header image
header image
header image

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

Stay connected with Hearts of the Dulcimer ...
Subscribe to the podcast through iTunes
Subscribe to the podcast on Android
Listen to the podcast on Spotify
Like Hearts of the Dulcimer on Facebook
Like Hearts of the Dulcimer on Instagram
Subscribe to our occasional newsletter

Help support the Hearts of Dulcimer Podcast by purchasing the Hearts of the Dulcimer DVD, posters, and t-shirts. Or go to our new support page to make a donation.

Dulcimer Lullabies

The gentle sound of the dulcimer lends itself to lullabies. They ease us into the day and calm us down at night. Lullabies give comfort to the inner child in all of us, no matter how old or young we are. In this episode you’ll hear lullabies played by dulcimer players David Schnaufer, Molly McCormack, Neal Walters, Aubrey Atwater, Dusty Turtle, Jessica Comeau, Stephen Seifert, Carol Walker, Kevin Roth, Lorinda Jones, and Duane Porterfield. With commentary by lullabologist Julia Soto Lebentritt.

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources


A Children's Music Special

We’re focusing this episode on music for children on the mountain dulcimer. You’ll hear traditional and original songs, songs about whimsical instruments, animal adventures, and songs about people and places. With music from dulcimer players Heidi Muller, Bob Webb, Molly McCormack, Kevin Roth, Aubrey Atwater, Joellen Lapidus, Rick Scott, and John Elwood.

Length 19 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Multifaceted Bonnie Carol and Max Krimmel

Meet Bonnie Carol and Max Krimmel, multi-instrumentalists and the builders of the well-known and loved Bonnie Carol Dulcimers.

Guests:
Bonnie Carol
Max Krimmel

Length 35 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Healing Dulcimer

We spoke with dulcimer players Lorinda Jones, a professional music therapist, Sally Smith, a hospice music volunteer, and Marian Perdas and Carollyn Robinson, music volunteers for memory care about how they use the mountain dulcimer to help those in need.

Guests:
Lorinda Jones
Sally Smith
Marian Perdas
Carollyn Robinson

Length 37 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Orchestral Dulcimer

In this episode we feature the Oregon-based composer and conductor Mark Steighner who has written two concertos for the mountain dulcimer. We’re also featuring Stephen Seifert, who performed both of Mark’s concertos as the dulcimer soloist.

Guests:
Mark Steighner
Stephen Seifert

Length 34 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Winter Holiday Dulcimer 2018

With music from all over the globe, celebrate the season with wintry seasonal dulcimer music from Butch Ross, Lorraine Hammond, Jessica Comeau, Don Pedi, Tull Glazener, Madeline MacNeil, Nina Zanetti, Aubrey Atwater, and Christine Shoemaker.

Length 22 min.

Episode Resources

 

3 Tune Stories from Heidi Muller and Bob Webb

Winter’s Turning, My Barista, and Sacred Ground. What do they have in common? They were all written by singer songwriter and dulcimer player Heidi Muller. Heidi and her life partner Bob Webb tell us the stories behind each of these three tunes.

Guests:
Heidi Muller
Bob Webb

Length 29 min.

Episode Resources

 

Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends for Making Music

The 1964 LP Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends for Making Music became one of the most popular recordings of the early folk music revival. In this episode, find out why Golden Ring was a groundbreaking album for the mountain dulcimer.

Guests:
Howie Mitchell
Ed Trickett
Ed Freeman
Caroline Paton
Bob Schlesinger

Length 49 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Many Modes of Stephen Seifert

 

Stephen Seifert is one of the most accomplished dulcimer performers today. Possessing an impeccable command of the instrument, he’s a favorite at festivals and clubs around the country and has performed as a soloist on his mountain dulcimer with symphony orchestras.

Guest:
Stephen Seifert

Length 32 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Dulcimer Adventures of Joellen Lapidus



In this episode we feature innovative dulcimer player, teacher, and builder Joellen Lapidus. Her dulcimers are simply the most unique and beautiful dulcimers ever built. Equally impressive is Joellen’s rhythmically sophisticated dulcimer playing.

Guest:
Joellen Lapidus

Length 49 min.

Episode Resources

 

Heidi Muller and Bob Webb: Music with a Purpose


In this episode we feature the music and musical journey of life partners Heidi Muller and Bob Webb. Heidi and Bob are multi-instrumentalists who play original and traditional tunes. They blend each other’s influences that reach from the Pacific Northwest to the Appalachian Mountains.

Guests:
Heidi Muller
Bob Webb

Length 55 min.

