William Coulter and Barry Phillips
This cd of instrumental arrangements of Shaker melodies is Gourd Music’s all-time best-seller. Barry Phillips and William Coulter, along with guest artists Shelley Phillips, Mike Marshall, Robin Petrie and others, create exquisite blends of guitar, cello, fiddle, mandolin, flute, harp and dulcimers. From the title track (made famous by Aaron Copland in Appalachian Spring to little-known gems from the Shakers’ vast treasury of song, these are melodies born directly of the Shakers’ spiritual life, yet deeply rooted in the Anglo-American folk tradition – music to cheer the heart and lift the spirit.
1. Simple Gifts / Lovely Love
2. Square Check Tune / When Cheer Fills the Hearts of My Friends
3. O Lord Protect Thy Chosen Flock / My Carnal Life I Will Lay Down
4. Back Manner Tunes
5. And Now My Dear Companions
6. My Robe Is New / Mother Ann’s Song
7. Father James’s Song / Treasures of the Gospel / I Will Bow and Besimple
8. Mother Ann’s Song
9. Come Dance and Sing / Quick Dance
10. The Saviour’s Universal Prayer / And Again Heavenly Father
11. Hop up and Jump Up / Simple Gifts
Gourd Music. 1990
William Coulter and Barry Phillips have been recording with Gourd Music since their debut album Orison in 1988. Since then they have produced two other volumes of instrumental arrangements of Shaker music — Simple Gifts (1990), and Tree of Life (1993), as well as other recordings including William’s Celtic Crossing (1995) and Barry’s The World Turned Upside Down . (1992).
William’s current passion is traditional Celtic music and songs, and he is preparing a second recording of instrumental Celtic music for Gourd. As well as performing and recording traditional music William also plays classical guitar and teaches at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Freelance recording engineering and producing, and regular visits to the park with his two year old son keep him busy the rest of the time.
Barry has been ‘cellist and percussionist with Orison, Martin Simpson’s Band of Angels and The Anjali Quartet . He received his MM in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. Moving back to Santa Cruz with his wife Shelley in 1991, he has been performing, recording and composing. Recently, he’s been preparing for an upcoming Gourd album of early American country dance tunes.