Mouthbow Music from John Palmes

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From 'Mouthbow: Small Voices'

Listen: 'I Feel Good'

Listen: 'Ground Hog'

Listen: 'Paw Paw Patch'

Folk musician John Palmes, a salmon fisherman and folk musician from Juneau, Alaska, plays everything from Bach to James Brown. What is unusual is his instrument, the mouthbow.

John Palmes demonstrates his mouthbow.

John Palmes demonstrates his mouthbow. eFolkMusic hide caption

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Considered the world's oldest stringed instrument, the mouthbow consists of a single string made of horsehair, sinew, or wire and a curved piece of wood or bone. Scholars believe the mouthbow first came to the United States with slaves from Africa.

Marika Partridge reviews Palmes' new CD, Mouthbow: Small Voices, which contains detailed instructions for making and playing a mouthbow.



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