Stringwood began in 1987 as a five piece band in Richmond, Virginia, the brainchild of singer-songwriter Ed Torres. Ed had been playing music since childhood and spent a lot of time on the road, at one point touring as the opening act for the Allman Brothers. He was barely out of his teens when he got tired of the road and opened what was to become one of Virginia’s most successful restaurant chains, but music was never really far from his mind. As soon he had made a little money and put it into some good investments he said goodbye to the corporate rat race to go back to his first love…playing music. “I figured that if things didn’t work out I still had my investment to fall back on,” he says. “Over the years the investment proved to be a bit of a roller coaster ride. But music never let me down.”
By the time he came to the Grand Strand in 1990 the original band had morphed into an acoustic duo. At about that time, Ed’s fascination with (and training on) computers put him on the cutting edge of a brand new method of performing music. As one of the first to see the potential of computerized backing tracks in live performance he has consistently maintained the highest standards, producing his own tracks and writing his own arrangements. “Nowadays it’s common practice, “he says. “Even the big stage shows with dozens of musicians use backing tracks, but back in those days nobody had ever heard of such a thing.” There may be more people doing it now, but nobody does it better.
Stringwood was an immediate hit, playing a wide variety of venues all up and down the Strand and quickly acquiring a following. So when his original partner decided to give up the night life and quit playing music Ed knew he had to keep the name going. Several partners came and went, but the quality of the music never wavered. In March of 2003 Ed was once again looking for a sideman and a mutual friend suggested a guy named Bobby Shropshire. From the first song they played together it was obvious that their playing styles blended unusually well together. “That first gig people kept saying ‘You guys are great! How long you been together?’ and we’d say ‘I don’t know, what time is it now?’” Bobby, who had been on the Grand Strand since 1983, had a long run in the local theaters, putting in 15 seasons at the Carolina Opry, the Alabama Theater and similar shows around the country.
Since that time they have been entertaining crowds in every conceivable venue, playing songs ranging from timeless standards to the latest hits. When you hear a mix of Classic rock, TropRock, country, blues, reggae, shagging music, line dancing, even a little jazz, no other band comes close to the wide ranging variety of Stringwood. No matter what your musical needs: clubs, restaurants, parties, fund raisers and festivals of all kinds; a Stringwood performance is always a good time.