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Since relocating to Black Mountain, Joshua Messick has made his "Hammered Dulcimer Christmas" shows a not-to-be-missed holiday tradition guaranteed to fill the White Horse Black Mountain listening room with happy listeners.

On Friday, Dec., 1 Messick will be joined by Celtic harpist Stephanie Messick, percussionist James Kylen and vocalist Kate Smith for a concert of crystalline, magical arrangements of seasonal favorites.

Joshua Messick’s loyal fans had long been asking for a Christmas CD, and he rewarded their patience with the release of 2014’s "Hammered Dulcimer Christmas." The national champion hammered dulcimer player conceived and arranged the album on a five-octave instrument built by local master luthier Jerry Read Smith, who was instrumental in convincing Messick to move to the Swannanoa Valley. Although all the selections are familiar, Messick’s composer’s sensibility imparts freshness to every track.

The hammered dulcimer is a percussive instrument, but its ringing overtones also create beautiful, ethereal sounds that Messick uses to great advantage in his Christmas arrangements, always in touch with the spiritual power of the melodies.

Renowned Black Mountain multi-instrumentalist Robin Bullock has reviewed the CD and said that “Messick has set a new standard, for both hammered dulcimer and Christmas albums… He balances tradition and innovation superbly to give us a fresh, exciting take on holiday favorites that never violates their spirit.”

The lightest of all

Who: Joshua Messick and friends

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 1

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $18 advance, $20 door

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