No matter where you find yourself this Christmas season, the masterful and magical touch of Joshua Messick’s hammered dulcimer music will transport you to places of hope, joy, wonder, and love: Majestic mountaintops where snowflakes whirl wildly and mysteriously around you. A dusty den where one candle still glows and well-worn stockings embrace childhood memories. A vast, lonely desert where stars guide and comfort you through their ancient, ebony skies. A crowded city street where sounds shift into song and strangers smile like friends. Where once again, the whole world sounds as it should: Sweet, soft, sacred, and sublime.
With “Hammered Dulcimer Christmas” Joshua Messick has set a new standard, both for hammered dulcimer recordings and for Christmas albums. His command of the instrument is nothing short of astonishing, his imagination is restlessly creative, and his interpretations of the season's carols and hymns take them into fascinating new realms while always honoring their integrity. He balances tradition and innovation superbly to give us a fresh, exciting take on holiday favorites that never violates their spirit. “Hammered Dulcimer Christmas” is a beautiful and transcendent listening experience – an essential addition to every Christmas CD collection.
– Robin Bullock
Produced by Joshua Messick
Arrangements by Joshua Messick © 2014
Engineered, Mixed, and Mastered by Randy Wills at Exceptions Studios
Cello by Max Dyer
Percussion by River Guerguerian
Piccolo by Rita Hayes
Photography by Lynne Harty
Artwork and Design by Katie Moritz
Joshua plays the Jerry Read Smith 5-Octave Grande Concertmaster with Dampers Hammered Dulcimer. Joshua created these arrangements during his stay at Jerry Read Smith’s Perelandra Studio in Asheville, NC, and he customized the songs to use the 5-octave range. The hammered dulcimer is presented with acoustic authenticity without overdubs or digital effects.
Mom and Dad, Thank you for the Christmas memories that helped inspire this album. Jerry Read Smith, Thank you for believing in me. Max Dyer, Your cello music is inspirational and healing in my life.