I asked this question the other day on the FOTMD forum and received some good suggestions, but many of the suggestions weren't exactly what I was looking for... so I figure I'd ask the same question here. What do I have to lose?
Before I ask my question, I'll just give a bit of background info.. So I began playing the 5 string banjo during the spring of 2017. At first, I did what a lot of new players do, I went through a delicious buffet of tabs and tunes, and kind of learned them.. but I didn't really have a deep of understanding of the tune. It wasn't until the spring of 2018, early summer that I discovered the music and philosophy of Dwight Diller, who talks a lot about the importance of pulse and rhythm and listening to the "old folks".. (Its nicely summarized in the book of tabs available on his website : dwightdiller.com/diller-tab-book/)
When I began listening to a lot of Dwight Diller, a number of things became clear to me, and as a result, I've become a better banjo player.
So basically, as I begin my dulcimer journey, I'd like to engage in the same sort of deep listening that I try to do with the banjo. I'm looking for albums of traditonal appalachian/old-time (whatever you want to call it) instrumental music played in a traditional fashion. I do most of my music listening in the car while driving around for work, so I'm looking for something other than YouTube videos (Although, don't get me wrong, some great stuff on there as well).
If you can find a copy of Appalachian Dulcimer Music by Edsel Martin on dulcimer and banjo and Billy Edd Wheeler on guitar. I think it was only issued on vinyl LP, but it does come up occasionally on eBay. Ralph Lee Smith's Tunes of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains is another good album. Instrumental M usic of the Southern Appalachians has at least two track worth listening to by Mrs. Edd Presnell, Don Pedi plays a lot of traditional music from North Carolina most of it finger dancing. His sound is in the traditional vein.
You can find the book and CD for sale online for less than the Ohio Press price. Just be sure the book you're buying has the CD with it. I thought I was getting a heckuva deal, only to discover that the book did not have the CD with it!
Another great resource is Robin Clark, from Snowdonia, Wales. He's a Great traditional player, and highly trained in music theory and such. Look for his writings on FOTMD, every one of which is worth delving deeply into.
He also has a CD out called The Cadair Idris Sessions. You'll especially like it because it's Robin on dulcimers with his banjo playing friend Nick Reese. Cadair Idris is the mountain which towers over his home. You can contact Robin through FOTMD or through his website: www.dulcimers.co.uk/
If it doesn't come with the CD, let me know. I can help you out.
It did come with the cd! Thanks for the recommendation. A good read as well. I grew up in Canada, on the opposite side of Lake Erie. On clear days, we could admire the Cleveland skyline. I'm wondering if many of these tunes may have made it over to my side. If they did, i'm assuming that they've been forgotten
Post by David Bennett on Jul 13, 2019 6:12:27 GMT -5
I've been trying for some time to collect recordings of traditional dulcimore playing.
The problem with many commercial recordings is they often have other instruments such as guitar or banjo accompanying them. Others have singing (I get that many used the dulcimer only to accompany their sings). For me though I prefer to hear just the dulcimer and nothing else in the hopes of improving my traditional playing.
Over the years I've gotten a decent collection. I'd love to be able to post them online but in many cases I've lost track of the source and in other cases I wouldn't want to run afoul of copyright issues.
I know the Smithsonian has a lot of music but much of it is not available (unless you want to pay a researcher) and much of what is available is scattered all other their site(s).
I looked in the back of two of my oldest books, Lynn McSpadden's Four and Twenty and Jean Ritchie's Dulcimer People. Both books have suggestions for discography but many in Jean's book list other instruments or singing. I looked for some I. D. Stamper recordings and it looks like he sang also. It appears there are lots of tunes by Nigel Campbell Pennington and he plays dulcimer with no other instruments or singers. Below are some links to a couple of his recordings. I always wanted to play Black Nag but just couldn't play it smoothly. He does a good job with it.