I'm from West Virginia. I first saw a dulcimer when home for the summer from college in 1992. My pastor had it. I instantly fell in love with it and even wanted to make one. But it wasn't until years later, 2005, while on my deployment in Kuwait that I took the opportunity to make my first dulcimer. I had a wood shop available to me during my off duty hours, so I bought plans and made my first instrument out of mahogany. When I returned home I designed my own mountain dulcimer and made a few. Then I worked on a new design, something I could stand up with. The idea came from the strum stick, however I wanted to retain the idea that it was a dulcimer. I made a solid body electric and an acoustic version.
I started out singing Irish and Scottish folk songs, but recently have been focussing a lot on old timey and gospel stuff. Even though I an standing I don't veer too far from the traditional way of playing the dulcimer.