dance Camps. Bob Willoughby

Recorded music (all recordings copyrighted)
You may have to Right Click to access software to use for listening as these sound files are of mixed formats.

1 The Louisianna Swing
Frederick Park,
caller, scrubboard
2 Fourteen Miles to Georgia - a live dance, a square, in Swannanoa, NC. Frederick Park, caller
Bob Willoughby, guitar
Jumahl (Dr. Bubba), fiddle
Gordy Hinners, banjo
3 Carla’s Got a Cool Tattoo - (Lucas) from the album Rushylvania Bob Lucas, banjo and vocals
4 Shortnin’ Bread (trad.) Bob Willoughby, fiddle
Travis Stewart, banjo
5 Fly Around My Pretty Li’l Miss M Mueller, fiddle
Bob Willoughby, piano, fiddle
6 Sugar Babe (B. Center) from the album blues, booze, and old-timey soul Bob Willoughby, piano, vocals
Kevin Wimmer, fiddle
Paul Murphy, drums
7 Daylight (Lucas) from the album Kin Bob Lucas, banjo and vocals
Chloe Manor, vocals
8 Tennessee Waltz M Mueller, fiddle
Bob Willoughby, piano
9 Santa Rosa Processional (trad.) M Mueller, fiddle
Leon Bumanglag, guitar
Chris Jong
10 Sandy Boys (trad.) Bob Willoughby, fiddle
11 Crook Brothers’ Sally Ann / 14 Miles to Georgia (trad.) from the album
Home on the Great Divide by the Bayou Seco Trio
M Mueller, fiddle
Ken Keppeler, banjo
Interivew by Richard Winham with Frederick Park
University of Tennessee Public Radio, December 9th, 2005.
Part I / Part II
Frederick Park

Frederick Park
Dance Master website

For booking info, Fall 2007, please contact:

Frederick Park
00 1 864 650 3846

CD with sample recordings available upon request.

Click here for a link to a print-ready images of the Bruning Desire String Band.
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Color image file: 4.74 MB / B+W image file: 1.58 MB