Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Blog Address

I have moved my dulcimer blog to a simpler address: Click Here to visit my new blog and to see current posts.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Concert July 31 at Unicoi State Park

Nathaniel will perform a one-hour set beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 31 in the lodge at Unicoi State Park. The concert is part of the park's Folk Life Days festival. After the concert, Nathaniel and his dad will join other Folk Life demonstrators, including Nathaniel's sister, Sarah, who will be demonstrating cornhusk doll making. The festival, which runs from 10:00 to 4:00, is free, except for a $5 parking fee. A "pass the hat" donation will be taken for Nathaniel.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pickin' Porch

Next Saturday (July 3) I will be teaching workshops and performing at the Pickin' Porch at Woods-N-Strings Dulcimer Shop in Townsend, TN.

Here is a list of the classes I will be teaching and the times. They are five dollars each. If you are interested, contact Woods-N-Strings to to sign up for classes.

10:30 - 11:30 - Fiddle Tune Variations: Learn a few cool variations that you can use for almost every fiddle tune.

1:15 - 2:15 - You are Capo-Able: This is a class that is good if you have not really done much with your capo. Learn how to use it (without a "Capo tab") and good way to think about it. Please bring capo!

2:30 - 3:30 - Left Hand Only: We are going to look at using only hammer-ons and pull-offs to play a song to help get them ingrained in you mind and your muscle memory.

3:45 - 4:45 - Reuben's Train: Learn a great song to ad to your repertoire. Also learning new techniques and the use of all fingers. Please bring your capo!

My concert will be a 7:00 in the evening

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Congratulations Nathaniel - Mid-Eastern Mountain Dulcimer Champion

Nathaniel and I (dad) traveled to Ohio this weekend for Coshocton Dulcimer Days, which includes the Mid-Eastern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship. Nathaniel competed and took first prize, a portion of which is a paid entry into the national championship in Winfield, Kansas in September.
Another highlight of the trip for Nathaniel was getting to meet Hunter Walker, another young dulcimer player and winner of the same competition in 2009. Nathaniel and Hunter spent some time jamming together at Wildwood Music, a fabulous music shop in Coshocton.

Nathaniel and I are both appreciative of all the festival volunteers, sponsors and vendors.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Busy Month!

Today I'm looking forward to a busy dulcimer month. Right now I don't know whether I am going to a dulcimer festival this weekend or not! Here is a list of what I know I will be doing.

July 3 - I am going to do a concert and teach classes at the Pickin' Porch at Mike Clemmer's dulcimer shop in Townsend, Tennessee. If you would like to take classes, please contact the shop. I will have the schedule posted here soon.

July 16 - I will be doing a few songs to open up the concert at the Summer Strumin' with Joe Collins event at Unicoi State Park.

July 18-23 - I will be at Western Carolina University Dulcimer Week in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

July 31 - I will be doing a solo concert at Unicoi State Park as part of the weekend-long Folk Life Traditions festival. It will be from 11:00 to 12:00.

Hope to see you some place down the road!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Wonderful Weekend!

All week I was looking forward to Jeff Hames' Kicking of the Summer event - and it turned out to be even better than I anticipated.

I got to learn a lot with Jeff, play a few songs to open up his concert, play two songs with him during the concert and have fun jamming with Jeff in his music room, where he keeps all his dulcimers.

But the most fun part was when we were sitting in his music room. I was trying a Schnaufer Model he had just put strings on. And after one song he said that if I wanted it, I could have it........ I wanted it! It is a beautiful Schnaufer model - built to the specifications of David Schnaufer, who almost everybody thinks was the best dulcimer player ever. He was Jeff's teacher. The dulcimer was built by Larry McSppaden in July, 2006.

Thank you to Jeff Hames for all the new techniques, the time invested and the wonderful new dulcimer!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Sort of Birthday!

I guess most folks my age are getting video games for their birthday or something like that. But my eyes get glazed over when I try video games. For my birthday I got a guitar slide and a psaltery bow (both of which I use for playing the dulcimer), a jaw harp, Johnny Cash CDs, and money that I'll put toward the Ban-Jammer I ordered. I'm having fun with my new stuff!

I may be behind the times, but it sure is fun!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Four Equidistant Strings

Lately I have been playing around with four equidistant strings. I really like the extra drone it gives while still playing chords on the slow songs. I've been playing mostly slow hymns with it but now I am starting to try it on some faster hymns like I'll Fly Away.

Just one more new thing for me to try!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Cumberland Gap

I had a great weekend at Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering. My 5-year old brother, Asher, got to go, too. That was fun. It was his first dulcimer festival and his second time camping, and he got to open up the Saturday evning concert "with Boil Them Cabbage!" I taught my second, class which went really well, played three songs in the Friday evning concert, ordered a Clemmer Ban-Jammer and had lots of fun in the jams.

It is a cost-free jam-full festival. If you haven't been, you have to go next year!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Dulcimer Shoppe

One of my favorite dulcimer places to go to is The Dulcimer Shoppe in Mtn View, AR, where McSpadden Dulcimers are made. They have a room with several McSpadden's to play, which I love to do. You can also watch McSpaddens being made.

If you love McSpadden's like I do or just like dulcimer, this is a great place to visit and jam!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Full Spring Schedule

Here is schedule of some of the things that I will be doing!

-April 17 I'll be playing an hour-long set a the Artisan's Fair at the Living History Park in North Augusta, GA.

-April 18 One song for Central Alliance Church during the offering.

-April 22-24 The Dulcimer Jamboree, Mtn View Ark. I will be competing in the ensemble competition as well as the Southeastern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Championship.

-May 7-8 Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering. I will be teaching and performing at this festival. It is a really fun, informal festival that is cost free, with lots of jamming and good instructors.

-May 14-16 I will be attending a dulcimer festival called Spring Thing, which is put on by the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association. It will be a really fun festival, with learning from Bill Taylor.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Getting Ready For Mtn View

I've decided on the songs I'm going to play in the Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Competition in Mountain View, Arkansas. Now it is time to practice a much as I can!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Awesome New Instrument

In December I ordered a custom Papaw's Dulcimer, and I was really looking forward to getting it. About a month ago, we decided to go to the Ohio Valley Gathering, so I decided to teach a workshop and play Open Stage. I saw that Mr Rich (Papaw) would be there too, so I e-mailed him and asked if I could play one of his dulcimers on stage, and, if mine would be done, maybe mine. He emailed me back and said mine would be a stretch, but I could use one of his. But to get to the point, Mr. Rich worked really hard on mine and got it done just before the festival. It is beautiful!!!! One of the things I really like is it is loud. It holds up with bluegrass instruments. It is awesome to play. Be sure to check out Papaw's Dulcimers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dulcimer Season

Yesterday kicked off the beginning of the dulcimer season for us at the Mid-Winter Mountain Dulcimer Festival, in Shelby, North Carolina. I took classes from Aaron O'Rourke all day, which I really enjoyed.

Next we are going to the Ohio Valley Gathering, where I will be teaching a workshop and playing the Open Stage.

And then Dad and I are going up to the White River for a writers' fishing event, and I really look forward to playing with other musicians during the "picking and grinning." And while we are up that way, we will probably go to The Dulcimer Shoppe, in Mountain View, Arkansas.