Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I. D. Stamper dulcimer at Berea College

Now that I've finished my article for Dulcimer Players News, I've got time to post this picture -- I've wanted to since I got home from Berea at the end of October ...

It's a dulcimer by I.D. Stamper on display in the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College. The card on the dulcimer in the display case reads as follows:

Isaac D. Stamper. 60s ... This dulcimer seems to be the only one he made. The wide body and high narrow fretboard set this instrument apart from the typical Kentucky-style dulcimer.
That they do. It looks like some of the big, booming bass dulcimers that Don Pedi likes to play.

I'm not sure that it's the only instrument Stamper made, though. When I mentioned it to Stephen Seifert, who was also in Berea for Alan Mills' exhibit "Kentucky Made: Art and Craft of the Mountain Dulcimer," Steve recalled playing another one. In any event, Stamper made very few dulcimers, but it's clear from listening to his old cassette tape that he must have modified the instrument to get the characteristic sound of his playing.

Bonus picture. Also on display in the Loyal Jones center, placards carried by Berea College students to protest a proposed relaxation of federal strip mine regulations.


Dulcimore55 said...

Actually, I believe Stamper made at least several dulcimers, both big bass ones and smaller, more typical ones. If you look at the film that's partly about Stamper, entitled "Sourwood Mountain Dulcimers" you can see several of Stamper's dulcimers, and Stamper himself in his workshop building more. The film was made by John McCutcheon. He's know for sure.

Dulcimore55 said...

Also, Several are shown on the Redwing lp album cover.

Pete said...

@ Dulcimore55 -

Not sure how long your message has been up here, or whether you'll check back for a reply.

But ...

Thanks so much! I want to get ahold of that video sometime, understood it was going to come out in DVD format but I never followed up to see if they had. I love his playing.

Aaron said...

I am his great grandson. Yes, you are correct that he made other dulcimers. The were passed around the family. All of my aunts and uncles have at least one, nine in all (at best guess). That was just what was passed on through one of his daughters, Verna(Stamper) Eldridge, whom is my grandmother. I am uncertain how many kids he had, but it seems possible that all of his grandchildren received one of his dulcimers.