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Castaway Cruise & The DulciVox Near Ready To Launch

March 29, 2024
Good Morning, Y'all!
Lots of things to cover today, so I'll jump right in...
We are very nearly at capacity for the 2025 Castaway Music Cruise. I'm guessing our limit of 30 class-taking guests will be reached some time in April (which starts on Monday). If you're thinking about going, but you're on the fence, now is the time to get off the fence and sign up. There's lots of info here:, and there's a video y'all might enjoy, too. Just click on the image below to watch.
Folkcraft's next festival is Kentucky Music Week - June 23-28, 2024. I'll be there as the official "Dulcimer Doctor," with a cart full of luthier tools. I'm booking appointments for repair work now - string changes, fret additions, tuner upgrades, all the usual stuff - and NOW is the time to contact me ( to schedule your dulcimer work. Last year I had to turn people away who didn't have appointments. I recall a long-time customer, with a Folkcraft dulcimer in hand, wanting a string change on Friday. And I had to turn her away - my schedule was far too tight to get her in. If you want repair work done at KMW, definitely contact me sooner rather than later. Monday is 100% full at this point, so I'm now scheduling work for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the first half of Friday.
Our new dulcimer/guitar hybrid - the Folkcraft DulciVox - is now for sale at Our latest prototype is somewhere in Bing's RV (last I heard it was in North Carolina, and played on a show there last weekend), and I didn't get photos before I took it to Florida. Here's a video of Bing Futch playing our latest protype which will that'll give you an idea what this instrument looks like - and what it sounds like. (I recorded the video at the end of an exhausting festival, in a garage, with my cell phone - so please forgive the production quality!) Click on the image below to watch the video.

The instrument Bing is playing in the video is the "Pro" version, with an ebony fretboard veneer, and a built-in pickup, priced at $1495. The "Standard" version has a solid mahogany fretboard with no veneer, and there's no pickup included, priced at $1195. We've added a host of very subtle improvements to the production version of this dulcimer - here are the links with more details/specifications:
This is our first new instrument since we introduced the LAP-JO in 2016. We've made a slew of improvements to our existing dulcimers over the past eight years, but the introduction of a brand new dulcimer is a rare happening!
And, lastly, we just got in a new load of great lumber. Since this section of the newsletter is titled "In The Shop," I'm including a shop photo. Actually, a parking lot photo, but this shows a batch of lumber that was delivered a few days ago. The shorter boards on the bottom of the stack are a mix of black walnut and Northern cherry, and the longer boards on the top of the stack are African mahogany. The mahogany boards are all a minimum of twelve inches wide, so we can make LAP-JO rims from them, but most of them are about sixteen inches wide. Our standard-width forklift (about four feet) gives you an idea of the size of these giant planks of lumber. (Luthier Cheyenne Hale is shown standing to the right in this photo. I think he was gathering his strength, so he could carry those boards inside the shop - one at a time - before the rain clouds made it to Woodburn!)

That's all for this week, Everyone. Thank you VERY much for subscribing to this newsletter. I hope Y'all have a great weekend!
Richard Ash - luthier-who's-glad-he-has-lots-of-great-help-keeping-things-moving-forward