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Listen: David tells a story ....

... about how he joined a hot rock and roll band in the early nineties from Nashville. If you've read Pluck, you'll recognize immediately whom he is describing: the Cactus Brothers. In Pluck, fiddle player Tramp recalls his impression of David's playing at a party, and subsequently invited him to consider joining the band; Tramp felt that David was exactly what the band needed to take the band to the next level. In this clip below, David describe his impression of Tramp's playing.

Tramp and David became good buddies over the years, and as you saw in this previous post in which David plays Fisher's Hornpipe with the Cactus Brothers, (If you're wondering how the sweet sound of the dulcimer fared in a rock band, know that David's dulcimers were plugged into an amp in order to be heard. ) Tramp's fiddling was (and, still is, awesome.)

When I listen to this clip, several things jump out at me, not the least of which is David confessing to his students that he was scared at first at the idea of playing with a rock band. Think about it: at the time, David was the premier mountain dulcimer player on the planet, and yet he was not embarrassed to share the fact that he, too, was fearful about taking the dulcimer in a new direction. Think about that if you, dear reader, are hesitant to try playing an instrument for the first time. I like and appreciate people like David -- they have fear but persevere anyway.

Tramp is still going strong with his Trampcamp and is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to talk to. Watch his calendar so you can see him perform live. Watch his contemporary performances on his Youtube channel here. And if you get a hankering to learn to play the fiddle, you'll find information about his zoom classes on his Youtube channel.

Read about the tune that David heard play at the party: Blackberry Blossom. If you want to learn the tune from tab, you'll find a simple intro pdf at

Cover of Cactus Comix courtesy of the great Mack White.

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