I worked for Folkcraft Instruments very briefly in 1994 upon first moving to Florida. It had been almost ten years since first falling in love with the Appalachian mountain dulcimer and suddenly I was playing and selling them every day at a little kiosk at Walt Disney World. Needless to say, I was blown away by the clarity of tone, the volume and sustain, the beauty of the craftsmanship and many of my paychecks went right back into the company in exchange for dulcimers.
Fast forward 14 years to when company president Richard Ash made me a wonderful offer: an endorsement.
The people at Folkcraft believe in tradition. Not just the way things have been but also how they're going to be. They're a cutting-edge group of craftsmen that are building on a rich heritage of instrument-making while listening closely to what people are looking for in an heirloom-quality creation. Several of their innovations have debuted while I've been back on board with the company as a spokesperson and dealer; it's exciting to see the development and immensely satisfying to play the results.
Since 2008, Folkcraft has introduced a number of new designs, including my signature double-dulcimer, the resonator dulcimer and the Druid Moon line of ukuleles. There's even a solid body electric/MIDI dulcimer being crafted in the Woodburn, Indiana factory for me. American-made and built to last, that's what a mountain dulcimer should be.
That's why I'm proud to say that I'm a Folkcraft artist. Get your hands on one of these amazing instruments and you'll see what I mean!
Vinni Smith (creator of V-Picks) says:
"While at Nashville NAMM last summer, Mrs V and I met a very interesting person. Bing Futch was demonstrating the Dulcimers. Up to that point, I had seen the instrument and even owned one, but did not know its name or that it could produce such wonderful music and tone. Since this meeting, we have become friends with this magnificent artist. He has test driven all of our picks and we have joined forces to produce what we consider to be an EXCELLENT Dulcimer pick. We named it the most logical name we could think of, the V-Pick 'Bing'. Of course, after the player we consider to be one of, if not THE best Dulcimer player on the planet, Bing Futch."
I play V-Picks exclusively and, true to its promise, I have never dropped one during a show due to its cast acrylic design. The sound is clean, clear, louder and easier to make than with any other pick I've used. People swarm my merchandise table to get their V-Picks and, once you've played one, you'll surely know why!
Click on the pick pictures below for more info!
In 2016, Bing secured an endorsement with Zither USA, maker of fine musician accessories. Based in Brenham, Texas and owned by Tony and Debbie Meeks, Zither Music Company won "Best of Show" at both the 2016 Winter and Summer NAMM Shows.
After looking fruitlessly for a sturdy, practical mountain dulcimer stand, Bing was approached by Tony in Nashville, Tennessee and immediately agreed to endorse this beautifully rugged design. It features the ability to switch out the hanger to suit whatever instrument you'd like to display. It even handles Bing's double-dulcimers with no instability whatsoever!