Joe Collins, not to be confused with the country songwriter of the same name, is a performer on the traditional Appalachian dulcimer. He has been active professionally since the late '70s, when he began his career performing in coffeehouses, churches, and schools. He combined his instrumental abilities with his strong religious beliefs, not a particularly odd combination for Appalachia. Collins branched out into the instrument-building business as well in the mid-'80s and has also published five books of music for his instrument, which is played flat on the performer's lap and from a distance looks like a loaf of Swiss salmon bread.
One of Collins' most frequent playing partners is multi-instrumentalist Mike McGee, with whom he has recorded a pair of discs featuring both old-timey music and related Celtic styles. The dulcimer missionary conducts regular workshops and also teaches privately. He is a graduate of East Carolina University and the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Collins consults with nearly 100 different churches in his county in his role as a church development director.