Final Guitars and Gateaux concert to feature Americeltic

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By Kirsten Laskey

Ricko Donovan will make his Guitars and Gateaux concert series debut with a hybrid of music. He refers to this musical mesh as Americeltic.

To perform this type of music, Donovan plays the guitar and the hammered dulcimer.

The hammered dulcimer, series coordinator Greg Schneider, explained is very different from the dulcimer, which a musician lays in his or her lap and plays like guitar.

“The hammered dulcimer looks like an autoharp on steroids,” he said. The instrument is on a stand and its strings run at an angle. Schneider described the hammered dulcimer appearing like the inside of a piano, but rather than having keys hit the strings, the musician strikes them with hammers.

As a result, the instrument is “capable of some really interesting virtuosic sounds,” Schneider said.

To get the sounds down right, Donovan spent seven years in Europe writing songs and mastering the art of traditional folk music. He has toured extensively in the Southwest and is currently on the road to support two new releases, “Kilmoon Road,” and “Laughing Silver String.”

Schneider is looking forward to having Donovan come to Los Alamos. “First of all, Celtic music is kind of infectious ee (it) tends to be happier, party kind of music,” he said. “There’s just something about Celtic music; it’s more celebratory. I’m just sorry we can’t have Guinness.”

Donovan’s show will wrap of the series for this season. Looking back at the season, Schneider said, “It’s really good. I think the series found its niche in Los Alamos.” While newcomers go the shows, he added, there is also a core group of people dedicated to the series.

The concert series has been run for two-and-a-half years and during that time, Schneider said he has tried to appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

“I wanted to appeal to everyone’s tastes. I’m constantly looking for things that fit the bill,” he said.

Schneider encourages community members to come and see if Donovan’s music fits their tastes in music.

“I like to see everyone come on out and bring a friend. They won’t be disappointed; it should be a fun evening,” he said.

The fun begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge. In addition to music, desserts will also be served. Admission is $10 for Los Alamos Arts Council members and $15 for non-members. LAAC sponsors the series.