In October 2015, some of the most gifted and recognized musicians will gather in the beautiful village of New Harmony, IN for a festival. The featured instrument they'll be performing with is one linked to Appalachian heritage (woohooo!), a highly versatile instrument known as the dulcimer.
To learn about these beautiful, intricately detailed, versatile and easy to play instruments, that share a heritage with me of both Appalachia and Scotland, I visited with Rick Huffman, sole proprietor of Creation Station in New Harmony.
Rick has been a music master for many years, and is an incredibly educated resource for information on dulcimers; where they came from, how they're made, how they function, how to play them and how he developed a passion for them.
The small shop that's big on beautiful
The store front in historic New Harmony is quaint and fetching. Once inside, you'll be enchanted with the wonders Rick Huffman has situated in his shoppe.
In every direction your eyes can feast on, you'll see fine art in a variety of representations of paintings, sculptures, body bling (jewelry) and exquisite musical instruments. Of these, the dulcimers take center stage.
During my visit, I admitted to Rick that although I'm a native Kentuckian with deep roots that stretch into Appalachia, I'd never been a fan of the sounds of Bluegrass music, until I saw the movie, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
The music in that movie changed my tune
and I've been a dedicated fan of my native land's music ever since.
Rick is also a native Kentuckian. He resides in New Harmony but was born in Madisonville. Since my visit to Creation Station, I've grown to be not only a lover of Bluegrass music, I've been inspired to consider learning to play it too.
Creation Station is packed with eye-candy when it comes to dulcimers, and some of them are manufactured by individual makers from start to finish, as in cutting the wood themselves to fashioning it into the rich-sounding instrument someone will strum notes into Heaven with.
All of the instruments in Creation Station are of sterling quality. Of those there are a few representations of what is likely the most superior dulcimers in the world, designed and hand-crafted right in New Harmony and available exclusively at Creation Station.
What makes the Gooden dulcimers awesome-sauce?
The Rick Gooden dulcimers are made from some of the rarest, most elite, responsibly harvested and regrown woods in the world. The instruments are literally hand-crafted one at a time. Their design is uniquely engineered to produce rich ranges of notes.
Not only are they superior in beauty, and sound, their finishing touch is an application of an organic, hand-rubbed oil finish. After multiple, repeated rubbings, the instruments are thus preserved from the inside out, infused with natural oils coupled with a good bit of elbow grease.
Rick Huffman is an associate of collaboration in the design of these fine instruments. He also spends quality time with them, helping them to season more quickly, while they're in his shoppe by playing them and presenting them to customers to play too.
Below is a brief video for you to help you get better acquainted with Rick and Creation Station. Please bear in mind, I'm still new to the vid-making process and learning as I go. Thanks for your indulgence!
You can personally experience the sounds of these easy-to-learn instruments when you visit Creation Station. You can get an even larger dose of dulcimer awesome-sauce by attending the 17th Annual Dulcimer Chatauqua On The Wabash, happening October 15th thru the 18th.
Plan on a hefty dose of good times packed with dulcimer workshops, jam sessions and concerts featuring Joe Collins (2007 National Champion from North Carolina), Chuck Flaim (2012 Kentucky State Champion), Tull Glazener (renowned performer and teacher from Indiana), Dave Haas (renowned performer and teacher from West Virginia) and Aaron O'Rourke (2012 National Champion from Florida).
The concerts will be in New Harmony's Murphy Auditorium, Friday and Saturday evenings. Doors will open at 1930 (7:30p), with music provided by festival participants. The featured artists will begin playing at 2000 (8p). Admission is free for folks 18-years-old and under.
For more data please visit dulcimerchautauquaonthewabash.com.
For the music junkies...
...and especially for these special folks, Maria Jordan of marcoujor's musings, Rita Davis, graphic design artist and folk music lover, and Kathy Morton, music instructor and interpreter for the Deaf, who was also featured in the above vid.
The videos below will give you a wider scope of what these instruments are capable of in grand fashion. If you like them, I hope you'll not mind to give them a thumbs up and consider subscribing to the channels. The producers will appreciate it!
By the time you read this (at least probably), I'll be winging it to Sechelt, BC, Canada for a work-and-play visit with Victoria Warner of WarnerWords. We work together behind the scenes frequently on many projects and this will be our first time to work together in person after more than two years of online collaboration.
Vicki and her husband, Bob Scott, retired professor-turned-author, will be hosting and supervising me for this two-week adventure in literature, techno-diving while I get acquainted with some beautiful aspects of the BC coastal living.
Please pray for my safe travels. I hear British Columbia has big bears and even bigger fish. Past that, some of you know how much I just luuuuvvvvv to fly .... (Gak!!)
Before I forget, the last video features Bing Futch who's not only an ace musician but a dread-head! (Wooohoo!)
That's it for this one!
God bless you! Thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a vet at your next opportunity!
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marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
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