Don Pedi | Old Christmas

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Holiday: Folk Folk: Appalachian Folk Moods: Instrumental
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Old Christmas

by Don Pedi

Celebrate Christmas with this blend of popular and archaic tunes of the season. Old-Time fiddle tunes and more main stream Christmas melodies played in an inovative traditional style by Western North Carolina's master of the Mountain Dulcimer.
Genre: Holiday: Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Cherry Tree Carol
1:27 $0.99
2. Christmas Eve
1:30 $0.99
3. What Child Is This
1:44 $0.99
4. Joy to the World
1:37 $0.99
5. Christmas Calico
1:42 $0.99
6. Cold Frosty Morning
2:01 $0.99
7. Away in a Manger
1:36 $0.99
8. Breaking Up Christmas
1:41 $0.99
9. Old Christmas Morning
1:59 $0.99
10. Star in the East
3:17 $0.99
11. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
1:18 $0.99
12. Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over
1:42 $0.99
13. Christmas Goose
1:11 $0.99
14. Angel Band
2:19 $0.99
15. Jesus Borned in Bethlea
1:23 $0.99
16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
2:08 $0.99
17. Old Christmas
2:09 $0.99
18. Wondrous Love
2:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Virtuoso" Asheville Citizen Times
"Master Instrumentalist" Boston Globe
"At Once Powerful, Sweet and Subtle" Old-Time Herald

The following is from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Website:
Some years ago, in the middle of the night at an oldtime music festival, a two-person jam session caught my ear. In the dark I couldn’t see who was playing. They were tearing the tune up with a wild intricacy, and I knew by the sound of the fiddling that one of the musicians was Rich Hartness, the brilliant Greensboro fiddler. But not only could I not identify the other musician, I wasn’t even sure what the instrument was—but it was beautiful. It was being played with a notey dexterity that suggested it might be a mandolin, but the strings were tuned low and the resonance was almost like that of a sitar. It was also being played in note-for-note synchrony with Rich’s highly complex fiddle melody, a feat that would be difficult even for another great fiddler, let alone someone playing a picked or strummed instrument. I stumbled through the dark, as one has to do at oldtime festivals, over guy-wires and sleeping banjo players, and found the session. To my amazement, I saw that the mystery instrument was a mountain lap dulcimer. I had heard hundreds of dulcimers played by hundreds of people; I’d never heard anyone play like this.

The man on the dulcimer was Don Pedi, and since that night I’ve heard other people say that they felt the same wonderment the first time they heard Don Pedi play. To say that their seasoned ears didn’t immediately recognize his instrument as the dulcimer is not to suggest for a moment that Pedi’s playing is not traditional. The music he makes is traditional southern Appalachian dance music through and through, but to make that sound he plays the dulcimer in a highly innovative and individual way. Rather than chording behind another instrument, or playing a de-boned version of the melody, his dulcimer can be the lead or solo instrument on the most elaborate tune, while making more than enough of a syncopated kick for the music to be danceable.

Pedi grew up in a musical family, the grandson of a guitar- and mandolin-playing barber, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. His first exposure to the mountain dulcimer was in 1964 at a coffee house in Boston, at a Richard and Mimi Fariña concert. Four years later he took up the dulcimer himself, and like so many young Northeastern musicians in love with Southern music, he soon moved to the North Carolina mountains. In 1974 he entered his first contest, at Fiddler’s Grove in North Carolina, and won first place. By 1980 he had won so many contests at Fiddler’s Grove that he was certified “Master Dulcimer Player” and retired from future competitions.

Pedi has recorded numerous albums, and has been recruited to play in such movie productions as “The Journey of August King,” and “Songcatcher.” He represented Appalachia at the 2003 Smithsonian Folk Festival, and he is the recipient of both the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Award and the Most Outstanding Performer Award at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville.

Pedi currently performs both solo and with Celo, North Carolina, fiddler Bruce Greene.



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