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Folkcraft Player - Bill Lloyd

Bill lloyd with dulcimer
Hello Everyone! My name is Bill Lloyd and I live in Alexandria, VA with my bride of 29+ years (Linda) and our dogs Daisy and Banjo. I’m originally from Pensacola, FL and left there back in 1984 when I joined the US Marines. It was the Marines that allowed me to meet my wonderful wife Linda when I was lucky enough to be posted in Antananarivo, Madagascar. I left the Marines after marrying Linda in 1992 and moved to Alexandria, VA where I pursued my degree in electrical engineering and have been here ever since.

October 2018, was an eye opening moment for me as I first discovered the mountain dulcimer when Linda encouraged me to attend the Black Mountain Music Festival (BMMF) with her. I borrowed a neighbor’s dulcimer, which happened to be an all cherry 1999 vintage Folkcraft, and I took lessons from Judy House at BMMF. I’ve been hooked ever since. I bought my first dulcimer from Richard Ash of Folkcraft that following January at the Kentucky Music Winter Weekend, and seem to now be suffering from Dulcimer Acquisition Disorder (DAD), as I am always looking to buy another one.

I play frequently at home for my dogs, friends and the neighbors. Linda and I often work on a few tunes together as she plays the Hammered Dulcimer (and the Ukulele) and we find playing together really helps us become better players. Playing the dulcimer is soothing, relaxing and utterly enjoyable. I am also always amazed by the variety of music that can be made with this instrument, not just Old Time and Folk, but contemporary and Classical as well. I try and take the opportunity to introduce others to the instrument, such as the folks in my neighborhood or at work. Everyone seems to be fascinated with the Dulcimer when they first see it, especially when you can run off a tune they know.

I have found playing the dulcimer and exciting Journey. The people I have met and continue to meet are amazingly kind and welcoming. And many of them inspire me, not just the Bing Futch’s, Dave Haas’ and Steve Seifert’s of the world, but the folks I’ve met on FB, in person and on YouTube such as Belinda Emily Link, Mary Ellen Lounsbery, John and Paul Crocker from the UK and many, many others. Thank you to you all for the beautiful music and the inspiration!

I am holding my most recent DAD acquisition in the photo and my very first is sitting right next to me. The one I am holding is a Honduran Mahogany, Red Cedar top, Purple Heart fingerboard and 26” VSL (I was inspired to have this one made after seeing the beautiful instrument Mary Ellen Lounsbery was playing on YouTube). The one beside me is my first love made of Walnut with a Butternut top, ebony fingerboard and 27” VSL, and has a BIG and FULL sound! I love them both.

You can find some of my postings at the YouTube location below. You’ll also note, as a result of learning the dulcimer, I have ventured into other instruments, particularly the Ukulele and Clawhammer Banjo.