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Folkcraft Player - Kenneth Longfield

ken longfield bio pageMy association began with Folkcraft in 2002 when I stopped by the store in Connecticut and asked David Marks how I could become a Folkcraft dealer. I was looking for a source of good dulcimers for folks in several dulcimer clubs with which I was associated. David explained the process and thus began my little enterprise of Longfield’s Folk Music Shop.

When David sold the company to Richard Ash, I continued to endorse Folkcraft enthusiastically. Richard, thankfully, kept me on as a dealer. When an order from Folkcraft arrived at our home in 2010, I unpacked the three dulcimers I had ordered for the shop, tuned them, and stared playing a tune on each one. When I played the one I’m holding in the photo my wife, Betty, came in to where I was playing and said, “You’re keeping that one, aren’t you?” Well, that one never went on sale at the shop and has become my “go to” instrument at club meetings, jams, and festivals. It was made by Steve Ash and is all walnut. While sales took a tumble during the pandemic, I continue to support and endorse Folkcraft Instruments to everyone who asks about purchasing a dulcimer. I am happy and proud to be a Folkcraft player and enjoy playing this dulcimer than any of my sixteen other dulcimers.

I built my first dulcimer in 1974 and continue to build them with an emphasis on reproduction of pre-revival dulcimers and Pennsylvania German zithers. I enjoy researching the history of this instrument and live of those who built and play them. Over the years I wrote articles for Dulcimer Players News and Autoharp Quarterly on builders and instrument restorations. I still look for interesting news to share with the dulcimer community. Although Folkcraft no longer builds hammered dulcimers, I built three of them from parts I purchased from Folkcraft. I tell people that if they are looking for anything dulcimer, Folkcraft is the first the place to look.