(Brentwood Music)
Jerry Read Smith

By Victoria Moon

This CD trilogy is a re-release of a 1981 recording that should have caused a greater splash than it did. Jerry Read Smith is a gifted hammered dulcimer player as well as an expert in the art of handcrafting hammered dulcimers and psalters. He got together with a few of his friends who just happened to be gifted guitarists, flautists, fiddlers and dobro players to create this instrumental three CD set that is pure listening pleasure. While you are never quite sure of the complete plot or meaning of the story that the trilogy is based upon, it really doesn't matter because the story is secondary to the wonderful acoustic music on these discs. Most of the melodies are variations on very traditional themes with a heavy Celtic and Appalachian influence. The music itself is raised far above the level of most instrumental music not only because of the quality of the musicianship of these players, but also due to the love that these players feel for their instruments and the traditional folk melodies. From Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" to the lively Irish "Morrison's Jig" there is a wealth of beautiful acoustic music that should satisfy lovers of traditional music for a very long time.