Hope Hoffman & Jim Tolles

Vocal & Fiddle Duo Featuring

Carter Family, Bluegrass, Country Duet

Appalachian Folk Heritage

Roots-based Originals

[join our mailing list]


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About us:

The musical alliance of Hope Hoffman and Jim Tolles focuses on the traditions of vocal and fiddle music, and incorporates their original, roots-based songs and instrumental compositions.

The duo shares songs and instrumentals from the legacies of the Carter Family, bluegrass, country duet, and Appalachian folk heritage.


Hope Hoffman contributes her zippy, natural fiddle stylings and high, pure vocals. Her musical style is noted for its evocative beauty and rough-and-tumble playfulness. Known for her warm and personable performances, Hope has been a professional musician and music teacher in Maine since 2001, and has produced 4 CDs including many original tunes.

[link to Hope's bio/resume]

Jim Tolles, former Capitol and Rounder recording artist, brings guitar, banjo, vocals, and original songwriting to the duo. Over the last 40 years as a full-time musician and music teacher, Jim's projects have included performing and songwriting with Goose Creek Symphony and Breakfast Special, and Skyline, a band featuring banjoist Tony Trischka which pioneered the "newgrass" music of the 1980's with a blend of bluegrass and country styles.

[Link to Jim's bio/resume]

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Will Gottlieb of Maine's Coastal Journal wrote:

"Both players are natural-born singers, and their harmonies are pleasing and playful, while remaining true to the music … a powerful performance … marked by front-porch informality and graced with superior musicianship. Highly recommended."

Tom Rota, managing director of Portland's performing arts venue One Longfellow Square, wrote of our duo:

"Hope and Jim sound like they have been riding the trail together for a long time. They bring an authentic and fun mix of original and traditional tunes in gorgeous harmony topped with sweet playing from two experienced pros."

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Past performances:

Hope Hoffman has been a professional musician in Maine since 2001; her past performances are here.

Highlights of Jim Tolles' music work since 1969 are here.

As a duo, Hope and Jim have been performing together since 2007, with repeat performances and great reviews of their harmony singing at the Frontier Café, the Downeast Country Dance Festival and at Blue in Portland, in addition to an acoustic concert series in Topsham, the Bowdoinham waterfront concert series, Brunswick's Artwalk at Fort Andross, an auction of Michael Perkins' hand-crafted furniture organized by www.mainestreetevents.com, and many private parties/events.

Recent performances:

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 2010

Frontier Café 2009 and 2010

Rock City Books & Coffee 2009 and 2010

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For booking, contact:

Hope Hoffman (207) 332-3459 or e-mail.

Online Booking Form for Event Planners

We're available for concerts, festivals, weddings, dances, parties and events.

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Press Kit Materials:

[Link to press photos]

[Link to sample press release]

[Link to printable posters]

Website: www.hopehoffman.org/hoffman&tolles.htm

(or, simply www.hopehoffman.org)


Our concerts feature a hearty and delightful range of songs -- from bluegrass classics (including those in the style of "brother duets") and Carter Family songs, to contemporary country and folk, plus fresh original songs with a strong traditional background. We also enjoy sharing lively and detailed renditions of old Scotch-Irish & Appalachian fiddle melodies and new, original dance tunes.

... to keep updated about more future performances, you can join our mailing list.

Plucking some fiddle strings while playing Hope's new composition "Watermelon Seed Spitting Rag" at the Frontier Café in Brunswick, Maine. The audience was laughing so much it made us laugh too!

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Audio samples, recorded live:

On the air at WMPG in Portland, Maine:

Jim's original songs Rachel's Song and Place in Life; our cover of Gillian Welch's I Want to Sing That Rock 'n Roll; and, for more banjo action, Hop High Ladies and Hope's arrangement of Simple Gifts. (Hope Hoffman, fiddle and vocal; Jim Tolles, guitar and vocal)

At Tidbits Fiddle n' Farm concert series:

Red River Valley (Hope Hoffman, guitar and vocal; Jim Tolles, mandolin and vocal)

At concert venue Blue in Portland:

Bill Mason (Hope Hoffman, fiddle; Jim Tolles, guitar and vocal)

At the Downeast Coutnry Dance Festival:

June Apple (Jim Tolles, guitar; Hope Hoffman, fiddle)

A sweet waltz (Hope Hoffman, fiddle; Jim Tolles, guitar; composition by Scottish fiddler Dougie MacLean)

Hope Hoffman's solo ballad singing

Jim Tolles' songwriting:

Jim's original tune "Half Acre" (Jim Tolles playing all instruments on this track); Jim's singing, songwriting and playing all instrumentals on "Don't Put Off 'Til Tomorrow"; Jim's singing and songwriting on "All I Want You To Do Is Love Me" (Jim Tolles playing fiddles, guitar and singing lead vocals; Sonny Houston on bass, mandolin, tenor vocal; Billy McKinley, banjo)

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Videos of concerts:

June Apple at Tidbits Fiddle n' Farm concert series in Maine

And, a little preview of the video recorded for the TV station in Bath, Maine of Jim Tolles' songwriting "Another Way"



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About Hope Hoffman ~ About Jim Tolles ~ Links ~ MySpace page ~ Mailing List ~ Photos ~ Hope's Recordings