"Sit back and relax with this album -- get a little lost in the sound and enjoy..."
~Catherine Tully
Celtic MP3s Music Magazine

The traditional music of Scotland and Ireland first found its way into the back country of
the Blue Ridge Mountains over 200 years ago with Scots-Irish settlers. This Celtic music formed the foundation for our traditional music of Appalachia.

“Dancin’ Cross the Strings”
is a unique instrumental blend of Celtic Appalachian music featuring hammered dulcimer and guitar along with flute, pennywhistle, fiddle, clawhammer banjo, shuttle bagpipes, bodhran, and limberjack.

Review from

Ellen Geisel

Ruth Smith's touch on the hammered dulcimer is absolutely magical, highlighting the range of the instrument, especially on her own pieces, "Dancin' Cross the Strings" and "Mountain Minuet," and Jim Taylor's lovely "Come Before Winter." For "Winter's Finale it could be that she's playing a concert grand as she stretches the notes and then nearly pauses at just the right moments within the exquisite phrasing.

Smith's dulcimer on its own is more than enough, but for the traditional "O'er the Moor to Maggie" when pennywhistle, fiddle and Steve Smith's clawhammer banjo are added,
there is a rich, true sound achieved that does
fine justice
to the piece.

It's hard to imagine anyone not being a fan of the sound of the hammered dulcimer, but those still on the fence will take the final leap over to complete appreciation after listening to this
worthy recording.


Review from

by Catherine L. Tully

What do you get when you put together two musicians from the Blue Ridge Mountains with a Scots-Irish background? You get a CD packed with music of Appalachia. Music from this area of the country was brought there by the early settlers, who were -- you guessed it -- Scots-Irish.

You'll hear a variety of sounds on this instrumental album, including the hammered dulcimer, guitar, flute, fiddle, bodhran and clawhammer banjo. It makes for a very intriguing "stew" of sound. The overall effect is relaxing and dreamlike--carrying the listener along for the ride. Somewhat like a Celtic "New Age" sound, this CD really would be the perfect accompaniment to a hot mug of tea and a relaxing afternoon spent looking out the window at the world going by.

The arrangements here are well done, and although the music is relaxing, it isn't boring or solely background music. The musicianship shows through and begs for the ear and the dulcimer is used in a very gentle way much of the time--blending in and flowing rather than screaming for attention. The effect is quite nice and Ruth's touch is definitely cultivated well. Sit back and relax with this album--
get a little lost in the sound and enjoy...
Dancin' Cross the Strings
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Click white play buttons below to listen to samples

A Gaelic Dance
Drunk at Night, Dry in the Morning
Come Before Winter
Winter's Finale
O'er the Moor to Maggie
Mountain Minuet
Dancin' Cross the Strings
Snow Angels
Angelina Baker/Fly Around
Carolan's Quarrel with the Landlady
Niel Gow's Lament
Summer's End
St. Kilda Wedding/The Silver Spear
Water Under the Keel
An Appalachian Aire

Just Plain Folks nominee

"Dancin' Cross the Strings"
was nominated in the 2009 JPF Music Awards "Instrumental Roots Music Album" category."Just Plain Folks" is an international organization of Songwriters, Recording Artists and Music Industry Professionals and host to the world's largest independent music awards. Over 42,000 albums were submitted for the 2009 awards from over 160 countries with 10 nominees being selected in each of the 70 music genre categories (much like the Grammy's but for independent, non-major label produced albums). Less than 1/3 of 1% of the CDs submitted were nominated.

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