2017 SCDH Festival Bios

Meet Our Visiting Artists!
Bios Of All Artists & Performers Will Be In Printed Program

CD Sample:
“Waltz for Susan”
Composed by Bob Webb
Performed by Heidi Muller an Bob Webb on their CD
‘Dulcimer Moon’

Heidi Muller & Bob Webb
Festival Workshops, Concert & Focus Workshop

Heidi Muller and Bob Webb cross the musical boundaries between original songs and traditional tunes, blending each other’s influences from the Pacific Northwest to the Appalachian Mountains. Featuring mountain dulcimers, guitars, mandolin, electric cello, and Muller’s crystalline vocals, they have released four duo recordings: Up Hurricane Creek, Dulcimer Moon, Light the Winter’s Dark, and Seeing Things.
They tour widely to concert halls and festivals such as the Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering, Colorado Dulcimer Festival, Kentucky Music Week, Dulcimer Chautauqua on the Wabash, Ohio Valley Gathering, and Great American Dulcimer Convention. They have performed at the National Music Museum and appeared on the NPR live performance radio show, Mountain Stage.
Heidi and Bob have each played mountain dulcimer for over 30 years and had parallel introductions to the instrument before teaching in their own communities.

HEIDI, living in Seattle and performing as a songwriter and guitarist, mainly taught herself, influenced by the dulcimer playing of Joni Mitchell and Lorraine Lee Hammond. She began to offer workshops across the Pacific Northwest.

BOB, who already played cello, guitar, and mandolin, picked up a Homer Ledford dulcimer in 1967 in Virginia. He taught himself in Charleston, WV, inspired by dulcimer maker Ray Epler and local traditional musicians. He designed his own cardboard box dulcimers and taught over 700 children and adults to make and play them in southern West Virginia.

Heidi and Bob met at a Northeast Folk Alliance conference and started to perform together in 2003.

Described by Dulcimer Players News as “one of the dulcimer community’s best songwriters and performers,” Heidi enjoys both strumming and fingerpicking and has written eight mountain dulcimer songbooks including Dulcimer Duos and West Virginia Fiddle Tunes. She especially enjoys writing harmony arrangements for two or more parts.

Bob was an original member of the house band for the NPR show Mountain Stage, where he used his electric dulcimer, guitar, mandolin and cello to accompany such artists as Odetta, Tom Paxton, Shawn Colvin, Bill Staines and Arlo Guthrie. He also performed for several years with Dave Haas and has engineered and appeared on Dave’s CDs. Bob has a snappy strumming style and enjoys playing tunes based on chord patterns and interesting rhythms. He has published his own books for dulcimer, mandolin and fingerpicked guitar.

Heidi and Bob live in Joseph, OR where they continue to make their living performing, touring, teaching, recording, and hosting their own summer music camp, Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas. For more information, please visit www.heidimuller.com

Ruth Smith & Steve Smith
Festival Workshops, Concert & Focus Workshop

Ruth and Steve Smith, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, play a unique blend of Appalachian Americana music with Celtic roots featuring hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, guitar, and old-time banjo. Ruth and Steve play and sing the music reminiscent of the old homeplace where family, love, faith, and sense of place are the foundations of heritage and traditions.
They have been playing music together for over 40 years and have performed extensively in the U.S. from North Carolina to Hawaii and abroad in Scotland, England, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, and Canada.
RUTH, a native North Carolinian, studied music at the University of Illinois and composes music especially for the hammered dulcimer. Her compositions have been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, Sirius XM satellite radio, PBS TV "Song of the Mountains" and in Dulcimer Players News magazine. Dirty Linen Folk & World Music Magazine says “ Ruth Smith's touch on the hammered dulcimer is absolutely magical, with exquisite phrasing, highlighting the range of the instrument especially on her own pieces.” She teaches hammered and Appalachian mountain dulcimer workshops at festivals and folk schools throughout the country and is the author of From Heart to Hands and Touch of Grace, two popular hammered dulcimer instructional books of her compositions and arrangements. Ruth is also accomplished in traditional Appalachian fiber arts, including weaving and spinning.
STEVE, an ASCAP award-winning songwriter, adds fingerstyle guitar, clawhammer banjo, ukulele and vocals to the duo. Dulcimer Players News says, “He is a master storyteller and the perfect vocalist to convey the meaning of his lyrics. His songs stand out for their imagery and melodic strength …on par with John Denver’s songs.” Dirty Linen Folk & World Music Magazine says Steve’s accompaniment on guitar and banjo provides "a traditional…rich, true sound" to their Appalachian Americana music. Steve has a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University with an emphasis in Appalachian music and folklife. He teaches workshops nationally on guitar, banjo, ukulele, recording, songwriting, copyrights & publishing, live sound reinforcement, and performing techniques.
Steve and Ruth perform annually at MerleFest and other major festivals nationwide, as well as on the PBS TV series Song of the Mountains, NPR’s All Songs Considered and Thistle & Shamrock. Their recordings are played on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Highlander Radio Networks, NPR, and radio stations around the U.S. They have been featured in Dulcimer Players News magazine.

In 2014, Steve and Ruth were inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame for their performing, preserving, & promoting traditional country music. They were named "Americana Instrumental Group of the Year" at the 2013 Appalachian Cultural Music Association Awards, and were 2009 Roots Music nominees in the JPF International Music Awards, the world's largest awards for independent musicians. www.steveandruth.com