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Announcing the release of the new CD, The Lone Man’s Path, Tunes and Songs Featuring the Hammered Dulcimer

Click on the underlined titles below, you’ll get either an MP3 or a musical transcription.


Ordering information:

$16.50 postpaid to:

David James

Tiompán Alley Music

916 Emerson Avenue

South Bend, IN 46615




David James is a three-time All-Ireland Champion on the hammered dulcimer (1986, 1995 and 2002), the 1986 Walnut Valley Festival Champion, and a 1990 Master Folk Fellow of the Indiana Arts commission.


He is joined by:

Kim Hoffmann: vocals, tin whistle. Kim is an award-winning artist, museum curator and registrar. She performs on many instruments besides the tin whistle and killer ceili-style piano. She has won many Midwest Fleadh titles in traditional singing as well.

Ethan James: guitar. Ethan is accomplished on the guitar, Irish wooden flute and tin whistle.

Dan Broder: guitar. Dan leads his own bluegrass band and is versatile in many genres.



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CD Contents:

1 Reels: Baby’s First Flute/ Dancing in the Rain/ Finn McCool’s  (David James) The first title arose from a slagging match about wooden flutes (“This one makes yours sound like…”). The second remembers a summer night. Kim and I gigged at Finn McCool’s Pub in Porter, Indiana, for four years with many memorable guests. David: dulcimer, fiddle, piano.

2 Bridget Cruise, Fourth Air (Turlough O’Carolan) She was Carolan’s first love. David: two dulcimers, one hammered and plucked.

3 Cards (David James) I imagine this occurring during the Great Starvation, when cheating at cards was a bigger offense for a “gentleman” than dispossessing the poor. David: vocal, guitar; Dan Broder: guitar and 1st lead; Ethan James: guitar and 2nd lead.

4 Carolan’s Draught (Turlough O’Carolan) One of my favorites of the well-known Carolan tunes, David: hammered and plucked dulcimer, piano; Kim Hoffmann: whistles.

5 Festival Ball Waltz (Mike Skytte) I heard Mike sing this sad, angry song many years ago in Minnesota, and asked him for it. It’s still a favorite of mine after eighteen years. David: vocal, guitar, dulcimer, 2-row diatonic accordeon, piano, bass.

6 Hornpipe: The Lone Man’s Path at the summit of Sliabh Liag outside Teelin, Co. Donegal is a path wide enough for only one person, called Casán an Aon Duine, The Lone Man’s Path. Learned from a Jimmy Lyons recording on RTE CD 196, The Donegal Fiddle. I have taken the lone man’s path. David: dulcimer, bouzouki.

7 Kim’s Song (David James) A birthday present for my sweetheart. David: vocals, guitar, dulcimer; Ethan James: guitar and lead; Kim Hoffmann: vocals, bodhrán.

8 Jig: Kitty’s Rambles first heard from Johnny Burns (box) and Michael Clancy (fiddle) on an ’86 trip to Ireland. It’s in O’Neill’s. David: damped dulcimer and piano. Hear this tune SLOWED DOWN.

9 Friend To Me (trad. new words by David James) first heard from the great old-time musician Dan Gellert, who learned it from a Carter Family recording. It evolved over 20 years, and I wrote another verse. David: vocal, dulcimer, guitar, banjo, piano.

10 Miss Noble (Turlough O’Carolan) this tune, found in O’Sullivan’s Carolan, challenged me with its strangeness. While some think it was mis-transcribed long ago, I chose to take it as presented and make a go of it. David: dulcimer, fiddle, harpsichord.

11 Row On (trad.)/ Night Winds (trad, new words by David James) The first, learned from John Townley, was found by musicologist Gail Huntington in an 1846 journal from the New Bedford whaler, Three Brothers. The second I learned from Gary, Indiana, folksinger Danny Mack. I loved it so much I wrote the middle verse so I could sing it longer. David: vocal, dulcimer, guitars, bass; Kim Hoffmann: vocals.

12 The Scolding Wife/ The Launching of the Boat/ Drowsy Maggie Three reels played together in Kilcar, Co. Donegal. Thanks to James Byrne and Peter Carr. David: dulcimer, fiddle, piano.

13 Festival Friends (David James) For Grandpa Paul Grier; written on the train to the Walnut Valley Festival and a reunion with treasured Festival Friends. The Irish tune is Music in the Glen. David: vocal, dulcimer, fiddle, piano, bass.


Thanks to Ethan for the guitar chops and the mighty Mac, Kim for her whistle and vocal prowess and for putting up with me, and both for their great advice. Thanks to everyone in Ireland for their warm reception. Thanks to the Chicago Irish Musicians, John Devens at World Folk Music, Christie Burns, Steve and Lys Ann, Jake and Mary, and all at the South Bend St. Pat’s Celtic Center for their support.

This CD was recorded at Tiompán Alley Studios on Alesis ADAT and MOTU Digital Performer, mixed and mastered on Digital Performer, with Crown microphones, by me. It’s all my fault.

č2002 David James. All rights reserved

Tiompán Alley Music, South Bend, Indiana, 574-276-7822

“On the Web” at: tiompanalley.com


I am a special friend



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