Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones & The Beatles Played on a 3‑String Electric Mountain Dulcimer

My par­ents always seemed to me to rep­re­sent two very dif­fer­ent strains of six­ties coun­ter­cul­ture. My mom loved Peter, Paul and Mary, Appalachi­an folk and blue­grass, and played the dul­cimer and auto­harp. My dad loved psy­che­del­ic rock, and had an exten­sive col­lec­tion of Zep­pelin, Bea­t­les, Floyd, and Hen­drix records. It wasn’t a Dylan-goes-elec­tric-lev­el dis­agree­ment, but their fond rem­i­nisces of the glo­ry days could some­times get a lit­tle tense. But as we’ve seen in decades since, folkies, hip­pies, and psych-rock­ers can come togeth­er, and not only in 70s folk-rock bands from Cal­i­for­nia. Take Robert Plant and Alli­son Krauss’s fruit­ful and unlike­ly col­lab­o­ra­tion, for instance, or the dozens of Led Zep­pelin and Rolling Stones cov­ers by dozens of flan­nel-clad indie folk­ers.

In the past decade or so, it almost came to seem like psy­che­del­ic blues-rock and moun­tain folk music had always made com­fort­able bed­fel­lows, and maybe they had. (After all, Zep­pelin includ­ed folk instru­ments on sev­er­al of their clas­sic songs, like John Paul Jones’ man­dolin on “Going to Cal­i­for­nia.”) As fur­ther evi­dence we have 3‑string elec­tric moun­tain dul­cimer play­er Sam Edel­stein, who cov­ers clas­sic rock songs on an instru­ment usu­al­ly thought of as par­tic­u­lar­ly gen­tle, del­i­cate, and sweet, as its name implies. At the top, see Edel­stein rip through a sear­ing ver­sion of Zeppelin’s “Whole Lot­ta Love.” Just above, he does a killer take on the Rolling Stones’ “19th Ner­vous Break­down,” and below, Edel­stein plays an increas­ing­ly rock­ing cov­er of The Bea­t­les’ “Come Togeth­er” at the Nation­al Moun­tain Dul­cimer Com­pe­ti­tion. As uploader Con­tem­po­rary Dul­cimer states on Youtube, “the dulcimer’s roots may be in folk music, but it’s a nat­ur­al rock & roll instru­ment.” Indeed. Who knew?

via Ulti­mate Clas­sic Rock

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Per­formed on a Gayageum, a Tra­di­tion­al Kore­an Instru­ment

Robert Plant and Ali­son Krauss Sing Coun­try Ver­sions of Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” & “When the Lev­ee Breaks”

Musi­cians Re-Imag­ine the Com­plete Song­book of the Bea­t­les on the Ukulele

Talk­ing Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” Per­formed on Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese Instru­ments

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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Comments (8)
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  • TDK says:

    I am absolute­ly floored by your tal­ent. Amaz­ing. I’m a drum­mer, and don’t think I’ve ever even HEARD of a dul­cimer.

    Again, out­stand­ing musi­cian­ship with a great selec­tion of tunes.


  • Angela Elliott says:

    Fab­u­lous. I also like the stand you use. I need one of those

  • Ric H says:

    Amaz­ing per­for­mance. I m a rank begin­ner and own lots of gui­tar music of John Den­ver, Bea­t­les etc. would love to have sheet music of this type to use as learn­ing tools for my dul­cimer and strum stick prac­tice. So tired of twin­kle twin­kle and go tell aunt rhode. Can you guide me to a site so I can cre­ate DAD ver­sions? I own the music so no copy­right issues. I can only imag­ine Imag­ine and Annie’s Song on my instru­ment. Thx

  • Beverly says:

    I play the dul­cimer and am inter­est­ed in buy­ing rock music tab­la­ture from Mr. Edelstein.Is this pos­si­ble? If so how can I con­tact him. Thanks.
    Bev­er­ly Soudrette

  • tmiller says:

    How can we get this music?

  • Eileen says:

    Sam Edelstein.…..fantastic!.…do you play any UB40?

  • Charles Taylor says:

    I am inter­est­ed in get­ting tab for some of the 60 song. I have a Bea­t­les books but would like more. Any info on where to get more would be appre­ci­at­ed. Thanks

  • Gregory Jewell says:

    Great per­for­mance and tal­ent! I am start­ing dul­cimer and love all kinds of music. My main is Blue­grass and South­ern Gospel. But you’ve just proven a thought I’ve had for years. It’s not the instru­ment, it’s the tal­ent and heart behind it. Thank you so much for the inspi­ra­tion!

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