Wartz'n'All II 3-23-2013

Rob N Lackey
03/25/13 06:00:04AM

It was a most enjoyable day in Clarksburg, WV, for dulcimer players at the Wartz'n'All Spring Fling Dulcimer Gathering. We had a great location at the Main Street Cafe and Gallery. Surrounded by the works of local artists we had a creative time playing, jamming, learning and listening.

Jerry Rockwell came down to be with us as special guest and workshop presenter. He's one of those folks who, despite that they are musically educated, is so down to earth and willing to share his knowledge with anyone. This willingness to share is a hallmark of the dulcimer community as I've experienced it in the last 2 years. Those who are "the best" or "the greats" aren't threatened by other players. Not so in the world of other instruments. Jerry shared his music freely with cogent explanations. He wasn't so structured as to avoid or ignore questions from the participants. Indeed, we could have "overtime" more than what we did.

I'll let the builders comment on their conversations with him as a builder. After his concert I got to play an all walnut of his (I think) NC Hourglass pattern. The intonation was right on and the action was great.

His concert at the end of the evening was magnificent: traditional, celtic, original. All kinds of tunes sprung forth from his instruments played with the grace and precision of a master. Oh yes, and the thing which (IMHO) separates the master from the technically precise: soul. Yes, that indefinable quality which the Spanish call Duende was there in every note that flowed from his dulcimers.

Jerry & Mary are an asset to any gathering you might have.

So much for the review. We'll be having a jam in the fall. Come on out! It's at one of the most beautiful places in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia: Cooper's Rock. Don't try to say, "I can't 'jam;' I'm just a beginner;" that won't work with us. We'll slow it down, play the tunes you know, teach you new tunes.... whatever it takes to get you involved and playing. I've got new ideas floating around in my head that I hope will be coming out really soon. Just being around the creativity which was in that room Saturday has fired me up. I hope every one of y'all get fired up musically sometime this year. If you're a builder that may mean a new design or feature to your instruments. If you're a player... well... that may mean new techniques or new tunes; either are just great.

Have a great day and hope to see you at an event really soon!