Sam Edelston is an entertainer with many facets. In recent years, he has been pushing the creative boundaries of the mountain dulcimer. But beyond that, he also performs on guitar, banjo, and hammered dulcimer, and most people would agree that he sings, too. He does songs that span the rock & roll era and decades before that, plus original songs, funny songs, shout-alongs, and more. (Learn more on the About Sam page.)
Sam also chairs the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival, in Milford, Connecticut, which just celebrated its 12th year with incomparable featured artists John McCutcheon and Janita Baker. Get complete details at www.NutmegDulcimer.com
Sam says, "I believe that dulcimers are among the world's coolest musical instruments. The general public deserves to know both mountain dulcimers and hammered dulcimers the way it knows guitars and pianos."
On August 15, 2016, Sam's video of the Led Zeppelin classic, Whole Lotta Love, on electric dulcimer, got its 250,000th view. If you exclude renowned artists like Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and the Rolling Stones, only about a half dozen other mountain dulcimer videos have more views.
Sam was featured in the May-June 2016 edition of FolkWorks, "The Alternative Voice for Folk/Roots/Trad Music, Dance and Related Folk Arts in Southern California." The article, written by mountain dulcimer legend Joellen Lapidus, tells about the twisted path that led Sam to the mountain dulcimer, as well as talking about his music. Read it here:
Friday-Saturday, October 28-29, 2016
Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival
Featuring Karen Alley (HD), Sue Carpenter (MD), and Carol Walker (MD).
Friday-Sunday, March 3-5, 2017
Albany Mountain Dulcimer Music Festival
Sunday, June 25-Friday, June 30, 2017
Kentucky Music Week
Teaching week-long classes.
"Displaying a frightening amount of rock mojo for a guy who seems fairly quiet and unassuming, Edelston used his amplified three-string mountain dulcimer to roar his way through ‘Whole Lotta Love’ without so much as breaking a sweat. After watching this, we’re ready to jump in a van and follow Edelston around on tour."
"'You can't do that on a dulcimer!' Well, maybe you can't but Sam Edelston can. Sam has taken the mountain dulcimer from its backwoods Appalachian origins to places most players never dreamed of. From Sousa to Sinatra to Led Zeppelin. His instruments range from the traditional diatonic 3-string to a fully chromatic electric with wah-wah pedal. Sam is a brilliant and innovative player, and no slouch on the guitar either."
-- The Folk Project
"Wow. Beautiful version."
-- Chris Frantz. Talking Heads drummer, commenting on Sam's cover of Psycho Killer
"Connecticut resident Sam Edelston is a dulcimer wizard who has used the old-time instrument to cover classic rock songs in the past. We're in awe of one of his most recent covers as he does a bang-up job of tackling Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love.'"
"This is one of the 5 coolest things I've ever seen/heard on dulcimer ... and the other 4 were all with Sam as well!"
-- Dulcimer master Tull Glazener, after seeing a video of Sam performing "I Can See Clearly Now" with Nicki Parrott's jazz trio.
"I've never heard a dulcimer sound so much like a guitar before."
-- Jose Feliciano.
"Rosie's daddy came in and sang to us today. He was so much fun. Can he be my daddy, too?"
-- Rebecca, age 4