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The Hearts of the Dulcimer Podcast explores the mountain dulcimer's past, present, and future. If you’re interested in mountain dulcimers, this is the podcast for you.

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Here are a couple of comments we've received ... let us know what you think by writing a review on our iTunes page. Read all the reviews here.

"Hearts of the Dulcimer is one of the coolest things to happen to the mountain dulcimer since Jean Ritchie brought it out of the hills of Kentucky ...” - Bing Futch

"The Hearts of the Dulcimer documentary was a fabulous film, and now the artists are continuing to support dulcimer music and musicians through podcasts. The first podcast was informative and entertaining. I can't wait for the next installments." - Memphis Dulcimer Gathering

Help support the Hearts of the Dulcimer Podcast by purchasing the Hearts of the Dulcimer DVD and t-shirt.

Episode #025: Aaron O’Rourke: Soulful Virtuosity
Aaron O’Rourke: Soulful Virtuosity

We feature the music and our conversation with Aaron O’Rourke, one of today’s most innovative dulcimer players and composers. At the age of 31, Aaron has already produced an amazing amount of work in solo and ensemble recording and instruction.

Guest:
Aaron O'Rourke

Listen Now (Duration 51 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


 

Episode #024: A Mother’s Day Special Featuring Margaret Wright and Cassandra Damper
 A Mother’s Day Special Featuring Margaret Wright and Cassandra Damper

For this Mother’s Day, we’d like to celebrate all mothers who play dulcimer. We especially appreciate the dulcimer mothers who teach dulcimer to their children and to others. To honor all dulcimer mothers, we’re presenting the heartwarming story of a special dulcimer mother: Margaret Wright and her daughter Cassandra Damper.

Guests:
Margaret Wright
Cassandra Damper

Listen Now (Duration 36 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)



Episode #023: Richard Fariña and the Cambridge Folk Music Scene PART 2: A Conversation with Ed Freeman
Richard Fariña and the Cambridge Folk Music Scene PART 1: A Conversation with Rick Turner

Ed Freeman was part of the Cambridge folk music scene in the early 60s and interviewed Richard and Mimi Fariña on his radio show in 1965. We spoke with Ed about this and much more.

Guest:
Ed Freeman

Listen Now (Duration 34 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)



Episode #022: Richard Fariña and the Cambridge Folk Music Scene PART 1: A Conversation with Rick Turner
Richard Fariña and the Cambridge Folk Music Scene PART 1: A Conversation with Rick Turner

The well-known luthier Rick Turner shares personal stories about Richard and Mimi Fariña and how his luthier skills led him to become part of dulcimer history that was almost forgotten.

Guest:
Rick Turner

Listen Now (Duration 37 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


 

Episode #021: AppalAsia: Bridging Traditions
The Winter Holiday Dulcimer

With the unusual combination of two American and one Chinese instrument, the trio AppalAsia bridge the Appalachian and Chinese music traditions to create music that is soulful, sophisticated, and genre bending.

Guests:
Jeff Berman
Susan Powers
Mimi Jong

Listen Now (Duration 35 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


 

Episode #020: The Winter Holiday Dulcimer
The Winter Holiday Dulcimer

From a contemporary jazz folk original to holiday staples and medieval music, we present tunes that are joyous, reflective, and capture the essence of winter. With music by Linda Brockinton, Heidi Muller and Bob Webb, Lance Frodsham, Jack and Mary Giger, Mark Gilston, Jessica Comeau, Bing Futch, and AppalAsia.

 

Listen Now (Duration 30 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


 

Episode #019: National Dulcimer Championship 2016
Ivan Ng Sheng Kai

One of the best places to hear new talent in the mountain dulcimer world is at the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship. This annual event takes place at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. We spoke with 2016 winners Mark Gilston, Cassandra Damper, and Wendy Songe, as well as Jim Woods from McSpadden Dulcimers.

Guests: 
Jim Woods
Mark Gilston
Cassandra Damper
Wendy Songe

Listen Now (Duration 29 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Correction note: Cassandra Damper was 24 years old when she competed at the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship. She played Whiskey Before Breakfast and John Stenson's #2.

