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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Small World: Another Amazing Meeting on Tour

These kinds of things actually do happen and are amazing!

After a terrific week of shows in Memphis, I arise in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun, to catch a just-after-sunrise flight to my home airport (Denver), where I'm not going home, but catching a connecting flight to Portland, Oregon.

At my destination, as I am completing my transaction at the Thrifty rental car counter counter, a voice behind me asks:  "Is that a Hammered Dulcimer on your back?"  (the backpack straps on my Colorado Case Co. case help me tote all my instruments and gear through crowds at airports and on the ground at festivals.)

Surprised and delighted at the recognition, I turn and smile:  "Why, yes it is!"

The uniformed pilot who is standing there smiles back and says the most unusual thing:  "I play hammered dulcimer, too.  Who made yours?"

"Sam Rizzetta designed it, Nick Blanton made it."

"Rick Thum made mine," she proudly exclaims.

The red-headed clerk behind the counter is a bit agape watching this exchange as I click the plastic pen to the electronic buttons on the pad.

She goes on to say she just took a seminar from Russell Cook recently.

"You were at the Memphis Dulcimer Gathering?" I query (it just happened two weeks ago.)

Astonished, she nods yes.

"I flew in from Memphis just now," I add.

Excited with her memories of the event she goes on to tell me about what she learned and a new dulcimer friend she met, and another instructor she took a class from, Ilace Mears.

"Seriously?" I ask.  "I've been staying at Ilace's house this past week."

Her jaw drops open and she grabs her phone and says, "I have to text her and tell her I met you!"

Turns out she is Pat Trusty, a Southwest Airlines pilot, based out of the Dallas.  (I LOVE Southwest Airlines!  The bags always have and continue to fly FREE!)

She takes regular lessons (when back home in Dallas) from another friend of mine, National Champion David Moran.

"I fly planes better than I play dulcimer," she quips, "but I've only been playing a year."

"Well....I'm sure glad you're good at flying the planes,"  I grinningly respond, "that's important!"

She takes my photo to send a hello from me to David and we continue chatting.

As we are delivered to our respective cars she calls out her window:  "Drive safely!  The world needs more dulcimer players!"

Well, I sure agree with that and bid her to do the same, because she is another example our quest to bring more beauty into the world, one dulcimer player at a time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Faux Celtic Women Concert (Memphis)

Faux Celtic Women Concert 
(Photos by Lee Cagle)
Eva (Harp), Sharon (Fiddle), moi, Ilace (Hammered Dulcimer & Fiddle)

Last week's concert in Memphis at Germantown United Methodist's Church Chapel was not only a magical and fun event, it benefited the rebuilding efforts of St. James United Methodist and Peace Lutheran Churches in Joplin, Missouri, whose facilities were demolished in last spring's devastating tornado.

Instead of my description, however, I'm going to let Betty Westmoreland's review speak for itself: 

Review of The Faux Celtic Women First Annual One-Stop Faux Farewell Tour / Chapel, Germantown (TN) United Methodist Church / October 11, 2011 / by Betty Westmoreland

     It was a treat to catch the Faux Celtic Women's First Annual One-Stop Faux Farewell Tour on October 11, 2011. Donations were accepted for two churches that were destroyed in the tornado which demolished a good part of Joplin, MO. The chapel at the Germantown (TN) United Methodist Church was packed! The music was wonderful, and the audience let the musicians know it. 

The Faux Celtic Women are as follows:  Ilace Mears, Sharon Hailey, and Eva McPeters, each of whome has deep roots in Scotland and Ireland.

Eva, Sharon, Ilace
Ilace Mears explained that the difference between them and the Celtic Women of PBS and touring fame is that "the real Celtic Women sing and have swishy skirts!" 

The Faux Celtic Women delighted the audience with music on the hammered dulcimer, fiddles, and the harp. 

A Ship May Be Safe 
     The special guest for the evening was Steve Eulberg, from Ft. Collins, CO. Eulberg has participated in the Memphis Dulcimer Gathering & Folk Festival, which draws fans from far and wide to Memphis' Second Baptist Church on Walnut Grove Road. Lee Cagle is in charge of that annual late-September gathering and another similar festival in mid-winter.

Eulberg opened the evening with delightful banter and his expertise on guitar, mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, and bodhran.

His program was as follows: a ship may be saferock on rockFerret Frolic (ferrets having their way with a dulcimer case), Mt. Jackson/Just a Sliver Short of FullGirl from IpanemaShe Thinks My Dulcimer's Sexy (credits to Kenny Chesney), Sí Bheag, Sí Mohr (translation for non-Gaelic speakers: "Big Mountain, Little Mountain") Lullabye of MuffeSwallowtail JigNever Alone (from stage show "Quilters," about quilting women of the 1800's), and i miss america (good message about remembering who we are and where we came from). 

The audience clapped, tapped their toes, sang along, and perhaps even shed a few tears at times during Steve Eulberg's segment of the show. 

The Faux Celtic Women performed the following songs: Rights of Man; Carrick Fergus; Miss McLeod's Reel; Ashokan Farewell

Ilace's medley of tunes: Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, O'Keefe's Slide, and The Braes of TulliemetThe Emigrant's FarewellAsh Grove; O Danny Boy; Skye Boat Song; Willafjord; Harvest Home; and their encore was the familiar tune, The Irish Washerwoman. 

The evening was sheer entertainment in a beautiful setting for a most worthy cause.  Follow Steve Eulberg...and catch the Faux Celtic Women when, and if, you can!

For More information:  Steve Eulberg: and

Memphis/West TN Dulcimer Scene: and  

To Donate to the rebuilding efforts of St. James United Methodist Church in Joplin, click here.

To Donate to the rebuilding efforts of Peace Lutheran Church in Joplin, click here.