Rick Smith Hammers
Endorsed by Walt Michael
"Throughout the renaissance of the hammered dulcimer over the past 40 years, hammered dulcimers have evolved and improved immensely. Unfortunately, the hammers themselves have either been an insufficient afterthought of the dulcimer builder, or something more akin to a woodworking showpiece rather than a musician's tool. Rick Smith brings a fine woodworker's grace and a scientist's mind to the design of his hammers. At last, someone is building a flexible, precision hammer worthy of the music we intend to play."
- Walt Michael
Considered to be a virtuoso of tremendous influence in the revival of the hammered dulcimer, Walt’s wide repertoire ranges from old-time Southern Appalachian, to Celtic, to breath-taking original compositions. His various musical incarnations, including Bottle Hill, Michael, McCreesh & Campbell and Walt Michael & Co. have spanned over 35 years and taken him from the coal camps of Appalachia to the Closing Ceremonies of the 13th Olympic Winter Games. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist he has recorded fourteen albums and instructional videos, appeared at the White House, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and he has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Europe and the UK. His music has been heard on ABC-TV, NBC's Tonight Show, Broadway, BBC, TNN, CBC, OLN and PBS. Walt’s collaborations include works with the Pilobolus Dance Theater and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.
Walt’s most recent studio endeavors are as musical producer and composer for the Outdoor Living Network’s 13-episode television documentary Cowboy 101 which premiered in October 2004, as well as two instrumental albums on Whipoorwill Records with 5-time Tennessee State Champion fiddler, Jim Wood. Walt is the Artist in Residence at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, as well as founder and Executive Director of Common Ground on the Hill, an international traditional arts organization which seeks to promote interracial harmony through the traditional arts.