Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

I am in the process of trying to organise a Hammer Dulcimer Festival for the 1st weekend in July next year. I hope to hold it on the North Coast of Co. Antrim. Ireland’s most famous H D player, John Rae was a Co. Antrim man & this Festival would be a tribute to him & would hopefully fill the gap left by the demise of Christie Burns excellent Cork events.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who is interested in this fest, especially if they play Scottish Music on their HD.
Cheers

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hi, Dick,
How are things with ye in the wilds of Co.Antrim? I’m just off to Copenhagen tomorrow with the Mrs.[ did you hear the news?]. We’re going over to the Copenhagen Irish Festival to see Mich. A birthday present for a somewhat significant birthday!
As far as your dulcimer event is concerned, I’m sure Jean Graham would be interested, although I haven’t heard from her for a while. I’ll pass on her address to you. There’s also the guy who used to play with “Setanta” in Glasgow. I think his name was Jack Bethel. I’ll make some enquiries next week. Desi and the boys are in Glasgow, and we’re going down for the “craic”.
Keep in touch, ye hoor, ye ! Best wishes to Sabena & Kevin.
By the way, are you really intending going “head-to-head” with The “Willie Week”?

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Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

I was thinking of Jean as well, Kenny. We all play together at sessions in France. I’d never heard a hammered dulcimer at a session before, and Jean makes a really good job of it.
I don’t know if she plays any Scottish music but I’m sure she’d be interested in Dick’s festival. I have an e-mail address for her if you, or Dick, need one.
Mike

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

I play Irish tunes on hammer dulcimer here in Annapolis, MD. Hope you all have more than dulcimers on the agenda. ::smile::

I’ve played in the Irish pub scene in this area for years. The dulcimer goes over well for a couple of tunes a set. People love it as a changeup. ITRAD session people however don’t like the dulcimer at all. They don’t see it as “irish” at all. Maybe because it gets too much attention, like “Wow, that’s cool, what’s that instrument?”


If you’re looking for Americans, there’s a fellow in Baltimore, MD, Ken Kolodner (sp?) and two women the Washington, DC area, Maggie Sansone and Karen Ashbrook, who are pros. They promote themselves as playing “celtic” music and would easily become “scotish” for a festival.

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hi, I’ve been playing Irish tunes for years on hammer dulcimer, not a lot of scotish demand in the Washington, DC area, which has a strong Irish pub scene.

The only scotish pub around here is the Royal Mile in Wheaton, MD. No scotish music there, but they do specialize in expensive scotch.

There is a fellow from Baltimore, Ken Kolodner (sp?) and two women from DC, Maggie Sansone and Karen Ashbrooke. All three are pros. They market themselves as “celtic” not scotish or irish per se.

I’ve played in Irish bars for years and find that the crowd loves a tune or two on dulcimer, not the whole night. ITRAD sessions here do not welcome the dulcimer at all. It’s just not “irish” to them, so I play fiddle at sessions.

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hi Kenny,
Fit like?
Wilds of Co. Antrim indeed - is there a colder wind in all the world, than the one that hits Aberdeen promenade, Summer & Winter!!!Copenhagen Irish Festival eh? What a name dropper you jet-setter you!! Say hello to Mich from me, when you see him.
Please do pass the info on to Jean Graham & by all means pass on my e-mail address to her.
As for Jack Bethel, of Setanta. Yes, I met him at the First Cork Dulcimer Festival, 3 years ago, & am in close contact with him on this project as I propose to encorporate a stong Scottish element in the Festival & am relying on Jack & his Dulcimer playing friends to weigh in.
As for Kevin, he is still at Uni in Edinburgh & gigs weekly on his 6 string electric Bass, win the band ‘Chaos Theory’.
As for a head on clash with ‘WILLIE’ it’s looking more like the 2nd weekend in September, but it’s still early days yet.
OK So you were playing with Dessie last week. Well I play weekly with Dee Havlin on Thursday nights & Ciaran Kelly on Friday nights but on Wednesday nights I just play with myself!!
So now we’re even on the name-dropping!!

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hello Murfbox.
Thanks for the reply.
I would indeed be very interested in getting in touch with Jean & at least keeping her in touch with the festival’s progress.
You might be interested to know that the festival dates are not yet set in stone & in fact are increasingly looking more like being the 2nd weekend in September.
Incidently, if you find your way up as far as the North Coast next time, ( I know, it’s a long way from Clare to here!!! ) but give me a call. I play Concertina too, & like you, more like Mary than Noel, but I certainly don’t consider that to be a bad thing. The wonderful thing about the concertina is that it has a wonderful charm & magic all of it’s own, even when it’s playing tunes slowly & simply.
Well, that’s my excuse anyway!!

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hello Rayzore,
Thanks for the hello from Washington DC. I don’t suppose you guys would like the idea of a Festival next to the BUSH river - no doubt you would prefer that I held it in KERRY?!?!
( - thanks to Rick Davis for that little gem!!)
At least, when I give Rick the credit, I absolve myself of any blame from all those Bush fans out there - come on now, there must be a few!!!
It’s a real shame folk don’t have more time for the Dulcimer in Irish Sessions.
It’s just down to ignorance & our old friend, the purist.
Have thay all forgotten that the Dulcimer has been played for entertainment in Ireland, at least in Dublin, since 1738, which is not long after the first real Violin reached these shores, & before the 1st German Flute.
It’s also about a hundred years before Button Accordions & Concertinas were even invented!!
Has everyone forgotton too that Banjos & Guitars only came over here in around the 1920s & that yolks like Mandolins, Bouzoukis, Mandolas etc were only drifting into the session scene around the late 60s.
As for the mighty Bodhran, it only appeared as a session instrument in the 50s - yes, that Titanic Movie & Hollywood got it all wrong, once again!!
So come on folks, the Dulcimer has been around in Ireland for a long, long time & I for one intend to make sure that it sticks around for a while longer.
Just so that you know, the emphasis of this new Dulcimer festival will be tending to move away from the transatlantic connection & concentrating more, at least in it’s first years, and concentrate more on developing a strong Scottish / Ulster connection, to help develop a stronger interest in both areas.

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Agree with everything you say about the concertina, Ptarmigan.
If I hire a car, I might be able to make it up north next summer. I’ve got relatives in Kilkeel which, although some distance from you, is still “up north” !
I’ll send you Jean’s e-mail address off list.

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

The hammered dulcimer is alive and well founded here in West Virginia. One of our annual festivals is to honor a hammered dulcimer teacher. I routinely play with a hammered dulcimer player and yes, we do play Scottish tunes as well as Irish. I can’t say that the dulcimer would be the central instrument in any of our sessions, but that is less because of the player than the instrument. I can think of one local dulcimer player who could dominate a session of just Scots and Irish tunes. He has even published a CD. I was in a band in the nineties and the hammered dulcimer player was superb. It was our loss when she moved away to raise her son.
Our repertoire was wide enough to play for several hour without repitition. And we were well received by those interested in the music of the British Isles, including Irish-Scots-Welsh. WB

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Hi Ptarmigan,
Good luck with the dulcimer festival. I like the anti-transatlantic theme. Good for you.

Sure, I’ll play in or near Kerry. Please don’t give Bush and his Republican Guard any ideas about renaming the Potomac River. ::smile:: Next thing you know they’ll be teaching kids in school here that the Alamo fiasco is part of American history.

Saddly the DC Irish session scene doesn’t appreciate the dulcimer. I can never get a good answer from purists about why they fear the dulcimer so much.

Do you know of any recordings by HD players? Perhaps you’ll market a CD to highlight your festival? I’d grab a copy.

Re: Anyone out there specialise in playing Scottish Music on their Hammer Dulcimer?

Just posted three sets of tunes, including one Scottish set, on my Dalriada MySpace:

http://www.myspace.com/northantrim

Cheers
Ptarmigan