January 12, 2009 - Annie Begins Her Journey With Bing
Bing signs on to Folkcraft, and what is his first request? A custom double neck! Everyone puts their heads together, and lo and behold the first double neck dulcimer has emerged from the Folkcraft wood shop. Unless you count courting dulcimers. But for the sake of this story, I'm sticking to the double necks with the headstocks next to each other.
Photos of the first Folkcraft double neck dulcimer ever made
This is also the first Folkcraft dulcimer to have a Fishman Prefix Pro pickup system installed in it, which for me is exciting to see (and to play). We had a pickup option before, but no volume or tone control directly on the instrument. I welcomed this dulcimer addition with open arms.
The NAMM Show in Anaheim is the first face-to-face meeting with Bing. With new dulcimer in hand, Richard and I meet up with him and his wife, Jae, in their hotel room for the unveiling. Saying that "he loved it" would be a complete understatement. He named his new dulcimer "Annie."
Bing quickly dubbed it the finest dulcimer he has ever owned. Not only did he demonstrate on the new instrument for Folkcraft at the NAMM show, he played it in his hotel room, the bathroom, the hotel lobby, the shuttle bus, the airport terminal... you get the picture.
Bing playing his beloved Annie
There was even an impromptu hotel lobby jam session with Scott May of "The Ides Of March".
Bing Futch and Scott May jamming together
Annie is certainly a pretty big step in the evolution of the dulcimer, so I hope it's a welcome addition in the dulcimer and folk community. I can't wait until we install the first dulcimer whammy bar!