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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

Listen Now (Duration 37 min.)


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

Music:

• Chastity Belt (traditional) - Richard and Mimi Fariña live on radio station WMBR, Cambridge, MA (1965)

Rick Turner Guitar Company
Rick Turner’s blog post: Richard and Mimi Fariña and the 6 ½ Fret
Richard and Mimi Fariña Fan Site

Rick narrowed down the time frame when the Fariñas were on the radio show. He also said they were the only ones appearing on the hour-long broadcast. Rick thought the Fariñas probably played an instrumental.

Doug Cooke then remarked that Richard or Mimi probably wrote a new song for this broadcast and because their first album had already been released, the song they played was most likely from their second album, Reflections in a Crystal Wind.

Patricia checked the LP Reflections in a Crystal Wind for instrumentals. Three instrumentals were on Reflections in a Crystal Wind. One instrumental, called Dopico, had Bruce Langhorne playing and since Bruce wasn’t there on that day at the station, Dopico was ruled out. The other two instrumentals from Reflections in a Crystal Wind are Chrysanthemum and Miles. Chrysanthemum didn’t need a 6 ½ fret, but the instrumental Miles needed it.

Just to be sure, Patricia confirmed that the 6 ½ fret was definitely needed for Miles by checking Neal Hellman’s Richard Fariña Dulcimer Book. (This book is out-of-print.) Neal stated in his book (on page 6) he was sure that Richard played the tune in the Mixolydian mode, and that Miles couldn’t be played without it.

Photos and Videos

Rick Turner in Cambridge, MA in the 1960s.
Rick Turner in Cambridge, MA in the 1960s.

Mimi Fariña and Rick Turner in the 1980s
Mimi Fariña and Rick Turner in the 1980s.

Rick Turner in his shop in 2016.
Rick Turner in his shop in 2016.

Rick Turner, Patricia, and Wayne after Rick's interview.
Rick Turner, Patricia, and Wayne after Rick's interview.


Miles played by Richard and Mimi Fariña



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