Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Folk Festival: Dulcimer Maker Bob Worth

Dulcimer maker Bob Worth of Beckley, WV played music and displayed his handcrafted instruments in the Holt House during the WV State Folk Festival at Glenville last weekend. Bob demonstrated how to play on this beautiful dulcimer:


Some of Bob's dulcimers:


The dulcimer on the left includes some pine from the two-lane covered bridge at Philippi, West Virginia. The bridge was badly damaged about 10 years ago when an RV caught fire as it was crossing the bridge. Bob worked with the restoration team and salvaged a piece for this dulcimer. He has other instruments that also contain pieces of wood from historic places.

Bob's dulcimers are all priced at $250 and the quality of work and the sound of them is excellent.
I paid $200 for mine from another maker in 2000, so the price is certainly reasonable.

You can contact Bob at:

Bob Worth
312 Maxwell Hill Road
Beckley, WV 25801
304-228-0620

The song Bob played for us was Kilkelly, a beautiful and sad Irish ballad based on letters written home by immigrants to the United States. You can hear a version of the song here. It's being performed by Robbie O'Connell, the man who will be teaching the Irish Vocals class at Augusta Heritage Workshops at the end of July. And guess who will be there? Me!

The lyrics can be found here. Based on a true story, which makes it even sadder.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great work Bob!

Anonymous said...

Bob always does great work! He needs to come back to the Folk Festival next year!

Nance said...

Beautiful dulcimers, Bob, and beautiful song, Robbie O'Connell. My father (jack of all trades) crafted dulcimers. Made one for each of his nine children, several grandchildren and sold quite a few. Daddy wanted to be a musician . . . he tried! . . . but just really played around on the dulcimer. He didn't master that art.

smallpines.com said...

Wonderful post! I love dulcimer and zither. Now you've given me a morning's worth of stuff to do. Can't wait to hear the ballad.

Granny Sue said...

I agree, Anon. I enjoyed talking with Bob and hearing about how he crafted the dulcimers. I have some wood I'd like him to see too, to see if it might be useful for his craft. It's out of the old cabin so it might not work, but it would be so neat if he could use some of it.

Granny Sue said...

Nance, I didn't know your dad made dulcimers! Do you still have yours? I have one and mess around on it, but like your dad I cannot call myself a musician.

Granny Sue said...

I thought you'd like this, Phill. Especially the ballad; it's haunting.

Nance said...

I do, Sue, still have my dulcimer. My computer crashed last week and I lost your email address (have a computer geek trying to retrieve precious things). Please email me and I will send you a photo of my dulcimer . . . and some others, that Dad crafted. Also, I will write soon about the purchases I made due to your generosity. Bless your heart.

Granny Sue said...

Will do, Nance. I'd love to see them, and to post the photos with your permission.

Susan at Stony River said...

Wow, they're beautiful! I love the history worked into them most of all.

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