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

by | Permalink | Comments (8) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (8)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • 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!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.