Episode Resources

Correction note: "National Mountain Museum" should have been "National Music Museum." Heidi and Bob lived in West Virginia, not South Carolina. They met at Ohio Valley Gathering and not at Kentucky Music Week.

 

An Irish Music Special


In this episode we’re playing music from Ireland, all on the mountain dulcimer, of course. With music from dulcimer players Carol Walker, Aubrey Atwater, Neal Hellman, Jonathan Dowell, Mark Gilston, Linda Brockinton, Gary Gallier, Molly McCormack, Lorinda Jones, and Larry and Elaine Conger.

Length 29 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Legendary Howie Mitchell

In this episode, we present the stories and music of Howie Mitchell. An innovator of dulcimer building and playing in the 1950s and 60s, Howie is credited with spreading the idea of the 6 and half fret, the DAD Mixolydian tuning, and the chord melody style of playing dulcimer starting in the late 1950s. All three of these ideas caught on in the dulcimer world and for many players is the standard way of playing dulcimer.

Guests:
Howie Mitchell
David Mitchell
Dennis Dorogi
Bonnie Carol
Max Krimmel
Charlotte Williams
Caroline Paton

Length 56 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Winter Holiday Dulcimer 2017

Celebrate the winter season with wintry seasonal music by dulcimer players Christine Shoemaker, Stephen Seifert, John and Karen Keane, Wendy Songe, Jessica Comeau, Holly Tannen, and Heidi Muller and Bob Webb.

Length 20 min.

Episode Resources

 

Richard Ash: The Face of Folkcraft Instruments

We spoke with Richard Ash from Folkcraft Instruments about the dulcimers his company has built since 1968. With music played on Folkcraft dulcimers from Bing Futch, Stephen Seifert, John and Karen Keane, and Wendy Songe.

Guest:
Richard Ash

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources

 

The Driven Wendy Songe

In this episode we feature dulcimer player Wendy Songe who is an award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet, performer, teacher, and nationally touring musician.

Guest:
Wendy Songe

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources

 

A Conversation with Judy Collins

We spoke with legendary award-winning singer-songwriter Judy Collins about her good friend Richard Fariña. We also explored the importance of Judy Collins’ Fifth Album in introducing the dulcimer in the mid-1960s. With additional commentary by Neal Hellman and readings from Richard Fariña’s cousin Omar Lugones.

Guests:
Judy Collins
Omar Lugones (Fariña’s Cuban cousin)
Neal Hellman (dulcimer player)

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources

 

Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas

Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas is an annual adult music camp held over the July 4th week and is devoted to learning the mountain dulcimer. This camp has become one of the most popular dulcimer events in the Northwest, with nationally known instructors teaching all levels of students.

Guests:
Heidi Muller (festival organizer)
Bob Webb (festival organizer and instructor)
Stephen Seifert (2017 instructor)
Aaron O'Rourke (2017 instructor)
Rob Brereton (2017 instructor)
2017 Attendees

Length 53 min.

Episode Resources

 

Mark Gilston: The Transcontinental Dulcimer

From the Balkans to Scandinavia to the UK and the US, Mark Gilston, the first place winner of the 2016 National Mountain Dulcimer Championship, tells us stories behind the tunes he plays.

Guest:
Mark Gilston

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 51 min.

Episode Resources

 

 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

Length 36 min.

Episode Resources


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

Length 34 min.

Episode Resources


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

Length 37 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 35 min.

Episode Resources


 

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.

Length 30 min.

Episode Resources

 

Mark Gilston Cassandra Damper Wendy Songe

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

Length 29 min.

Episode Resources

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.

 

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

Length 17 min.

Episode Resources

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

Length 17 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 28 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 28 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 37 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 27 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 38 min.

Episode Resources

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

 

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

Length 28 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 32 min.

Episode Resources

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

Length 22 min.

Episode Resources

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

Length 33 min.

Episode Resources

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

Length 33 min.

Episode Resources

 

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

Length 36 min.

Episode Resources


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)

Length 39 min.

Episode Resources

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 tribute albums: Reinventing Richard: The Songs of Richard Fariña by Plainsong, and Another Country … The Songs of Richard and Mimi Fariña by Caroline Doctorow. Richard’s cousin Omar Lugones shares insights into Fariña’s music.

Guests:
• Jerry Rockwell
• John Blosser
• Omar Lugones

Length 27 min.

Episode Resources

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

Length 23 min.

Episode Resources

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


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

Length 29 min.

Episode Resources


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, Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas Director

Length 33 min.

Episode Resources

We'd love to hear from you! Let us know what you think by writing a review on our Apple Podcasts page.

"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