Musicians from around the country will travel to New Mexico this month for workshops and performances celebrating an instrument that was popular with Americans on the move in the 18th and 19th centuries. That instrument acquired a lot of nicknames over the years -- the hog fiddle, harmony box and lumberjack's piano -- but it's known today as the dulcimer, and it comes in a variety of shapes and produces a variety of sounds.
It's been familiar elsewhere in the U.S. for generations, but the dulcimer is little known in the Southwest. Irma and Scott Reeder thought it could find an appreciative audience. In 2010, they organized the first New Mexico Dulcimer Festival, one of only a handful of dulcimer events taking place in the western U.S. Their sixth annual festival is October 16 and 17 in Albuquerque. Irma and Scott join us at KUNM to share the dulcimers' sounds.
Irma and Scott talk in greater detail about the Festival's performances and workshops in this longer version of their conversation.