 

Episode #018: Ivan Ng Sheng Kai: Singapore’s Only Dulcimer Busker
Ivan Ng Sheng Kai

Singapore seems to have only one performing mountain dulcimer player. He’s a 24 year old busker named Ivan Ng Sheng Kai. Hear what it’s like to be the lone dulcimer performer in Singapore, and the extraordinary measures he’s had to take to find and learn how to play it.

Guest: 
Ivan Ng Sheng Kai


Listen Now (Duration 17 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Episode #017: Dulcimer Short Story with Neal Hellman: Celebrities at the Renaissance Faire
Neal Hellman playing dulcimer at the Renaissance Faire

This episode features stories told by Neal Hellman about celebrities who encountered the dulcimer at the Renaissance Faire.

Guest: 
Neal Hellman

Listen Now (Duration 17 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #016: Blues on Dulcimer
Bing Futch, Christine Shoemaker, John Keane

On the surface, it seems that the mountain dulcimer is not an instrument created for playing the Blues. The impression of the dulcimer’s sweet simple sound seems that it would be too gentle to express the raw feelings evoked with the Blues. Additionally, the dulcimer’s diatonic fret pattern often doesn’t have the notes that are in the pentatonic Blues scale. Needless to say, it takes creativity and persistence to play the Blues on the dulcimer.

Guests: 
John Keane
Christine Shoemaker
Bing Futch

Listen Now (Duration 28 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #015: Steve Eulberg: Dulcimer Crossing
Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg is a multi-instrumentalist who plays and sings traditional songs and fiddle tunes; weaving together Celtic, Old-Time, blues, and jazz on both the mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer. He runs the website Dulcimer Crossing, which provides hundreds of online video dulcimer lessons by several known dulcimer teachers.

Guest: 
Steve Eulberg

Listen Now (Duration 28 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #014: Neal Hellman: Part Folk, Part Classical, All Acoustic
Neal Hellman

Neal Hellman has played the mountain dulcimer for more than 40 years and is the founder, director, and one of the primary artists on the Gourd Music record label. Gourd Music recordings are known for lush arrangements often pairing the dulcimer with folk and classical instruments. With music by Gourd Music artists.

Guest: 
Neal Hellman

Listen Now (Duration 37 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #013: Linda Brockinton: The Art of Fingerpicking
Linda Brockinton

Linda Brockinton is known for playing a full chord fingerpicking style on the mountain dulcimer. In 2001, she was the first woman to win first place in the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship as well as the first to win playing a full chord fingerpicking style.

Guest: 
Linda Brockinton

Listen Now (Duration 27 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #012: Judy Klinkhammer: A Dulcimer Life, Part 2
Judy Klinkhammer

The second in the two part celebration of Judy Klinkhammer’s life. She was a well-loved dulcimer player and teacher who lived in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Many people credit Judy for introducing the dulcimer to that part of Arkansas in the early 60s. She truly lived with the dulcimer in the center of her life.

Guests: 
Judy Klinkhammer
Sheryl Myers
Rita Drake
Jim Woods
Mary & Jack Giger
Duane Porterfield
Judy’s Fingerpicking Group

Listen Now (Duration 38 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Correction note: Around 28:12, Eileen Hinkle was called Elaine Hinkle. We meant to say Eileen Hinkle.

 

Episode #011: Judy Klinkhammer: A Dulcimer Life, Part 1
Judy Klinkhammer

The first of a two part celebration of Judy Klinkhammer’s life. She was a well-loved dulcimer player and teacher who lived in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. Many people credit Judy for introducing the dulcimer to that part of Arkansas in the early 60s. She truly lived with the dulcimer in the center of her life.

Guests: 
Judy Klinkhammer
Sheryl Myers
Jim Woods
Mary & Jack Giger

Listen Now (Duration 28 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

Episode #010: Howard Rugg: Master Luthier of CapriTaurus and Early Folk Roots Dulcimers
Howard Rugg

Howard Rugg is the master luthier behind the well-known CapriTaurus and early Folk Roots Dulcimers. The thousands of dulcimers built in his workshop are being played all over the world by amateur to accomplished musicians. Howard has recently started making dulcimers again under the name CapriTaurus. With commentary by Lance Frodsham and Laura Devine Burnett. All the music in this episode was played on dulcimers created in Howard’s workshop.

Guest: 
Howard Rugg

 

Listen Now (Duration 32 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Episode #009: Bing Futch: Dulcimer Road Warrior
Bing Futch

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Bing Futch has embraced the mountain dulcimer as his first and foremost instrument. Known for touring around the US in his RV, Bing plays many diverse styles from traditional folk to rock to original compositions to the blues -- all on the dulcimer.

