A good friend of ours from the Sportsman’s Grille is not doing well. David Schnaufer is acclaimed as one of the greatest mountain dulcimer players in the world. Nashvillians may remember him from Walk the West or The Cactus Brothers, two of the most entertaining local bands of the 80’s.
We know him as a gentle soul who always dressed like he just walked off the streets of 1920’s Galveston into the bar. Which he probably had. You expected swinging bar doors to squeak behind him when he came in. The only time I ever saw him without a smile on his face was when he was showing concern for someone else.
I’ll always chuckle thinking about how he always demanded to roadie whenever he played at a big concert, even though he acknowledged, “Hell, it ain’t got but four strings and three of them are tuned to the same note. It makes a nice sound when you drop it.”
David has worked with orchestras around the country and been a favorite on the Bluegrass festival circuit for years. He has also served as the only dulcimer teacher on an reknowned music school faculty in the world. At Blair, he has taught scores of students, including Cyndi Lauper and Michael Stipe.
He was diagnosed with cancer recently and it had already spread throughout his body. He is currently in hospice care and deteriorating quickly. But his spirit and soul will never diminish in our eyes.
RUABelle and I are very sad. He is just a great guy. For updates, go here. Lots of good thoughts and prayers are headed his way!