Dulcimer Girls Legacy Page
"Your dulcimers are so appealing and the music just fascinating."
John Mork, Producer, Women In The Redwoods Music Festival
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer and play.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
HISTORY OF THE APPALACHIAN DULCIMER
The dulcimer has been called "America's Oldest Folk Instrument," which means it's actually relatively new, just like America itself.
The dulcimer is a fascinating example of cultural diversity and assimilation. It's an instrument that could only evolve in America, as immigrants came to this country and began to mingle and exchange ideas. The word dulcimer means "sweet melody." Some theorize it evolved in the early 1800s out of a Pennsylvania German zither called the scheitholt. As the German people moved down the hills in the late 1700s and early 1800s, they encountered Scots-Irish people who were also in the area. Scheitholts were adapted for playing fiddle tunes and other Anglo-Celtic music. Eventually, the settlers made their own instruments, sometimes with little more than bent nails for frets.The dulcimer is appealing for a number of reasons. First, it's easy to make music on right away. It has a diatonic scale and drone tunings. You can sound good pretty quickly! Second, old-timey music sounds good on it, but it also lends a unique sound to more contemporary music. Third, it's an instrument that offers lots of options in terms of tunings and string spacing, and it can be plucked, flat picked or strummed. Just like America, it continues to evolve.
DULCIMER PEOPLE WE ADMIRE:Laura Allan, who can be seen and heard playing dulcimer on David Crosby's classic album "If I Could Only Remember My Name"
Connie Allen, who knocked us out with her dulcimer and "banjomer" playing at Redwood Dulcimer Day
Janita Baker, master of the four equidistant string fingerpicking style and builder of Blue Lion Dulcimers
Bonnie Carol, a wonderful maker and player based in Colorado
Richard Fariña, the first "mainstream" dulcimer player of the 50's folk movement
Jana Heller, an exciting singer/songwriter and dulcimer player we met recently and highly recommend
Neal Hellman, dulcimer master, author, and president of Gourd Music
Janet Herman, dulcimer master and co-founder of Redwood Dulcimer Day
Redwood Mountain Dulcimer Group, a fabulous Bay Area resource
Joellen Lapidus, songwriter, teacher, dulcimer maker
Joni Mitchell, who introduced the dulcimer to millions on her classic album "Blue"
Al d'Ossche' & Robert Force, from whom Laura received her inspiration to play dulcimer standing up!
Jean Ritchie, who brought the dulcimer from her home in Kentucky to New York City during the folk revival of the 50s
Howard Rugg, legendary luthier of CapriTaurus and Rugg & Jackel Dulcimers
Michael Rugg, dulcimer master and founder of Capritaurus Dulcimers
Peter Tommerup, dulcimer master and co-founder of Redwood Dulcimer Day
In their 12 years together, Jayme Kelly Curtis and Laura Devine combined heavenly vocal harmonies with
the ethereal sound of the mountain dulcimer on originals, folk ballads, old timey and spirituals.
Dulcimer Girls music was down home, yet out of this world. They played numerous festivals and gigs of all sorts and made one CD, "Old Ways Are Leaving."
Dulcimer Girls have moved on to other projects, but a few copies of Old Ways Are Leaving are vailable for a limited time.
Send $15 and your shipping address to:
P.O. Box 278
Felton, CA 95018
Dulcimer Girls were also included on the Redwood Mountain Dulcimer All Star Collection celebrating 10 years of Redwood Dulcimer Day. The CD features instrumental selections from an all-star list of dulcimer artists. Hear clips and get your copy at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cmssantacruz
All proceeds benefit future Redwood Dulcimer events and the Community Music School of Santa Cruz,
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Image from California Contemporary Craftsmen,
Culture, featuring Laura Devine, Neal Hellman and more
Find Dulcimer Girls performances on YouTube
Santa Cruz Harmony Vocal Showcase, Peachwoods Inn, Scotts Valley
American River Acoustic Music Festival, Coloma-Lotus, California
Bluegrass on Broadway, sponsored by Northern California Bluegrass Society
Brookdale Bluegrass Festival, Brookdale, California
Dulcimer Summit, Peninsula Christian Center,
Redwood City, California
Loch Lomond Celtic Society Highland Games,
Ben Lomond, California
Palo Alto Festival of the Arts, Palo Alto, California
Otter Opry Concert Series, Santa Cruz, California
Boulder Creek Art & Wine Festival, Boulder Creek, California
5th Annual Women In The Redwoods Music Festival,
La Honda, California
The Cayuga Vault, Santa Cruz, California
Henflings Firehouse Tavern/International Folk Series,
Ben Lomond, California
Espresso Garden & Cafe, San Jose, California
Redwood Dulcimer Day – song leaders, Bonny Doon, California
Nomad Cafe, Okaland, California
Art & Wine Garden, Boulder Creek, California
Ananda Books & Music, Boulder Creek, California
Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale, California
Lupin Nature Resort, Los Gatos, California
Three Bells Cafe, Santa Cruz United Methodist Church
Willow Glen Coffee Roasting Company, San Jose, California
House concerts, memorial services and gatherings of all kinds ...
Dulcimer Girls Tunes: