Galax-Style Dulcimer: Playing the Appalachian Dulcimer in DDD Tuning

I recently visited my mother, who lives in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and was fortunate to sit in on a Galax-style dulcimer and old-time string band jam. I was told that the dulcimers would be tuned to DDD — all the strings pitched to the same note — for this jam.Galax Dulcimer and Old-Time Fiddle Jam - IMG_9103 Continue reading

Library Book Comes Alive to the Music of the Dulcimer

Last summer our librarian dulcimer member, Bonnie, lead a very successful community out-reach program, “Teaching Children to Play the Dulcimer.” This summer she had the creative idea of reading a book to the children and adding dulcimer music to go along with the story. She selected the book, “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance,” by British author, Giles Andrease, with illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees.Bonnie and Book - IMG_9483_1

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15 Fête Years in T-shirts

What a milestone this year for the Lagniappe Dulcimer Society: This is our 15th year of hosting a highly successful dulcimer festival. It is alot of work and effort with an all-volunteer organization and staff but the festival always turns out well. It is a chance to meet new and old friends, jam, play music and listen to some good musicians.Quilt of Fete T-Shirts with Charlie LeBlan and others - IMG_7719 Continue reading

15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fete: Mardi Gras Extravaganza

Our Lagniappe Dulcimer Fete in March of 2016 featured a Mardi Gras extravaganza complete with a pageant and a Mardi Gras Krewe with king and queen. The plans for our celebration grew as the month’s went by. It turned out to be quite a production! Here’s what happened.Denise and Jim - 2 - Continue reading

Meet the Performers: Joe Collins

Our annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête in March brings dulcimer players from all over the country to teach workshops and perform in concert. It’s a good way for local members and dulcimer players to become introduced to new music, ideas and techniques. As always, I am impressed with the talented musicians that come join in our festival. I’d like to share some of what I learned.  Meet Joe Collins.Joe Collins - 1 - IMG_7870 Continue reading

15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête Highlights

Our 15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête is history. The weather was rainy, damp and humid. It didn’t dampen the spirits of the dulcimer players — the workshops and concerts, food and vendors were great. Kudo to the fête planners. Here are some of the highlights in photos.  King Millard and Queen Larie - IMG_7941We started the festival with a Mardi Gras Extravaganza and picked a new queen and king by secret ballot.

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Classic Vinyl Dulcimer Records – What a Treasure!

Several days ago, a gentleman walked into one of our local libraries and handed the librarian–a dulcimer player–a stack of 22 classic dulcimer records from the 1970’s. All were in stellar condition. The man had seen an article in our local newspaper about a dulcimer class at the library and decided to donate his entire collection of records to our dulcimer club. As we looked through the record jackets, what a treasure this was!Record Player and Ralph Lee Smith - IMG_7362

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Paul Andry’s Mardi Gras Music for the Dulcimer

Mardi Gras comes early this year–February 9, 2016. This is carnival time in south Louisiana — parades, pageantry, costumes, balls, parties, king cakes. We play many of the traditional Mardi Gras songs on the dulcimer and I credit the tablature for the music to Paul Andry of Mandeville, Louisiana.
Paul Andry - IMG_2465_1 - 2015 Continue reading

Joe Besse is Jamin’ at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park

Longtime Lagniappe club dulcimer member, Joe Besse, is our “Cajun Dulcimer Ambassador.” He lives in Scott, Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun country of southwest Louisiana and grew up listening to Cajun music. If fact as a child he lived down the street from a corner bar, the OST Club. He heard Happy Fats play guitar and upright bass and listened to the strains of Cajun fiddlers and musicians play long into the night.Joe Besse Playing Dulcimer - photo (2)Here is Joe with his dulcimer sitting on a sculpture of a Cajun triangle, a musical instrument often used in Cajun music for rhythm, at the Lafayette Visitors Center on Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette, Louisiana. Continue reading

Greensleeves on the Dulcimer: Carols for All Seasons

I look forward to the holiday season each December, especially the music. Christmas carols have been a part of my holiday tradition for as long as I can remember. Carols are melodic and joyful–even the sad ones–and it is difficult to pick a favorite carol. One is “What Child is This?” which is set to the melody of Greensleeves, an old English carol. This minor song sounds beautiful when played on the mountain dulcimer.Carol and Candles and Nutcrackers - IMG_6498 Continue reading