OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/10/13) – For Owensboro resident Chuck Flaim, music is not just a hobby. It is his passion. Flaim, whose primary instrument is the dulcimer, is the 2012 Kentucky State Dulcimer Playing Champion and has three awards to his name. His awards include the Original Song Composition Award in 2008 and 2011.“I really just use these playing competitions to see how I compare to other players in the region,” he said.
Flaim has been playing the dulcimer for 11 years. Before he first picked up the dulcimer, he played the guitar, mandolin, auto harp, harmonica, and fiddle. Since he started playing the dulcimer, he has formed a musical duo, Wild Mountain Thyme, with Brenda Miller, another local artist. Together, they perform what Flaim calls “pre-Bluegrass music.”
“Our repertoire consists of about 250 songs, mostly of a Celtic and Irish origin,” said Flaim, adding that “we play everything from Bach to the Beatle.”
Flaim has been invited to play in Illinois, Indiana, and numerous venues in Kentucky. Flaim also said that he and his partner play like to play in rest homes, schools, and churches.
“There is a direct correlation between music and Alzheimer’s patients,” he said. “Sometimes, they can’t remember what happened five minutes ago, but when they hear a hymn from fifty years ago, they will start singing the words to these songs, and that is always really cool.”
Flaim has performed with the Yellow Banks Dulcimer Society, the Owensboro Bluegrass Museum, and the Owensboro Tourism Bureau. He said, “I just love the music, and with any opportunity I have to play, I’m all for it.”
He will be performing on July 5 at Friday After 5 at Woodward’s by the River Park Center.
Photos provided by Chuck Flaim
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