The Dulcimer guy

Official website of Matthew Dickerson 2012 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion.

Matthew Dickerson is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and National Champion on the hammered dulcimer.  His record and performances offer a delightful compilation of crowd favorites ranging from traditional, to classical, to 100% original.

Summer Adventures....

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Right after Matthew arrived home from Kentucky Music Week, this beautiful field down the road from our house was busting out with sunflowers. What better place to take a music video!?! So for the next four days, he went out there and shot footage and recorded his latest music video, Ashoken Farewell.

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Before heading out on our next road trip/festival, I ordered a leather hide to experiment on making dulcimer dusters. I've been working on this project for almost 3 years now, trying different materials for the fabric and inner spine, as well as different sizes. We finally have a finished product that we are ready to put on the market. Matthew took this picture for our website store!

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After being home for a little over 2 weeks, we hit the road (all together this time), and made our way to Evart, Michigan for the annual ODPC Funfest. This is the largest Hammer Dulcimer event in the world! Matthew taught 6 workshops during the days and then had a performance slot on Saturday night to a packed out crowd. 

We were camping once again, this time with two little boys, so most of my time was spent keeping them busy or staying at the tent for nap time. But I always enjoy meeting the folks there and listening in on Matthew's classes and performance. The boys love music, so that is in my favor since everywhere you turn someone is playing something! It helps keep them entertained. 

Matthew set up as a vendor for the first time this year. He did well selling his second album as well as other products. A big thanks to all who support the vendors by buying products at these events!

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After spending 4 1/2 days in Evart, we packed up and headed down to Dayton, OH where Matthew's family is. We spent the next week there, introducing everyone to Levi and spending time with loved ones.

On Saturday, Matthew held a free concert on his brother's lawn for family and friends. Some folks even showed up from the local dulcimer clubs. It was a beautiful day and the concert turned out really well. Lots of people who he hasn't seen in years showed up and wished him well in his musical endeavors. It was nice catching up with them all (for me, it was nice to finally put a face with a name!). Several friends brought snacks and lemonade to share, which was really sweet of them.

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We've been home for the month of August, which has been nice, but we are hitting the road again in September and October, so I'm sure we'll be meeting up with some of you. Happy trails to you!

Kentucky Music Week 2018

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Matthew was asked to teach at Kentucky Music Week (KMW) this year. This is a week long event of daily workshops that build upon each other.  So every day he had four classes to teach, plus jams and extra mini workshops. This was also our first event to set up as vendors, so he spent part of his time manning the booth as well. 

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The week started out with an instructor's meeting and then a get-to-know-you dinner followed by a jam. As a matter fact, every night ended in a jam, or multiple jams, being held throughout the area. Not to mention the middle of the day jams. Needless to say, KMW has a lot of jams.

Tuesday and Thursday night were concert nights. The performers each had a 7-10 minute performance time. Matthew performed on Tuesday night. (Unfortunately, I was unable to go with him to this event, so he called me every night to tell me how the day went. This was the longest time we had been apart since getting married three years ago. Prior to this, we had only spent one night apart.

Come on, say it............"awe"..........

There. That makes me feel better!)

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Each day of Kentucky Music Week has a different theme. Space day, Mardi Gras day, 60's day, etc. Everyone is encouraged to dress up for the occasion, so Matthew was a good sport and donned a new outfit every day to fit with the theme.

A large amount of Matthew's time prior to KMW was spent getting his workshops prepared and creating daily sheet music for each of the classes to learn the concepts from. He had a really good turnout of students, which was nice since this was his first year teaching.

Matthew's classes...

The Intermediate Class

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The Advanced Class

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The Beginner/Intermediate Class

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The Beginner Class

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Here is the picture of the attendees and teachers at KMW. That's a lot of folks! Thanks to everyone who attended and a big shout out to all the people behind the scenes to help make KMW what it is!

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June Recap

This summer has been flying by! Matthew has been on the road a lot since finishing his CD, some of which we have been able to go with him on. Over the next few posts, I'll try to do a little update with some of the happenings from this summer....

Below is a picture of a banner he made for his display table for events. We practiced with the setup in the garage to see how to best display his items. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the "Dulcimer Guy & Gal" shirts are hanging from mic stands! Ha! I guess if you are a traveling musician you use the things that are readily available!

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After finishing the CD, Matthew had about a week before he had to be up at Kentucky Music Week. In the meantime worked on this HUGE swing-set for the the boys and I. They love it and it's been a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Matthew and his boys enjoying some snuggle time....

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He also had the opportunity to perform for a wedding up in the mountains, so we all went along for the ride and enjoyed the whole day walking trails, driving through the mountains, eating lunch in the car while it rained, ;-) before heading up to Pretty Place for the wedding.

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In this picture, you can see just why it's called Pretty Place! It's an open air chapel up in the mountains overlooking the valley. Absolutely gorgeous. From what I hear, the waiting list to book this place is about two years! (The official name is the Fred. W. Symmes Chapel.) You can find more information here:

https://campgreenville.org/pretty-place/

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Stay tuned for the Kentucky Music Week post!

