Tiffany Hulse's music combines the laid back feel of folk music, with an island rhythm. Between the unique melodies and chord progressions to the enthralling lead vocals and captivating harmonies, no two songs sound the same. One might contain banjo and handclaps with a slight bluegrass feel to it, while the next may consist of dynamic guitar leads and strong keyboard riffs with a rock 'n' roll quality. But no matter what, Tiffany's music is always crowd pleasing and sweet-sounding!
Some would agree that the key to happiness is finding a career you enjoy. Although, sometimes, when the moon is high, and the hippies are even higher, your suitable career finds you. Fortunately, Tiffany Hulse—also known for her work under the pseudonym, Tiffer ‘the Riffer’ Folk—was one of the lucky ones. At the impressionable age of nine years old, she attended her very first Jimmy Buffett concert. Seated front row center, just feet from the stage, she was hypnotized by the excitement of the live performance. As she left the arena, with the used wrist sweatband that Buffett had thrown right to her, she announced to anyone within earshot that she wanted to learn how to play the guitar, and do exactly what she had just witnessed Buffett do. The performer in her had officially been awakened.
Four years later, in 2007, Tiffany released her first album at the age of twelve. The album, entitled, “Sad Day in Paradise”, was recorded in her bedroom on an Alesis Adat 8-track recorder. And so it went, each album recorded on that very same 8-track recorder, every instrument performed by her, until she began recording her albums professionally at a studio. “Blue Jeans and a Tie-Dyed Shirt” was the first album of Tiffany’s recorded entirely at Back Yard Studios in Fort Myers, Florida, with her producer Charlie Kuchler.
Since her first album release, Tiffany has written and co-written a total of 166 songs, releasing fifteen albums to date, eleven of which were recorded at Back Yard Studios. She affirms, “It’s hard work, but someone has to do it. I simply love being involved in music projects. Creating songs out of nothing. I feel I’ll never get enough of that. It’s wild.”
Throughout her music career, Tiffany has performed in venues all along the Eastern Seaboard, The Bahamas, and even as a musical guest on the Celebrity Cruise ship, “Century”. She was the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist in the New Jersey-based band, "Tiffer the Riffer and the Cross-Eyed Bears", which disbanded in 2010. She was also the rhythm and electric guitarist, and vocalist in the energetic, entertaining, and rockin' Southwest Florida duo, "Tiff 'n' Zoid" with her partner, and guitarist extraordinaire, Zoid Asteroid Machine from January 2011 to April 2013. Nowadays she can be spotted at the occasional comic book and fan convention, strumming a ukulele and singing her newest original songs on stage.
In summer of 2019, Tiffany released her fourteenth studio album, “Renegade Angel”. That release, along with her fifteenth studio album, “You’re My Vacation”, which was released in early autumn of 2021, features original hand drawn album artwork by three-time Emmy award-winning producer, artist, puppeteer, and puppet fabricator, Bill Diamond of Bill Diamond Productions.
Besides being a professional musician, Tiffany is also an accomplished author. She has written and illustrated three books to date. “Little Rascal Loves His Veggies”, released in 2014, is a fun, educational book about a mischievous puppy who refuses to eat his vegetables, written to inspire children to eat healthier. “The Ghost of Thanksgiving”, released in 2019, is a satire version of the story of Thanksgiving. The story was written by Zoid Asteroid Machine, with illustrations by Tiffany. “The Coconut Kid and the Island Pixie” is about a coconut and his pixie friend who embark on a sailing trip. However, the duo is unaware that the adventure they are about to undertake could put them in grave danger. The words of the book began as song lyrics when Tiffany was just ten years old. It was the very first song she ever attempted to write, and now can be found in all its glory in her 2020 book release!
As well as being a musician, an author, and an artist, Tiffany also enjoys making things with her hands. In 2015, she began creating cosplay costumes from scratch. She has built a Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy) costume on stilts, an E.T. (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) complete with glowing finger and heart, and full-sized motorized angel wings, just to name a few.
Ordinarily, most people finish a project before they start a new one. Tiffany is not ordinary. She admits, “I am constantly knee-deep in projects. At any given time, I believe I have roughly 500 things going on at once. But that’s what I do; that’s what we creative types do. I consider myself a creative survivalist.”
Since 2017, Tiffany has been the dramaturge [draməˌtərɡ; noun: a literary editor on the staff of a theater who consults with authors and edits texts] for a rock opera written by Gary Sohmers. Created for Broadway musical theater, Beasties: A Sci-Fi Rock Opera is a story about a rock band that finally has a hit record after years of touring, performing a free concert in Central Park that attracts a huge crowd. But, without telling the band, the promoter sold a sponsorship to a corrupt politician, Dick T.Raitor, who interrupts the concert in an attempt to hijack the audience's attention. The hero, Grā (pronounced: Gray), currently a stagehand and a retired singer, is affected by an alien intervention from an otherworldly impulse—which infuses within him a schizophrenic identity with special powers—to make humanity aware of their inner Beasties. Two intertwined rock and roll love stories, one between humans and one between the universe and the sci-fi rock known as Earth, to save the planet from climate destruction by societal corruption.
