News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Max Jones

May 23, 2008

EDITOR'S NOTE Sounding the bell for those who hear different drummer

Are there any bagpipers out there? If so, please take a deep breath and step forward.

How about folksy musicians who employ “front-porch” instruments to play or accompany their favorite tunes? Here’s a chance to come down from the porch and show off what you do and how you do it.

The Wabash Valley has an impressive corps of talented musicians. Whatever their chosen musical style or instrument, they each make a significant contribution to community culture.

We are fond of featuring musicians in the pages of the Tribune-Star, where you can often read about their exploits and see their photographic images. It’s common to see them pictured with their guitars, pianos, drums, or classical instruments such as violins, brass or woodwind instruments.

But it occurred to us recently that there is a whole world of exotic, off-beat musical instruments out there that rarely get heard from, talked about or featured on our pages. So we decided to do something about it.

A couple of weeks ago we began publishing an advertisement in the newspaper asking readers who own or play exotic instruments to contact us. We’d like to include them in an upcoming feature story.

We’ve receive a half-dozen responses so far with instruments ranging from the harp to the banjo. That’s a good start. But we suspect there are more out there.

Anyone own and play a mandolin? An accordion? And, of course, don’t forget the ever-popular bagpipes.

Percussion instruments would be fun to feature, items such as the bodhran (Irish drum), bongos, washboard or spoons.

And there is surely a whole orchestra of folk instruments around. Maybe a washtub bass? Alto recorder? Penny whistle? How about a juice harp? Or a harmonica?

If you have an instrument you think we might be interested in and would like to participate, please contact us. Mark Bennett, our feature writer/columnist, is working on the story. Send

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