Updated: Feb 27, 2022
Still not sure who David Schnaufer was, or what he did that was so amazing? Alright, first return to this and this post about Jean Ritchie. She was beloved and wonderful, too; in many ways she was the root of the tree of modern dulcimer players to come. A lifetime of accomplishments included being the first dulcimer player to make her way into the public's consciousness at the national and then international level. With Jean, her singing often was the main attraction while her dulcimer was her backup instrument.
During the fifties and sixties, there were young players whom Jean Ritchie directly influenced who became influential in their own right. You'll learn a little about one in particular--Richard Fariña-- in Pluck.
But it was David's move to Nashville that brought the dulcimer to the world in a big way. Watch this music video of The Cactus Brothers. The first note you'll hear is David on the dulcimer; he's the first guy you'll sitting up in the barn loft. Take my word for it: before David arrived on Music Row, no one in the Nashville music business ever had heard a dulcimer played like this. David and fiddler Tramp practically jump out of this country-rockin' video; it's as fresh today as it was back in 1991 when the video was shot. This is a hoe-down we could all get behind!
There will be more blog posts about the Cactus Brothers in the future, but I have a lot more to share before we get to that point in the story. Oh, and by the way, the Cactus Brothers are still performing and so is Tramp. Learn more about Tramp at his website trampcamp.net; see his profiles on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Tidal and allmusic.com. Search for The Cactus Brothers on Facebook.