Folkcraft Player - Greg Rohall
I’ve always played some type of instrument. Dating back to my high school days, when I played clarinet, and bass clarinet, in the concert and marching bands. And more recently, when I’ve played the recorder and then the harmonica, my instruments of choice for many years have been woodwinds.
I’m a visual artist by profession, and have been since the 1980’s. I paint detailed, realistic oil paintings of Roadside Americana such as old-time diners, vintage motels, and the classic "Main Streets" of towns both large and small. This has been a fun and rewarding endeavor on many levels and, among other perks, has let me meet lots of cool and like-minded people who share my passion for the traditional visual arts.
But… but… and but… after a 12-hour day holding a brush and in all that time painting… for example… a mere several of the salt and pepper shakers (each approximately 1/8 inch tall - as seen in the painting on the easel behind me) I’m ready for something different... something creative, relaxing, and decidedly not of a visual nature: thus, the music in my world.
Let’s fast forward to the fairly recent past and a major musical turn when, in a complete 180 degree shift, I acquired a hammered dulcimer. (This was not one of the early Folkcraft models, by the way.)
A great idea? Well, yes and no. Initially, all went well and I quickly became proficient on this new, and distinctly non-woodwind, instrument. But my opinion shifted soon thereafter when it became apparent that keeping five full octaves of doubled strings happy and tuned was practically a full-time endeavor. And the strings (wouldn’t you know it!?!) had a nasty habit of snapping simply…and apparently…for the fun-loving joy of doing so! Of course, these strings would break only at the most inopportune moments. All told, and with only the slightest exaggeration, there was barely any time left for playing the instrument!
So, after six years, and still wanting to play a stringed instrument, it was goodbye to the hammered dulcimer, and big hello’s to both my current involvement with the mountain dulcimer and to my recently arrived FolkRoots H Series in walnut with butternut top and a Galax back. I had initially played another luthier’s Kentucky-style dulcimer which, alas, proved to be best-suited to strumming and the noter: a style I did not want to play. By comparison, my new Folkcraft (which I expect also works fine for that method) works perfectly, superbly, and ‘to a T’ for the flat-picking style and Celtic-flavored music to which I am drawn.
Thank you, Richard and staff, for an amazing instrument! Later this summer I look forward to receiving the MaxDAD I have on order!