Dulcimer use in folk/rock bands

john p
john p
@john-p
7 years ago
173 posts

Has as much to do with availability as anything else I think Grahame.

Where did you get a dulcimer from back in those days? It took me nearly a year to find one, and I was really looking ... and it was crap. I ended up almost rebuilding the thing.
Joni Mitchell broke hers on tour and her Road Manager was near to desperation trying to find a replacement. There just wasn't that many instruments around.

As I remember those days, Irish bands were more interested in adding mandolins and bazoukis anyway.

The other side has more to do with what the record distribution companies put out, Steeleye Span were one of the few and Tim Hart got featured. Otherwise it was small lables like Bill Leader's that carried a few players, Roger Nicholson, Pete & Chris Coe, Stephan Sobell etc.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
7 years ago
2,010 posts
Imagine the Mama's and the Papa's with Richard and Mimi instead of Michelle and John. That's what could have evolved...
Grahame Hood
Grahame Hood
@grahame-hood
7 years ago
6 posts

I have always wondered how Richard Farina's music would have developed had he not died so young. Compare their two albums, the second one is much rockier with more conventional instrumentation, and dare I say it, a more straightforward writing style. Would he have given up the dulcimer altogether and become a rocker!?!

Grahame

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
7 years ago
1,616 posts

Right you are, Ken. I don't think there would have been a California dulcimer scene back in the 1970s had it not been for Joni and Richard.

Here is Joni:

Here are Richard and Mimi:

Here is Cyndi Lauper:

Ken, you'll be happy to see that Faria is using a noter. And I have to smile when Pete Seeger asks "What key? D?"

By the way, many years ago Neal Hellman put out a book in which he transcribed every dulcimer tune by RichardFaria. The book is long out-of-print, but Neal has made a pdf available online free of charge. Follow the links in his blog called LiberatingFaria .




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
7 years ago
2,010 posts

Joni Mitchell although she was a solo performer. Richard&Mimi Faria duo (she was sister of Joan Baez)

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
7 years ago
1,616 posts

I wouldn't call it folk/rock, but Cyndi Lauper has been playing dulcimer on stage and TV for the last few years.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
7 years ago
254 posts
Another band from around 1968 was.... A cid Symphony.. You can find there one and only album on you tube... Bob.
Pete Staehling
Pete Staehling
@pete-staehling
7 years ago
5 posts

Kenny Loggins current group Blue Sky Riders uses a dulcimer, the Rolling Stones song Lady Jane used a dulcimer, and I think Take Me to the Other Side by Aerosmith did as well.

joe sanguinette
joe sanguinette
@joe-sanguinette
7 years ago
73 posts

David Schnafer played with the Judds on some of their country/rock albums. also John Foggarty has used one

of mine on several albums in very brief lead in solo's

Rob N Lackey
Rob N Lackey
@rob-n-lackey
7 years ago
419 posts

Grahame, I can't think of a folk rock band in the US which used a dulcimer. My 1st record with a dulcimer on it was Steeleye Span's "Below the Salt." I had no idea there was a dulcimer on it nor what a dulcimer was 'til a trip to Mt View, Arkansas the next year.

Grahame Hood
Grahame Hood
@grahame-hood
7 years ago
6 posts

Of course I am forgetting Gay Woods of Irish duo Gay & Terry Woods. She played dulcimer in their duo and also on "The Woods Band" album, notably on "January Snows" . G &T were also in briefly in Dr Strangely Strange but never officially recorded with them though there is a very poor quality tape of them playing a gig in Bunjies. London, which shows that the two acts just joined repertoires.

Grahame

Linda W. Collins
Linda W. Collins
@linda-w-collins
7 years ago
25 posts

Val, I would love to hear that recording! Paul Brady on dulcimer with Mick Moloney - wow!

Linda

www.cabinhillmusic.com

MacAodha
MacAodha
@macaodha
7 years ago
31 posts

Grahame it was used sparsely down through the years by different bands and musicians. I gave examples of it's use by different musicians from the 60's to the present day some years ago. My first encounter with the dulcimer in Irish music was Paul Brady backing Mick Moloney on a 1969 LP by the Johnston's. Mick Moloney played The Kilfenora Jig on the Mandolin and Paul did the backing on Dulcimer.

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
7 years ago
254 posts
I saw my first dulcimer in Steeleye Span, although I heard Brian Jones before them, I didn't make the dulcimer connection. I played in many a late 60s early 70s bands. I brought a dulcimer to a jam in 73 and nobody cared to listen to it. Back then it was all about power and feedback, I have the damaged hearing to remind me of those days. Today I have a great appreciation for ITM. No question about it, there is room for a dulcimer in a session. You just need folk's bringing dulcimers along... Bob
Grahame Hood
Grahame Hood
@grahame-hood
7 years ago
6 posts

While there seems to have been plenty of UK folk rock bands using dulcimer occasionally in the early 70s (Fairport Convention/Steeleye Span/Strawbs/Trees/Mr Fox/Five Hand Reel etc) is anyone aware of it being used by Irish bands or US folk/rock bands? I can't think of any! Am I wrong? Why do people think this is? Why has the dulcimer never taken off in Ireland when it so obviously suits their folk music?

Grahame


updated by @grahame-hood: 06/11/15 07:42:39AM