John proceeds to describe a dulcimer of “Zebra Wood” – which comes from Africa – with Sugar Maple and ebony inlay.
Showing some personality, Karen's dulcimer is decorated with little black cats reminiscent of a favorite pet, while John's is covered with footprints and a figure representing a famous dulcimer player.
Not far from the couple stand the Rosin Sisters, also here for the second year.
The Atlanta-based trio includes fiddlers Barbara Panter, Ann Whitley and Jan Smith, who came together in 2006 to explore their love of Southern Appalachian roots music. The trio travels the country playing at festivals and teaching workshops.
And that's how they met Wright, who happened to be teaching at the Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week in North Carolina last year. Wright invited them to headline at her local Texas gathering, and the group obliged.
In addition to playing the fiddle, singing and harmonizing, Panter and Whitley play guitar and Smith plays the banjo.
“We like the old stuff that sort of predates bluegrass,” Whitley said. “We like the old-timey stuff.”
The Rosin Sisters, among others, will perform today at the festival, which features the following schedule: 9 to 10:15 a.m., workshops and jams; 10:45 a.m. to noon, workshops and jams; noon to 1:15 p.m., break for lunch; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., day concerts; 2:45 to 4 p.m., workshops and jams; 4 to 6:45 p.m., free time and dinner; 6:45 to 10:05 p.m., evening concerts; 10:05 until, jamming.
Single-day cost is $35 for everything (two concerts, workshops and jamming) or single-day without workshops, $25 (includes two concerts and jamming). For the public (those not participating in the workshops and other events), evening concert tickets are $15 per person or $45 for the family. Day concert tickets are $10 each.
The museum is located at 400 Micheaux St. in Palestine, behind Reagan Park. For detailed information about the festival, visit www.oldpalmusic.com.