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Bill Hall

2017 RIBA Hall of Fame inductee

Roger W. Hall, also known as Bill Hall, was born and lived in Rhode Island his entire life. He learned to play guitar as a teenager and joined The Mountaineers, a local country western band in 1955. In the early 1960’s, Bill heard Earl Scruggs on the radio and fell in love with bluegrass music. He learned to play by ear listening to radio shows and built his first banjo from an old snare drum.  


A devoted family man, Bill chose to be a semi-professional musician. He and his wife and sons drove 750 miles to attend the very first bluegrass festival at Fincastle, Virginia.  


Bill played with the Country Cut-Ups throughout southern New England and New York and filled in for Don Stover with Lilly Brothers, the house band at the Hillbilly Ranch in Boston. He formed The Bluegrass Travelers, cutting a single – Dream, Dream, Dream – on Rebel Records.


Bill joined Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys band for two years and was featured on Rounder Record’s Joe Val and the New England Bluegrass Boys. Bill led the Bill Hall and the Northwind Bluegrass Band for over 40 years, producing the album In the Shadow of the Pines on Old Homestead Records. 


In 2010, Bill was welcomed as one of the original 200 pioneers of bluegrass by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.   


Over his lifetime, Bill wrote dozens of songs, developed a unique style of playing the banjo, opened his home for a weekly jam and touched people with his music. Bill died in 2010 in a backhoe accident while preparing his camp for early springtime jammin