Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings

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Article Published: Jun. 28, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 1, 2012
Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings

Ken and Brad Kolodner will perform Saturday, June 30, at Mountain Home Music.

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For more than 200 years, the dulcimer has been central to the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
One variety of dulcimer, the hammer dulcimer, will be featured this week on Mountain Home Music’s presentation of “Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings.”

The concert will feature Ken and Brad Kolodner and take place Saturday, June 30, at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium in downtown Blowing Rock. Starting time is 8 p.m.

“The hammer dulcimer is a forerunner to the piano, and, depending on the builder, it may have 40 to 60 strings or more,” said Joe Shannon, founder and host of Mountain Home Music and a hammer dulcimer player. “I think for most hammer dulcimer players, Celtic harp tunes are played and requested more than any other type of music. For me, this translates into a lot of music for weddings and church services.”

For “Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings,” this translates into an evening of Celtic based traditional Appalachian music.

In addition to playing hammer dulcimer, Ken Kolodner is a fiddler, and Brad Kolodner, also a fiddler, plays old-time banjo and guitar.

Elderly Instruments cited Ken Kolodner as “…one of today’s most accomplished, musical hammer dulcimer artists … A hammer dulcimer player of great taste and sophistication.”

And The New York Times called his music “…outstanding…soulfully beautiful.”

Also appearing will be Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney. Baldwin is a former Watauga County teacher, and Haney is a former professor in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University.

In a review about their latest album, “Where We Belong,” Dirty Linen Magazine said, “Lisa Baldwin is a songwriter whose sweet, downhome voice is a perfect match for her songs about family and growing up in the rural south. Backed by Dave Haney… her unadorned songs have a convincing simplicity about them.”

Tickets for “Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings” are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Student tickets are $10, and children’s tickets cost $5.

Tickets may be purchased at the Mast Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Fred’s Mercantile on Beech Mountain, Kudzu Music (formerly Rydell’s) in Boone and at Pandora’s Mailbox and the Dulcimer Shop, both in the Martin House on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock.

Tickets may also be purchased online though the Mountain Home Music website, For more information, visit the website or call (828) 964-3392.

The purpose of Mountain Home Music is to honor the music and the musicians of the Appalachian region.

Mountain Home Music is affiliated with the Blue Ridge Music Trails, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council.

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