My family is from Maryville, Tennessee,
in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. My Uncle Bob taught me old folk songs as we hiked in the mountains
and traveled to wonderful places in the area. I have been playing dulcimer since 1988, and it has been one of the most
rewarding experiences of my life. The music has introduced me to many close friends in the folk music community,
and I have enjoyed traveling from the Ozarks to the Blue Ridge Mountains playing with other dulcimer players, as well as a
host of other folk instruments, including the hammered dulcimer, mandolin, autoharp, banjo, guitar -- even the kazoo!
Because the world needs people who have come alive.
-- Howard Thurman
Below is a video which includes my version of O Leaozhino (Little
Lion), a Brazilian folk tune, played at Unicoi State Park in Georgia at the NGFDA Fall Fest 2009.
As many of you may know, Jean Ritchie was hospitalized during the week of
December 13, 2009. On New Year's Eve 2009, many around the world who love her joined together to honor her by
singing and playing Jean's Peace Round at midnight. I received several notes telling me of the wonderful experiences
people had while lifting up Mrs. Ritchie's music.
I have included below a video of Jean Ritchie singing Peace Round and
a download of the tablature which includes the words written by Mrs. Ritchie as well as traditional lyrics. The tablature
includes a tab line for the key of G and for the key of Dm. Please note that the standard notation is for G only, but
that will not affect the playing of the tab lines.
These will remain here for those who may still wish to view the
video and take part in continuing to spread the peace which Mrs. Ritchie has passed to all of us through her music.
As you play and sing, please focus on the beautiful verse written by Mrs.
Ritchie and consider what a "goodly thing" it surely would be if our world were filled with peace.
We pray for Mrs. Ritchie's speedy recovery.
UPDATE: Jean Ritchie was to come home from the nursing
home on June 9, 2010. Her son, Jon, states: "She has surpassed all expectations and is talking, laughing and in general
being herself. Thanks to all of you for your good wishes. I'm hoping she'll be online soon herself." Continue your prayers
for Jean and her family.