Grant Olson - Solo Dulcimer

Released in 2023, this is the culmination of 10 years of playing! It features 12 tracks and a variety of genres. You can get your own copy (physical cd or mp3) through my store. 

Read more below about each track.

Special thanks to Karen Mueller, my teacher of 7 years; Janita Baker, for her "Fingerpicking Dulcimer" book; Lois Hornbostel, for her dulcimer instruction books; Donna Vaughn, for helping me start my dulcimer journey. 

1 - Love Will You Marry Me

Blue Lion Dulcimer in FFCF tuning.

I learned this tune from Lois Hornbostel's Irish Dulcimer book. This particular tuning is like DAD but with an extra low bass string that gives it so much extra depth. 

2 - Andantino in G Major

Blue Lion Dulcimer in GDG tuning. 

This is a nice song written by Ferdinando Carulli for guitar. I originally arranged it as a class exercise for teaching classical music on the dulcimer, but it turns out to be a really pretty song!

3 - Be Thou My Vision

Blue Lion Dulcimer in AEAE tuning. 

This is one of my favorite hymns, especially for the mountain dulcimer. It's a beautiful hymn with an Irish tune, and sounds great in AEAE tuning. 

4 - The Foggy Dew

Blue Lion Dulcimer in EBE tuning. 

This is another song I learned from Lois Hornbostel's Irish Dulcimer book. It's a beautiful song and nice for DAD tuning. 

5 - Reel Joy

Blue Lion Dulcimer in EEBE tuning. 

I wrote this song in the summer of 2021. Due to some irresponsibility, I slightly cut my finger on the table saw. All was well, but for a time I couldn't play the dulcimer well. It reminded me of the joy I have in Christ even when I can't make music. Once I could, I wrote this song. (Check out my YouTube channel for the original recording with my finger still bandaged). 

6 - Smokehouse Jig/The Highway Jig/Road to Lisdoonvarna

Blue Lion Dulcimer in FFCF tuning. 

Smokehouse Jig is one of the first songs I wrote. It's a really nice song, though I still have a hard time playing it! The Highway Jig is another song I wrote after playing Smokehouse Jig. I learned the Irish tune Road to Lisdoonvarna and discovered it works great with these tunes! This track also makes use of the extra low bass string. 

7 - Cello Suite 1: Prelude

Blue Lion Dulcimer in AEA tuning. 

This piece, written by Bach, is a classic song for the cello. It turned out to work really well for the chromatic dulcimer! Though still a challenge, it's is beautifully written and a joy to play. 

8 - Classical Gas

Blue Lion Dulcimer in AEAE tuning. 

Though reluctant at first, I'm thankful my teacher encouraged me to learn this song. It's super fun and works great in AEAE tuning! 

9 - Calliope House/Five Year Waltz/Good for the Tongue

Blue Lion Dulcimer in EBE tuning. 

I learned Calliope House and Good for the Tongue from a collection of Portland tunes. Both worked really well together, and they inspired me to write another song, Five Year Waltz. All three are soothing fingerpicking tunes. 

10 - Going to Boston/Kesh Jig

Ron Ewing Dulcimette in DGG tuning. 

The Dulcimette has a really sweet sound and works great for these tunes. Going to Boston was one of the first songs I learned, and I developed a variation of it, which is part of this recording. Kesh Jig is a classic Irish tune that I've played many times. 

11 - The Old Rugged Cross

Blue Lion Dulcimer in AEAE tuning. 

The Old Rugged Cross is a beautiful hymn that works great on chromatic dulcimer. I developed this arrangement for a class in AEAE tuning, which allows me to play some really nice 4 note chords. 

12 - Cluck Old Hen/Boatin' Up Sandy/Red Haired Boy

Blue Lion Dulcimer in EEBE tuning. 

I've been refining this medley of tunes for a long time. Cluck Old Hen is in Aeolian mode, Boatin' Up Sandy is in Dorian mode, and Red Haired Boy is in Mixolydian mode. At the end, I play my major version of Cluck Old Hen. These are some of my favorite songs to play together: I hope you think so too!