The story of Beasties is comprised of several books about that experience that took place for those two hours in Central Park from the perspectives of those that were there to witness it. Each person has a unique viewpoint through which this concert happened. And each book recounts the sights, sounds and awareness generated during that magical time by that specific being. Since the crowd filled the sheep meadow there could be tens of thousands of perspectives of what really happened there that day. But all who were there, and all who were touched by the electronic media coverage, were affected.
Was everything experienced by each "real," or just real in their minds?
The cast concept recording features singers Dave Bickler (Oscar nominated, Grammy winning singer on "Eye of The Tiger" and others) as Grā (an alien impulse from the cosmic universe); British rock star Chris Farlowe (1966 hit "Out of Time" with Mick & Keith, also sings with Jimmy Page, Van Morrison, among others) as the villain Dick Traitor; soul singer Barrence Whitfield (of The Savages) as the "star" of the concert, Voice; and new-comer Liz Proteau as the female lead Terra. Orchestrated, arranged and co-written by Bill Holloman (Chic, Nile Rodgers, others).
Tiffany has been hands on since the conception of Beasties as book editor, video editor, technical assistant, and more.
And now Tiffany can add actress to her résumé. In 2022, she traded in her ukulele for a battle axe, making her first appearance as Tamaduitor in Toking with the Dead Issue #2: Misfortune. Although her character had a short appearance in Issue #2, it is said she will be returning for Issue #3. Her character is also featured in the Toking with the Dead Issue #5 comic book. Tiffany also had the pleasure of lending her voice for Bill Diamond Productions’ Claus & The Fairies Christmas Fairytale. Her work for the project included being the voice actress for Queen Bee, and for The Gnomes. The production won the Bronze Telly Award for 2021.
Tiffany’s music can be purchased from or listened to on all music streaming platforms, on Cleveland, Ohio’s WBWC 88.3FM The Sting’s “Island Time Radio Show", WDDR Dead Dork Radio, and more! For up-to-date information on Tiffany’s artistry, visit her website at www.TiffanyHulse.com.
Q: What was the first song you learned?
A: “The first honest-to-goodness song I remember learning how to play was “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. I remember playing it on my acoustic guitar. I think I was around ten years old…What a cool song.”
Q: Which instruments can you play?
A: “Funny thing…People ask me this all the time, and I think I make them sorry they ever asked. I will spare you by saying this. I dabble in a lot of instruments. What I can play, and which ones I can play fluently and professionally are two different things. I can sit at a drum set or a piano, and hammer away at it with no problem, but I don’t play those instruments on my albums. I let the professionals handle that. My main tools of the trade are the acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele, bass guitar, and my voice. I play the six-string banjo pretty well, too. Did I make you sorry you asked? [laughs]”
Q: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
A: “Every musician can practice until they’re blue in the face, and they will still eventually make a mistake on stage. There’s no two ways around it; it’s inevitable. The trick is, you can’t let it show in your face. You just have to keep smiling, keep playing. Don’t stop just because you struck the wrong chord, or hit a wrong note. It happens, trust me. It happens more often than we’d like, but you just have to roll with it. Hakuna matata, baby!”
Q: Which venue have you enjoyed playing at the most?
A: “Oh man, am I allowed to choose more than one? There’s been so many cool places. I played this solo show back in October of 2010. It was for the Pensacola Beach Songwriter’s Festival in Pensacola, Florida. It was held at the Landshark Landing at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel, which is right on the beach. What a fun time! A ton of awesome people played that night, too. Switching gears here…I played on a cruise ship once. Yeah, it’s true. I played ONCE. [laughs] It was the Celebrity cruise ship “Century”. Played for a private party. That was a rather interesting experience, since I’ve never done anything like that before. One more…Two words: The Bahamas. Yep, I sat in with a local band who was playing at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. Fun experience! It just so happened I had my guitar case slung over my shoulder, waiting in line for customs, and they waved me up to play with them. Sure, I lost my place in line, but we played “Margaritaville”, so it was totally worth it.”
Q: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
A: “Boys and girls, you’re going to be nervous. You’re going to be nervous when you play that new song you just learned in front of your parents in your living room. You’re going to be nervous when you sing in front of strangers for the first time. And you’re going to be nervous until you get it out of your head that other people’s judgement about your music matters more than your own. Now, I’m not saying never accept constructive criticism. I’m not saying that at all. Constructive criticism is important to grow and to get out of your comfort zone. What I’m saying is this. If you’re doing the absolute best that you know you can do, if you’re playing and singing your heart out, then the people you’re playing to will realize this, and will enjoy themselves. You’re doing your thing. It’s bringing you joy. Hopefully, it’s bringing other people joy as well, but that’s just an added bonus. When I perform in front of people, yes, I’m playing and interacting with the audience, because that’s what I’m there for. That’s my job. But I have also learned that, if I sing and play my heart out, there’s no reason to be nervous because the audience is going to enjoy themselves if I’m giving it all I’ve got. I hope that makes some kind of sense.”