Eureka Springs, Arkansas

     "Having known Dylan and Alaina Hawf for some time now, and having heard them perform numerous times, and having been a music journalist for many years, it does not surprise me that they are gaining momentum and rising steadily in popularity and demand in the Americana/Roots music world with their original signature “lonesome” sound. Alaina’s rich, warm, deep vocals and heartfelt songwriting, and Dylan Hawf’s harmonies and virtuosity on fiddle and guitar are a true soul managed mating of skill, talent and love. Dylan is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has either performed with or jammed with just about anyone who is anyone in Roots music including New Riders of the Purple Sage and Billy Strings as well as Julian Davis, Chris Dollar, New Old Cavalry, Flatland Harmony Experiment, The John Hartford Memorial Festival Main Stage All-Star Jam and me, Ernie Hill. I also hosted Alaina at the John Hartford Memorial Festival in my Story Songs Workshop, a performance/panel discussion which showcases selected fest line-up songwriters.

     Alaina cut her teeth on Irish and Country music- influences, touring the Midwest,  inspiring tune after tune, haunting chord progressions and earthy, honest, and fresh original vocals. Performing as a duet for four years now, Dylan and Alaina, now Mr. and Mrs. Hawf, have developed a faithful and growing following, earning them stage time at such notable festivals as the John Hartford Memorial Festival, the 2019 Original Ozark Folk Festival headlined by Marty Stuart and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. In 2018 they were featured at the renowned Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas and recorded a show to be aired on the nationally syndicated NPR show, "Ozark Highlands Radio."  Other notable appearances include:


Featured performer at Fayetteville, AR 2018, Homegrown Music & Mountain Sports Festival, -billed as Alaina Blake & Dylan Hawf-
Featured performer at St. Louis area 2018 Pickin' on Pick'nic- billed as Alaina Blake & Dylan Hawf 


     Like a snowball rolling down an incline, they have performed onstage with many great artists in this genre loop, to the extent, that exploration and expansion with the best pickers had to happen sooner or later. Whispering Willows may now be heard as a trio with the addition of Ryan Overfelt- acoustic and electric guitar and Patti Steele, clarinet and Hillbilly percussion. This lineup will broaden their well known lonesome folk sound to the Hillbilly/New Orleans sound that is so unique to Arkansas. Whispering Willows debuted this lineup at this year's Original Ozark Folk Festival to about 300 people and we were met with an enthusiastic supportive response. They are currently recording their first full debut album that is set for release in early 2020.                                                                                                                           

     I asked Dylan where they got the name, “Whispering Willows”. He told me, “We were driving through a trailer park in Central Arkansas and It was named “The Whispering Willows Courtyard”, and I thought it would make a good band name with how we are quieter, the flow that Willow trees have and also with how our music leans a little to the lonesome side”. Read more at and "

-Ernie Hill, singer/songwriter/author/journalist at

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