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Our Story

Song of the Wood is a musical instrument "design and build" enterprise started by Jerry Read Smith way back in 1975 (has it really been that long?). In a word ... yes.    We build custom instruments (hammered dulcimers and bowed psalteries), carry other instruments by friends and colleagues and offer appraisals, repair, restoration, upgrades and resales, primarily of Hammered Dulcimers. Please browse...and feel free to contact Jerry directly by phone at: 828-301-1622 ... or email at:   We look forward to hearing from YOU. Let's make music!

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Just in case we've never met ... I would like to introduce myself to you.  My name is Jerry Read Smith and I have been designing, building, playing and recording Hammered Dulcimers since 1975.  I also design and build Bowed Psalteries. I had maintained a Showroom (that was my workshop for a number of years) in Black Mountain, North Carolina from 1980 - 2018.  Presently I am available by appointment in East Asheville, North Carolina.  I want to extend a sincere invitation for you to visit if you find yourself in this beautiful part of our wonderful country. Please give me a ring first.  You can reach me on my cell at:  828-301-1622 or email me at: with any questions or special requests you might have.  Here's a video feature segment produced by UNC Public Television:  The Sweetest Sound
*Please know that I am available for appraisals, repairs, restorations, upgrades and resales of your Hammered Dulcimer!  Don't go it alone ... work with someone who knows what he's doing ... and I'm  not all that hard to get along with either!  All of my work is 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

About Jerry Read Smith
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I have been designing and crafting primarily Hammer Dulcimers for over 45 years now.  I started building in a basement workshop I set up in a house I rented back in the early 70's.  The house sat on 3 acres of land with streams in both the front and back yard.  I drove a little Toyota Corolla station wagon I had traded for a Hammer Dulcimer, heated the house with wood and paid the "outrageous" sum of $60 a month for rent (for 5 years!).  I was forced to move my workshop to my showrooms present location in the summer of 1980 when I couldn't afford to buy the house .  They were asking $20,000 and I couldn't imagine borrowing that much money.  It's ironic but, after moving out, I ended up investing $10,000 in my first recording "The Strayaway Child."  That turned out to be a far "wiser" decision. About 24 years ago now, after a long and delightful journey, I realized a long-held dream ... to get my workshop ... "back home."  My workshop is now just a few steps outside my front door ... up through the Rhododendron and Oaks. 

If you are headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Asheville area and would like to visit my musical instrument workshop, there is a good chance I can accommodate a visit if you call and make an appointment in advance.  I enjoy giving tours of my shop and sharing my experiences with wood, acoustics, tools and instrument making.  I certainly don't know everything about these subjects but I love discussing ... and ...  I've learned some very interesting things from my guests.  So ... please ... don't be a stranger!

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About Zachary J. Hamilton

(Story to come, please check back another time!)

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