Guest: 
Bing Futch

 

Listen Now (Duration 22 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Episode #008: Holly Tannen: Songstress of Folklore
Holly Tannen

Holly Tannen is a singer, songwriter, and dulcimer player who lives on the edge of a primeval forest in Mendocino, California. Holly is known for writing contemporary folk songs about personal stories and current events using the melodic and lyrical structure of Appalachian and British Isles folk tunes.

Guest: 
Holly Tannen

 

Listen Now (Duration 33 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

EPISODE #007: Erin Mae: Playing Old Time Music in New Ways
Erin Mae

Erin Mae is a young, innovative mountain dulcimer performer and teacher from Kansas who gives old time music a fresh spin on her chromatic dulcimer.

Guests: 
Erin Mae  
Amber Rogers

 

Listen Now (Duration 33 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

EPISODE #006: Rick Scott - Canada’s Premier Dulcimer Player
Rick Scott

Dulcimer player, storyteller, actor, and singer songwriter Rick Scott has been playing the dulcimer for more than four decades. Rick has received several awards and honors for his work with children’s music.

Guest:
Rick Scott

 

Listen Now (Duration 36 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


EPISODE #005: Richard Fariña Tribute Part 2
Richard Fariña, John Blosser, Jerry Rockwell In this episode, we focus on the melodic and rhythmically complex music Fariña created on his dulcimer and explore how his heritage and world travels influenced his music. We talk with Fariña’s relatives, people he knew, and two dulcimer players he influenced. We present intimate stories and letters from him to show how his music was ultimately the result of his zest for life.

Guests:
Joellen Lapidus
• Owenie Crozier (Fariña’s uncle)
• Jim Crozier (Fariña’s cousin)
• Terry Hennessy (luthier who made Fariña’s dulcimer)
Neal Hellman
• Omar Lugones (Fariña’s cousin)

Listen Now (Duration 39 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

EPISODE #004: Richard Fariña Tribute Part 1
Richard Fariña, John Blosser, Jerry Rockwell

We begin our tribute to Richard Fariña with Jerry Rockwell and John Blosser, two dulcimer players influenced by Fariña’s dulcimer playing. With music from two Fariña tribute albums: one released in September, 2015 from Plainsong called Reinventing Richard: The Songs of Richard Fariña, and Caroline Doctorow’s 2009 tribute album called Another Country … The Songs of Richard and Mimi Fariña. Richard’s cousin Omar Lugones shares insights into Fariña’s music.

Guests:
Jerry Rockwell
• John Blosser
Omar Lugones

Listen Now (Duration 27 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

EPISODE #003: Scheitholt Part 2
Ryan Koons, Ken Longfield, scheitholt

We continue the exploration of the scheitholt, the predecessor of the mountain dulcimer:
What kind of music was played on the scheitholt?
Why did it fade into obscurity?
And why is there a surge of interest in the scheitholt?

Guests:
Ken Koons and Ryan Koons
• Ken Longfield

Listen Now (Duration 23 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

Correction note: Around 03:43, Ryan Koons was described as an "endomusicologist." We meant to say "ethnomusicologist."


EPISODE #002: Joni Mitchell's Dulcimers
Joni Mitchell, Joellen Lapidus, Rick Scott

In this episode we have two stories about Joni Mitchell's dulcimers. In the first story Joellen Lapidus recounts selling a dulcimer to Joni at the 1969 Big Sur Folk Festival. In the second story Rick Scott recalls being picked up by Joni while hitchhiking in Canada in 1971.

This episode has been featured and transcribed on Joni Mitchell's website!

Guests:
Joellen Lapidus
Rick Scott

Listen Now (Duration 29 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)


EPISODE #001: Scheitholt Part 1
Ben Seymour, Heidi Muller, Lucy Long

In this episode we talk about the mountain dulcimer's predecessor, the German scheitholt with folklorist Lucy Long and luthier Ben Seymour. Plus, Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas in Oregon.

Guests:
• Lucy Long, folklorist
• Ben Seymour, luthier
• Heidi Muller, festival organizer

Listen Now (Duration 33 min.)

Episode Resources (photos, articles, videos, music info, etc.)

 

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