John, a native North Carolinian, is a self-taught musician and recording artist who began playing the guitar at age 10. From there he progressed to the mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, mountain dulcimer, and other traditional stringed instruments. However, what truly captured John's attention was the sound of the hammered dulcimer.
The hammered dulcimer originated in the Middle East and resurfaced in England in the Middle Ages. It is the forerunner of the modern piano. John's dulcimer was hand-made by Mac McKenny at High Country Dulcimers in Boone North Carolina. It has a trapezoidal shape; it is about 4 feet wide at the base and narrows toward the top. It has 82 strings, which are struck using thin wooden hammers.
John currently has 7 CDs for sale, and is continually working on new projects; a new Christmas CD has been added to the Shopping Cart and a Ragtime CD is presently being recorded. John has also started hand-making wooden hammers and Dulcimer stands. They will soon be added to the shopping cart, as well. John's music has been used in various independent films and he has been featured in many different publications.
"John, from North Carolina, is not only a highly gifted musician but has the sensitivity to gently persuade sounds from his instrument, resisting the usual temptation to thrash the strings for more sound in a show of raw cleverness, a temptation rarely resisted by lesser musicians." - Huddersfield Daily Examiner, England, 1994
"John Mason, who has been called one of North Carolina's hidden musical talents will once again bring his popular ole-timey mountain music to the Festival." - The Boiling Springs Sentry, 2006
John travels extensively, playing at festivals, craft shows, and other events. Please see the contact link for information on how to inquire about booking. John is also the resident musician at Chimney Rock Park. Please check the calendar for scheduled dates and times.
This website was designed and is maintained by Maggie Mason Smith and Nathan Smith.
Last Update: 7/12/2012