A tribute to the Sweet Song String Band

What follows is the history of the Sweet Song String Band as initially displayed on this website for more than 14 years.

The Band History

The Sweet Song String Band specializes in the traditional music and popular music of 19th-century America. Originally composed of two hammered dulcimers and two Appalachian or lap dulcimers, the band took its name from the combination of a Latin word, “dulci,” meaning “sweet,” and a Greek word, “Melos,” meaning “sound”, which comprise the word “dulcimer”. Although other folk instruments in various combinations now round out Sweet Song String Band’s sound, the “sweet sounds” of dulcimers are still at the heart of the band and shape its distinctive sound.

The origin

Since its birth in 1978, the Sweet Song has played at traditional celebrations such as:

  • Texas Independence Day at Washington-on-the-Brazos and Stephen F. Austin’s 200th birthday celebration at San Felipe de Austin.
  • Music and folklife festivals such as the Sam Houston Folk Festival in Huntsville, Texas.
  • Weddings
  • Christmas parties
  • Concerts
  • Picnics

Besides Texas, the band also played in other states Port Allen, Louisiana, the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering in Binghamton, New York, the Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky and Civil War Re-enactments in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, Pleasant Hill, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas.

In recent years, the Sweet Song String Band has become one of the preeminent dance bands in the state, providing authentic 19th-century dance music, while Dance Master Karel Wheat instructs and calls period dances.

She has conducted 19th-century balls in the following locations:

  • San Antonio at the Menger Hotel
  • Fort Worth at the White Elephant Saloon
  • Fort Worth at the¬†Remington Hotel
  • Dallas at Samuell Farm
  • Old City Park and Arlington Hall
  • Fort Davis’ Old Fort Davis
  • Jacksboro’s Fort Richardson
  • San Angelo’s Fort Concho
  • Groesbeck’s Old Fort Parker
  • Liendo Plantation in Hempstead.

Members

Members of the band include:

  • David Lindsey plays¬†the bouncy, rhythmic style of hammered dulcimer that keeps dancers moving and audiences tapping their feet.
  • Annette Lindsey plays piano and soloing on autoharp or lap dulcimer.
  • Karel Wheat plays bones, spoons, bodhran, and lumberjack or bass fiddle when she’s not teaching or calling dances.
  • Larry Wheat is playing fiddle, mandolin, and guitar in a “ragged but right” style.
  • Betty Odum is playing classic old-time clawhammer-style banjo, lap dulcimer, and whistle.

This old-time music is a reminder that there was a time when life was simple, and the music was a “homemade” thing to be played “just for the fun of it”!

Sweet Song String Band in action

Here’s a video of the band performing live at the Winter Creek Reunion festival in 2013.

Original contact information

As previously displayed on the website here is the contact info of the band should you wish to get in touch with them.

Larry Wheat David Lindsey
637 S. E. 3rd Street 654 Acorn Lane
Grand Prairie, Texas 75051-2054 Bennington, Oklahoma 74723
972-262-2550 580-847-2822

The 2017 Update

To avoid any legal dilemmas I’d like to clarify that the Sweet Song String Band website is currently not by a member of the band. My plans for the site entail more than just a display for the original group. I want to turn it into an influential music blog covering not just Texas music, but many kinds of aspects. However, as a tribute to the Sweet Song String Band, I am more than happy to leave all their original band information here for everyone to read about.

I’ve also published their original Recordings page where you can read about all the bands recorded albums down the years starting in 1981 up until 2010. If you are an original band member or have any affiliation with the group and like me to remove any information, please contact me at info@sweetsongstringband.com.