While I was at Raintree Heritage Music Festival someone asked if they could bring by a hammered dulcimer that they had but have never played it or tuned it. I said, “Sure, I’d love to see it and tune it for you.” When she came back this is what she showed me. I was totally floored when I saw this and what it meant. So I took pics and sent this to Ray and Sue Mooers of Dusty Strings to see what the history of this little beauty is. Here is what Ray wrote back to me.I especially like the part about how this helped launch him into full time music making.
Yup, that’s a piece of history all right. That instrument was on of a batch of 21 single bridge instruments that I made to use as rentals for students in a class I was teaching at the University of Washington back in those days. It’s interesting that this one made it’s way out of the Seattle area clear back east. They were all sold eventually to customers out here on the West coast. I’m sure you saw Sue’s signature there as well as her sister, Gayle French’s signature. The year 1979 was the first full year of our new business. I had quit my previous job as a restaurant manager in January of that year and started Dusty Strings Dulcimer Company as a full time job at that point.
All the best to you,