Strings & Things was founded by Diana Bergmann (lap dulcimer) around 1980 as a family band that included her daughter, Tina (playing hammered and lap dulcimer-age 8), and son Monty (playing harmonica and limberjack-age 9) with husband Jim building hammered dulcimers, carrying heavy things and cheering loudly. In 1982, a Friday night jam session started by Diana in Richfield, Ohio yielded four additional members for the band: fiddler Montie Froehlich, guitarist and banjo player Cal Craig, 12 string guitarist Mel Knopp, and David Rice playing harmonica, autoharp, and washtub bass. Strings & Things released their first recording, Just Because, in 1983 and became a familiar face at Ohio festivals as well as a variety of private and corporate events.
During the band's early years, David suggested that some of the band members might play for contra dances, as a group in Mogadore, Ohio was dancing to recorded music. Piano player Denise Reese was added and the contra dance band settled into Diana on banjo uke and lap dulcimer, Tina on hammered dulcimer, and David on harmonica and washtub bass.
A second recording, Going to Boston, followed in 1985, this time with a pared-down ensemble that included Diana, Tina, David, and an incredible 10-year-old fiddler by the name of Jason Hamilton.
In 1985, when pianist Denise Reese married and relocated, Mark Delozier championed the ivories and was an integral part of Strings & Things for the next twenty-one years. In 1994 the band released Shady Grove, a critically acclaimed CD of high-energy dance music. Shortly following the album's release, Jason left the band to pursue a degree in medicine and with Diana ready to slow down, the band was down to three members: Tina on hammered dulcimer, David on harmonica & fiddle and Mark on piano. For twelve years Tina, David and Mark refined their distinctive sound as a dance band, touring several times with caller Carol Kopp as well as playing three regularly scheduled monthly dances and making numerous guest appearances at dances in the surrounding states.
After being a member of Strings & Things for over two decades, Mark moved away and Strings & Things disbanded in late 2007. Ready for a change and unable to replace Mark's talent at the keyboard, Tina and David joined forces with Bryan Thomas and Heather Malyuk, forming the band Hu$hmoney.
Strings & Things Discography:
Just Because, 1983
Going to Boston, 1985
Shady Grove, 1994
Retrospective, December 2007 (a re-release of Just Because and Going to Boston on one CD)