Click to PERFORMANCES page for full details:
Online, April 22-25, Pocono Dulcimer Fest
Online, June 3-6, QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Fest 4.0
NC, June 25-27, Charlotte FabFest
Online, July 9-10, Dutchland Dulcimer Gathering
July 24, To be announced
VT, August 13-15, August Dulcimer Daze
TBD, October 1-2, Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival
CO, February 4-5, Colorado Dulcimer Festival
KY, June 19-24, Kentucky Music Week
Sam has posted more than 70 videos online, spanning many musical genres and totaling more than 1,000,000 views. His latest is the "Goin' Home" theme from Dvorak's New World Symphony.
He has twice had the cosmic good fortune to go viral: In 2019 with the Ramones' punk hit, "I Wanna Be Sedated," and in 2014 with Led Zeppelin's classic, "Whole Lotta Love." Sam's videos of both of these songs have been viewed over 300,000 times; if you exclude renowned dulcimer players Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and the Rolling Stones, that number has only been reached by only a handful of mountain dulcimer videos. You can't make virality happen -- the world bestows it on you, and it is an incredibly special gift. Thank you, World!
BREAKING NEWS: Sam's 2020 cover of "Safety Dance" unexpectedly received a bit of virality after several content websites shared it. The song was originally as hit in 1983 for the Canadian band, Men Without Hats. That band's lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, called Sam's video a "great version!" and the band re-shared it on Facebook.
Sam has many more great songs and other projects in the works. Some of the best is yet to come!
The renowned Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ, included Sam's video of Neil Diamond's song, "Sweet Caroline," in its dulcimer display. How big is it to have been selected for this? Well, the only other mountain dulcimer artist in the video loop is the legendary Jean Ritchie singing to Pete Seeger.
UPDATE: In June 2020, a MIM curator filmed a 10-minute quarantine mini-tour of the zither and dulcimer exhibit. Sam's video is prominently featured through much of the second half, including just showing the video for half a minute. See below!
Sam Edelston is an entertainer with many facets. In recent years, he has been pushing the creative boundaries of the mountain dulcimer. He does songs that span the rock & roll era and decades (or occasionally centuries) before that, plus folk, original songs, funny songs, shout-alongs, and more. He also performs on guitar, banjo, and occasionally hammered dulcimer, and sings.
Sam is on a mission: "I believe that dulcimers are among the world's coolest musical instruments. I want the general public to know dulcimers the way it knows guitars and pianos."
He also chairs the NUTMEG DULCIMER FESTIVAL. The Nutmeg Team will decide in the next few weeks whether the 2021 festival will be online again or at its regular home in Milford, Connecticut. Either way, mark your calendar for Friday-Saturday, October 1-2, 2021, and sign up to get more details at www.NutmegDulcimer.com
"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. Sam's skewed sensibilities on what might be "appropriate" for the dulcimer extend to his music as well. Look for parodies, mash-ups, and other delightfully warped offerings from this innovative musician."
-- The Folk Project
"Wow. Beautiful version."
-- Chris Frantz. Talking Heads drummer, commenting on Sam's cover of their hit, Psycho Killer
"Thank you for that great version! Dance Safely!"
-- Ivan Doroschuk, lead singer of the band Men Without Hats, reacting to Sam's
cover of the band's hit, "Safety Dance"
"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. (Nicki was Les Paul's regular bassist in his later years.)
"With his complex layered arrangements of so many genres of music for the dulcimer, Sam has added a huge chapter to the development of the mountain dulcimer as a versatile and ever growing musical American folk instrument."
-- Dulcimer legend Joellen Lapidus, writing at Folkworks.org
"Our day with Sam Edelston was a great success. We learned so much. This video gives you a slight example of the caliber of performer that Sam Edelston is. We have never seen anything like it. Our workshops were challenging and fantastic. Sam's performance was out of this world. It was an incredible day!"
-- Misery Bay Dulcimer Club, Erie, PA
"I've never heard a dulcimer sound so much like a guitar before."
-- Jose Feliciano
“Today, I attended Sam Edelston’s workshop on Rock & Roll chord progressions for dulcimer and holy crap, now I can play Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” on Lulabelle so well I got a ceiling bang from the Trolls who live in the subterranean cavern, and a “SHUT THE FU....wait, is that Chuck Berry?”
I strummed harder and laughed maniacally. They shut the fu— up and listened.
Apparently, they are Trolls with Soul. After I finished the last lick there was a silence, then a muffled “Props, bitch.”
-- Workshop attendee Maryam Webster.
"Rosie's daddy came in and sang to us today. He was so much fun. Can he be my daddy, too?"
-- Rebecca, age 4