In today’s world, where everything seems to go faster and faster, it feels like a privilege to slow down and experience something genuine and heartfelt. These two words sum up the essence of Jerry Rockwell’s Nine Meditations for Dulcimer. And when you take the time, you’ll see that there’s a poetic depth here too that makes this into a remarkable album.
How often do we get to hear music played by an actual instrument builder? Not often. It does however add an interesting element to any piece of music. Jerry Rockwell is a Mountain Dulcimer builder and musician who lives and works in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio.
The Amazing Dulcimer
The album starts with the song Eileen Walks the Avenue. It paints a picture of Eileen moving with quiet grace. The colors are bright and happy. Perhaps it’s a spring day, and she hasn’t a worry in her mind? Already at this stage I’m amazed by the sound of the dulcimer. Rockwell plays with such precision that there’s no need for additional instruments, rhythm or layers of sound. It is also easy to hear that the Mountain Dulcimer is being played with love and enthusiasm.
Next song out is Prayer for Safe Passage. Its atmosphere is about the duality of hope and fear; When you live in danger, you have to acknowledge what’s to come, yet still hoping and praying for the best. It is a wonderful composition.
When listening to the songs Flowers of Kale and Cloudships Impressions in Four I cannot help thinking that Jerry Rockwell is just as much a poet as a musician. Every note is like a word of a poem, and each song tell stories of love and deep emotions. This is not music that leaves the listener untouched.
Nine Meditations for Dulcimer by Jerry Rockwell is highly recommended when you are looking for an inspiring and romantic album. It is also a must have if you are interested in the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer. Remember that in order to fully enjoy the album you’ll have to find a quiet place and focus only on the music. First then you’ll understand what Rockwell means by dulcimer meditation. It truly is an enriching experience.
Score: 93/100 – See how I rate music here
The album is available on Bandcamp.
Also, make sure to check out Jerry Rockwell’s homepage to learn more about his music and the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer.