I first learned of the Hammered Dulcimer when I was living in Amery, WI for two years when my father was diagnosed with cancer.
In the late 80's and the early 90's I played for about a dozen weddings, several for friends of mine. I also played for one season at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and for a college play at Carlton College.
The photo above is not me, but is a type of dulcimer I hope to get one day made by Jerry Read Smith. I'm open to instruments made by other makers. But, for decades I have longed for one made by Jerry Read Smith because of the professionalism and attention to artistry in the details. Having said that, it seems the lower end on most of the JRS dulcimers don't have as clean of a tone as I would like to have.
more on it's way...
I created a new Forums site, with dedicated forums for each subject. Here is where I plan to elaborate on this particular subject, adding notes, videos and links for reference on this website and social media.
In 1980, I went to live in Amery, Wisconsin to be with my father while he was dealing with cancer. While I was there I worked at a machine shop. At the machine shop, there was a coworker that listened to the KNOW Public Radio Morning Show. That was when I learned about folk and bluegrass music.
Within the next couple of years, I would take the money I received from my father's estate to buy guitars and a Dusty Strings Hammered Dulcimer kit. I finished building the Hammered Dulcimer and began to learn to play it. The image on the left is the exact replica of the one I built. Although, I did not have the wood case. I had a nylon case with velcro closure.
In 1988, I auditioned to play at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The talent coordinator wanted me to play that year, but only for tips on the grid. I said no. The next year, 1989, I ran into the talent manager at a Kinko's store photocopying. He said that he could give me a contract that year. So, I was given a very decent first year contract, and put on the talent grip playing for tips. I believe I made over $600 that first season. However, I never played there again.
In the late 1980's I was hired to play for a Carlton College play. I had the microphone set up, and provided the Intro, Background, and Closing music for the entire play.
In the late 1980's and the early 1990's I was hired to play for about a dozen weddings, a few of them were for friends.
Carol of the Bells - Joshua Messic
This is a song that I played for social gatherings and Christmas events. I like Joshua's version of this song without much of the finger picking.
This is too much closer to the style of music I strived to play. Much more musical and articulate.
This particular hammered dulcimer player is very good as well.
This song is very unique, and is far from the usual traditional folk style of song. I included it here because of it's creative melody and use of other instruments.
This song is one that I played for most of my performances, including when I was asked to play for friends at Christmas dinners, during the holidays.
This particular version is very closed to what I played for my performances.
This is a very popular song
This is the type of song I would learn and modify it to my own particular taste, with a few more flourishes and a cleaner tone.
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New Age Norseman | aka David Jordahl