Beautiful Dreamer

While sorting through stacks and stacks of dulcimer tablature that I have accumulated over the years, I ran across a partially finished version of Stephen Foster’s “Beautiful Dreamer.” This is one of my favorite Stephen Foster’s songs. It is very melodic, beautiful. And I see why I never completed the tablature — it is difficult to play on the mountain dulcimer.
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Best Ever Dulcimer Fête

Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I was this year’s co-chairman, but I thought that this was one of our best mountain dulcimer festivals ever. Lots of great music, workshops, concerts, food, vendors and companionship. Here are some of the  highlights. We get started on Thursday with our “Yankee doodle Jam.”

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Yankee Doodle Dulcimer: Lagniappe Dulcimer Fête 2017

Welcome to our music festival. “Yankee Doodle Dulcimer” is the theme of our 2017 Lagniappe Fete. Yankee Doodle comes to the bayous and swamps of Louisiana in a pirogue pulled by an alligator playing the drums, fife and dulcimer!. We will have a good time! A grand time. The planning is underway and our performers are selected.table-basket-2-img_1351_1 Continue reading

More Galax-Style Dulcimers; Primer on Changing Strings

After attending the Galax-style old-time string band jam in Virginia in May, I became intrigued with this type of dulcimer and decided to learn more about them. Could I tune one of my own dulcimers to DDDD above middle C to get the same sound? It meant changing strings–several times. Here’s how it turned out.Measuring Length from Bridge End - _0531

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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.
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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