Jon Rubin began leading acoustic string duos/trios in 2009, developing an original sound based on fingerstyle guitar combining folk, blues, celtic, and jazz influences. He has 'honed the tone' in hundreds of performances from the Central Coast to San Francisco, with an evolving lineup incl. 2012 as Bright Side Band and 2013-present as Hardly Strictly Trad. and Hardly Strictly Jazz. Jon has attended workshop/master classes with legendary fingerstyle players Martin Simpson, Woody Mann, Duck Baker, Rick Ruskin, Laurence Juber, Tony McManus, Alex deGrassi, Muriel Anderson and Al Petteway.
Erica Hockett grew up in the English countryside where she sang from an early age, developing a love of old English folk music and Sandy Denny. Her musical career includes a stint in Japan where she worked on albums including an EP (Aerial) with Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins, and toured with a Japanese rock band. On moving to the US, she became involved with diverse projects ranging from classical and early music, bluegrass and folk. She currently sings Balkan/Middle Eastern style music with the S.F. Bay Area group Ya Elah. Erica appears on website recordings and as guest vocalist with Hardly Strictly Trad.
Anne Bingham Goess delights in bringing traditional music to life. A classically trained violinist, she discovered the Irish fiddle in 1996 and has since performed with the Three Irish Tenors, Melanie O'Reilly and Aisling Ghéar, Kristine Robin and the Wild Hog Ceili Band, the Raggedy Annes, and Bangers and Mash. She also enjoys singing with California Revels and plays regularly for Irish, English Country and Contra dancing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Anne appears as a guest soloist and backing vocalist with Hardly Strictly Trad. and plays on select website recordings.
Elzbieta Polak (Ela) was born and raised in Poland and received her master’s degree in musical performance from the Krakow Academy of Music. In New York she was concertmaster and featured soloist in The Chelsea Symphony and Richmond County Orchestra and performed at the Beacon Theatre, Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Mohegan Sun Arena, Merkin Hall and Brooklyn Museum. Now in the Bay Area, she’s busy teaching and performing classical, fado, gypsy jazz and other genres with such artists as ROVA Saxophone Quartet and Phillip Greenlief, Ramana Vieira, David Jones, and Hardly Strictly Trad.
Trevor Lloyd began lessons on the violin at age nine...at eighteen he received a scholarship to study under Manuel Compinsky of the Compinsky Trio and the NBC Orchestra. He was principle violinist of the All-Southern California High School Honor Orchestra and Cal State Northridge Symphony Orchestra. Trevor's Sonata for Violin, Cello and Orchestra was performed by the San Fernando Valley Symphony. His most recent work, "Violin Tendencies" -- a progressive jazz collection -- is available on CDbaby. Trevor has been a featured violinist with Hardly Strictly Trad. and appears on select website recordings.
Cal Keaoola is a native of Hawaii, a fiddling violinist well versed in all styles from jazz to blues to latin. He is featured on three Grammy Award winning Hawaiian albums of the early 2000’s; and has performed with legendary rock band, It’s a Beautiful Day and Scotland’s Alasdair Fraser. As former faculty and Artist-in-Residence of the esteemed N.C. School of the Arts and Salem College in Winston-Salem, he continues to teach and coach students in classical/jazz violin in the Bay Area. Cal has been a featured violinist with Hardly Strictly Trad. and appears on select website recordings.
'Hardly Strictly Trad.' has been the billing name for my acoustic trio since the end of 2012. Actually started out in '09 calling it the 'Jon Rubin Group' but prefer the focus be on our collaborative ensemble playing, singing and traditional repertoire. Together with my original fingerstyle guitar arrangements, these define our signature HST sound. The players above are featured on the site player; videos include my 2012 project 'Bright Side Band' . -- JR