Fellow Musicians

With Matthew's every working hour going into finishing up this second album, things are wrapping up quickly! It won't be too much longer now!

He has invited a few other musicians over to help lend their talent to the CD. Below is our good friend and fellow guitarist, Matt Watson. Matt came over a few weeks ago and laid down some fine finger-picking tracks. He jokingly goes by "Matt the Magnificent" and when you hear how fast his fingers move along those strings, I think you'd have to agree! 

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A little musician fun!

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Twice now, we've had Mr. Dave Holder come out to the studio to record his talented skills with the bass. He's a super nice guy with both talent and creativity. The songs are sounding great! I can't wait to share them with you.

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Hopefully I'll be getting this cd finished up shortly. Keep you're eyes open and you should be hearing an update from me soon! Until then...

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A New Opportunity

I've recently begun teaching lessons for Dulcimer Crossing. They have several other great musicians on there, about a handful of them being hammered dulcimer players, so it's a privilege to join their teachers.  Check out DulcimerCrossing.com to join a start receiving my lessons, as well as several other instructors!

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Baby Levi!

Time flies when you're having fun, and it apparently flies when you have a new baby as well! I had no idea I hadn't posted since St. Patrick's Day!

Well, drum roll please.....our newest little Dickerson has made his appearance! 

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Levi Matthew Dickerson

was born on March 24th, 2018 at 11:20 am. He weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20 1/2 inches long. He is loved by all, including his big brother, Ben!

 

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A Concert, 3 Workshops & Family Time, Oh My!

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We just arrived home from spending nearly 2 weeks up in the Dayton, Ohio area.  Matthew was invited by the Mountain Dulcimer Society of Dayton to perform a concert on Friday, with 3 workshops being held on the following day.  Due to bad weather, the concert and workshops had to be postponed to the following weekend, which turned out okay for us, because Matthew is originally from the Dayton area.  We were able to spend the week visiting with family and friends and making it a more relaxing trip than we had originally planned...

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Matthew was able to help his brothers with snow removal on two separate nights due to weather.  Then 6 of the older brothers were able to make a day of it and go skiing together.  They really enjoyed that, although some of them came back pretty sore and banged up.  We spent one day at the Columbus Zoo, which is a really cool zoo, just not when it's cold and rainy. -smile-  Thankfully we brought our computers, so we were able to get some business work done while we were away for so long.  Ben enjoyed seeing his cousins again and it was just nice to catch up with family.

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When the weekend rolled around, Matthew was all ready for his concert.  The concert was held at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center in the ballroom.  Before the concert even began, there was standing room only, and the receptionist had to turn people away because there just wasn't any more room.

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Matthew and "Mac", the iPad guitarist

This was the first concert that Matthew performed where he was the only entertainment (or the headliner).  He did GREAT!  He chose songs that were entertaining and fun, songs that captured and held everyone's attention.  He also kept everyone laughing at his silly one-liners along with his introduction of his new guitar player, Mac, his iPad.  He had prerecorded guitar tracks onto Mac, and then played his dulcimer against them during the concert.  I think everyone really enjoyed themselves and even gave him a standing ovation with shouts for an encore!  I was so proud of him.  Matthew received several glowing reports and compliments on both his concert and his workshops the next day. 

The following review was sent in from Stephen Haines, an attendee at Friday’s concert:


"Matt's concert on January 19 was an eye opener!! I never knew the instrument was capable of such dynamic range."

For one of the songs, Matthew pulled out his guitar to sing and play "As I Skip Along".  He invited some friends of ours, the Craig family, up on stage to sing with him, since they have a recording of his song on their album too.  The girls did a lovely job of accompanying and harmonizing with Matthew.  We appreciate them stepping in to help! 

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 Ben fell asleep listening to us talk during lunch break.

Ben fell asleep listening to us talk during lunch break.

Saturday's workshops started at 9:00 in the morning with a past beginner class.  The second workshop was held after lunch for intermediate players, and he finished off the evening at 5:00 with an advanced class.  The attendees were very attentive and Matthew enjoyed teaching each one.  After the day was over, our hosts from the Mountain Dulcimer Society of Dayton graciously treated us to dinner at a delicious, local restaurant.  We were so blessed to be able to be a part of their winter concert/workshops and glean advice from these experienced event planners.

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Our trip was wonderful, despite the rough weather, and we all had a good time during our Dayton tour.  Until next time....

 

New Year, New Changes

At Christmas, I mentioned some new changes that were taking place!  Drum roll, please!.......Matthew has decided to pursue music full time!  I have encouraged him to go full time music since we were courting, and after much prayer about His timing and after several other events lined up, the time finally came for him to make the jump!  For the past few months he has been working toward that end and we are hoping for him to be able to complete the transition by March of this year!  He has been working hard in the studio, updating social media, opening a Patreon page, transcribing his sheet music, creating music videos, updating his website store, creating products, equipping his studio with some much needed equipment, and so much more!  We are so thankful for this opportunity that the Lord has put in front of us!  May He continue to work through Matthew and his music and bless this new endeavor.  (If you can't tell, I'm super excited about this!)

