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Joe Collins, Mountain Dulcimer

Joe Collins fell in love with the mountain dulcimer back in 1978. At the time he was doing occasional coffeehouses as a college student in eastern North Carolina, and a good friend thought that he might be interested in tackling another instrument besides the guitar. He took her little instrument home, and she didn't get it back for three years!Today he plays a lot less guitar and a lot more dulcimer than in those early days. After competing in a number of competitions and winning several regional competitions over a ten year period, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2007 in Winfield, KS. Over the past twenty years he has had the opportunity to teach and perform in festivals from California to the east coast, from Florida to Vermont, and a lot of places in between. A folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the 70's, Joe combines mountain dulcimer wizardry with good solid vocals. He is a songwriter and vocalist, inspired by artists like Simon Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson. But as he gets older and pudgier, he realizes that perhaps the most profound influence on his music bent was the old Burle Ives recordings that he listened to over and 

over again as a kid. His performances are sprinkled with a lot of humor and some excellent mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages. Joe graduated from East Carolina University with Bachelor and Masters degrees in English, from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in Religious Education, and from NC State University with a Doctorate in Adult Education. He has worked in Religious Education for most of his professional career and is a professor of religion at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. And of course, he continues to write songs and accept as many opportunities to teach and perform as he can! Find oit more about Joe at