Ahhh!!! This is my version of a Swedish Humel.
I saw Mark Nelson's on his album cover and was really inspired!!
Hall saw a photo of it and ordered one for himself. I
inlayed his name in the peghead to make it really impressive!
When I delivered it to him (at a Farm Aid Concert ) he walked
into the room naked!! Hmmm.... To cut the tension I felt, I said
to him humorously," I was going to inlay Daryl Oats
on the peghead." He replied that THAT joke would not have
lasted long. Ooops!!! My attempt at easing the tension failed.
This one still hangs on my wall. I used this and another dulcimer
to add texture to the acoustic albums A
VIEW FROM THE PLAIN and THIS
CHRISTMAS. I was very pleased with the blend and
drone it provided.
This is a 5 string Bluegrass Banjo I made in the early 80s.
Entire instrument made of a walnut ( with rock maple rim ). The
neck has beautiful Walnut/Maple laminations running through the
center for added strength. It has a five star Stewart macDonald
flathead bell bronze tone ring and all the metal appointments
have been engraved. I have no idea where it is now. I made one
for myself exactly like this one and used it on both WONDERDANCING
ON GLOBAL BOP (A Jazz Bluegrass tune The
Great Prairie Backstep.),as well as A
VIEW FROM THE PLAIN (A meditative tune called At
Prairies Edge. Banjo and meditation go together like
Martha Stewart and Mother Teresa, BUT, it seemed to work.)
This Dulcimer was designed in the 70s. A real modern design
and robust tone and volume. The body was constructed of Rosewood
with a cedar top. I made these in a six string confinguation as
well. I had a dulcimer similar to this one that I built in 1976
come back to me in about 5 pieces. The owner sat on it. I put
it back together w/ great success, but the owner didn't pick it
up. So, I used it on A
View From The Plain and This
An exotic dulcimer. The body is constructed of walnut with
a spruce top. Dove and peace sound holes. This is one of my favorite
instruments. I just love the lines and was very fortunate to find
a piece of spruce that has a very interesting flame pattern (Note
waves on the top.). This is another one I wish I had back. Dick
Applegate, a very rotund and well respected banjo player bought
this for his wife many years ago. Dick was known for very naughty
jokes. He just couldn't help himself. I wonder if she has divorced
This dulcimer was made of African Zebrawood and the top is
wormy chestnut. I really love the combination of design simplicity
and exotic wood. The contrast is striking to me. I would love
to find the person I sold it to. I'd love to see it again.
I made a Dulcimer similar to this out of curley Oak. When our
town knocked down the 125 year old Jefferson Hotel to make way
for the civic center I found enough wood to build it and an electric
guitar. I donated the Dulcimer to the Local PBS station for their
Carpenter has one much like this made from Cherry
- a vastly underrated wood for instruments.
This is one of my Koa Wood Basses. The 5 piece curley maple
neck runs through the body for added sustain. The fretboard is
ebony with fancy Mother of Pearl inlays. On a number of my instruments
I also included a piezo pick-up run through a parametric EQ to
get that upright sound. The circutry was designed by Jim Williams
electronics in Los Angeles ( Jim is now semi-retired as am I.
I met him from an article he wrote in GUITAR PLAYER Magazine many
years ago. He mostly designs fancy circutry and other brainy electronic
things for recording studios . ). This instrument went to Paul
Morin when he was with THE
This in one of my acoustic guitars. The body is mahogany and
the top sitka spruce. The neck was also mahogany with an adjustable
truss rod and an ebony fretboard. The pickguard was made of burl
maple that had been stained to a dark walnut. MY guitars always
sounded harpy. They had the volume of the Martin but not the note
to note specificity. I took a bit of a gamble and made my tops
a bit thinner and thats probably how the harpy sound was achieved.
Braces were traditional and scalloped. I used this on just about
all of my albums.
This Koa Wood Bass is of a more modern design. Same configuration
as the other Koa Bass. This instrument uses Bartolini pick-ups.
It is still on my wall at the home studio.
This is a Psaltry made from Walnut with a simple Mother of Pearl
and Abalone flower vine inlaid on the top. They are played and
tuned diatonically (Do re - mi ...), usually in the key of D or
C. Years ago when I met Lyle Mays and Pat
Metheny, I was fascinated to hear that Lyle has a keen
interest in These little instruments. He and Pat are two of my
This is the newest addition. I don't make many instruments these
days, but I did recently finish this Electric Dulcimer.
It replaces a walnut hourglass body instrument I built many years
ago. This one is also Walnut with Ebony fret board and peghead
overlay. It is a 6 stringed instrument with nicely sealed geared
tuners. The pick up is a Bartolini (I scavenged it from the previous
instrument.). I have the string holder behind the bridge lengthened
back a bit so I can reach back, grab a string, and bend it getting
1/2 and 1/4 steps I can't normally get with the Dulcimers diatonic
fret board. I wish everyone had a fast computer connection so
I could add finer res to these photos but this page is getting
heavy at this point.