 

Merry Christmas!

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We just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  This past year has been amazing, full of new joys and surprises, along with some changes.  The Lord has blessed us immensely and we are beyond grateful to see what He has done and what He has in store!  

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

CHRISTMAS SALE!

If you've been wanting to order a CD, now's your chance!  Matthew is offering his When I'm Happy & I Know It cd for 20% OFF!  You can find the CD under the albums link and use discount code: CHRISTMAS20 at checkout.  But you've got to hurry!  This sale ends on December 18th at 11:59 pm.  Get it in time for Christmas!

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Recap of the Summer

Hello everyone!  I was looking back and couldn't believe that my last post was from February!  Talk about falling off the face of the earth, huh?  So much has happened this past summer so I thought I'd do a quick recap....

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In June, Matthew decided it was time to check out Willie's Pickin' Parlor here in Columbia, SC.  We've been told about it since he moved down here and everyone said he'd love it, which we did!  Willie arranged a time slot for him to play and the crowd loved him!  Willie is a wealth of information, having been in the music business for decades, so he was a wonderful local source to get in contact with.  If you're ever in the area looking for a fun evening filled with good music, you've got to check out Willie's Pickin' Parlor.

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July found us in Evart, MI for the annual ODPC Evart Funfest!  We again camped on the grounds, this time with our little fella, who although had a cold, slept right through the nightly jams!  Matthew was able to teach several workshops and enjoyed talking and interacting with his attendees.  He also had a Saturday evening performance where he kept the audience captivated with his music (as well as laughing at his Kermit the Frog impression while singing and playing "The Rainbow Connection")!

Ben loves music (following in his Daddy's footsteps) and enjoyed listening to the daytime jams.  One of the vendors took a liking to him and gave him with a beautiful, handmade pillow which he proudly carried around with him the rest of the day!  What a sweet gift from a new friend!

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Matthew jamming out a tune with the Squirrel's Nest!  We all thoroughly enjoy their liveliness!

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And....the best part of the summer......

At the beginning of August we found out some exciting news!  Ben is gonna be a Big Brother!  We are expecting again, due around March 22nd!  We couldn't be more excited and thrilled at this new little life the Lord has given us!  Ben is a wonderful little fella and I'm sure he'll make a great big brother.

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Our local Columbia farmer's market, Soda City Market, has been booming, so since the beginning of September Matthew has been back at playing on the street.  It always amazes us at the crowd it attracts.  Even those who wouldn't normally be interested in the particular genre, stop by to listen and comment just because it's such a different and unique instrument.

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Matthew teaching Ben his "trade"!  Like I said earlier, Ben loves music and his daddy and I couldn't be more thrilled!  My parents are even getting him his own toy xylophone for his birthday so he can hammer like daddy!  

 

To finish off our summer, Matthew just bought himself a cajon drum as well as hi hat symbols to add to his musical instruments.  He's been having fun trying to play guitar while using both new instruments through pedals, and I've been having fun listening to him!  It's a little like patting your head while rubbing your tummy; it works all sides of your brain at the same time, but I have no doubt that he will get it in no time flat!  

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Well, that was a quick, little recap of our summer.  What has your summer looked like?

The Prime Timer's Valentine Banquet

Matthew put on a Valentine Dinner performance this past Friday night.  It was called the  Prime Timer' Valentine Banquet and it was held at the Midland Valley Community Church of the Nazarene.  He played some beautiful pieces for them while they finished up their dinner, and explained what a hammered dulcimer is.  Some of them had never heard one before.  They were a fun bunch to perform for, asking Matthew questions along the way.

We enjoyed talking with everyone afterwards as they continued to ask some more questions about the dulcimer and how Matthew got started.  Our little fella, Ben, was a huge hit with them all, as he smiled at them while they talked to him.  (He enjoyed listening to Daddy's music too, and bounced up and down on my lap while Matthew played!) Fun Valentine memories!

Kids Presentation

Last night, Matthew put on a "mini" performance for the kids group at a local church.  Before he unpacked his dulcimer from its case, he asked if any of the kids knew what was in there.  He got a lot of "unique" answers: a piano, a harp, a table, etc!  He pulled it out and explained what it was, and as he started to play it, it was neat to see the amazement in the kid's eyes! 

I enjoyed listening along with the kids as he played songs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "Do-Re-Mi" .  You could feel the enthusiasm in the room as everyone performed the moves to the song "Father Abraham"!  Eventually, Matthew wound down the evening with a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace".  It's nice to see that the younger generation can enjoy fun music on such a beautiful instrument.  As we packed up to leave, he got a lot of requests by the kids for selfie pictures, which tickled our funny bones.  It was a fun evening, well spent!

(Sorry for the blurry photos!  I took them while rocking Benjamin back and forth!)

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