Neal Hellman | Autumn In the Valley

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Neal Hellman

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United States - California

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Autumn In the Valley

by Neal Hellman

Traditional and contemporary instrumental music from both sides of the Atrlantic
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prelude /Autumn in the Valley/Fiddlin' Bagpipes
7:13 album only
2. A Week In January
4:28 album only
3. Canary in A Coal Mine
4:11 album only
4. Canterbury Air
3:31 album only
5. Lament For Roe Owen O'Neill / Foggy Dew
4:01 album only
6. Andante from Quartet in A
5:19 album only
7. Pavan for A Sleeping Beauty
2:49 album only
8. Canarios
3:51 album only
9. Gaelic Air/Forest of Garth
5:31 album only
10. Rain and Snow / June Apple / The Last of Smith
5:31 album only
11. Ninety-Pound Catfish
3:41 album only
12. Battle Cry of Freedom
4:20 album only


Album Notes
Neal was raised on an island, the one that
occupies the space between Brooklyn and New Jersey. His primary music experience was via the folk boom of the early 60's. His early heroes included Tom Rush, Eric Anderson, Phil Ochs, and his favorite, Judy Collins. It was through the music of Judy Collins that Neal experienced his primary dulcimer epiphany while hearing Richard Fariña play "Pack Up Your Sorrows" on Judy Collins' fifth album.

Neal and the dulcimer kept running into each other during his "searching years" in the early 70's. From apple picking in New Hampshire to his communal experience in Virginia, the dulcimer and Mr. Hellman were constantly encountering each other. Neal realized that the dulcimer was to play a major role in his existence and he soon purchased one from Ed Presnell in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Neal found his first dulcimer mentor in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was the inspired teaching of John Prisland that led Neal to write his first book, "Life Is Like a Mountain Dulcimer," which was transcribed in colored pencil in a hiker's cabin in Squamish, B.C. His dulcimer muse then led him back to the city of his birth where The Richmond Organization published said book in 1974.

Great minds think alike, and soon Neal was enjoying the company of fellow dulcimer zealots Robert Force, Al d'Ossché, Bonnie Carol, and Michael Rugg. This collaboration led to the benchmark dulcimer recording "The Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project" and the fun-filled "Kindred Gathering Dulcimer Festivals."

Neal then hit the dulcimer trail and toured extensively between 1981 and 1989, spreading his dulcimer light as far as the European continent in 1984. During this time, Neal
published dulcimer books for Music Sales, Hal Leonard, and Mel Bay Publications.

In 1987 Neal started his own record label, Gourd Music. As founder, director, and a primary artist of Gourd Music, Neal has produced over thirty recordings. Gourd Music is described
as being "on the forefront of the new acoustic music movement...well written, expertly
performed, masterfully produced, and carefully manufactured" by The Schwann Catalog.

Neal's three recordings, Oktober County, Dream of the Manatee (with Joe Weed), and Autumn in the Valley, have all met with critical acclaim. An original composition, written by Neal and performed by Jay Unger and Molly Mason, is featured on a Ken Burns production which was broadcast on PBS nationwide in the fall of 1999.

As a teacher, Neal is regularly paid the greatest compliment possible: his festival workshops are invariably crowded with students, old and new, who appreciate his clear instructional style, varied and original repertoire, and enthusiasm for his instrument.



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