Simple Gifts - William Coulter & Barry Phillips
Label: Gourd Music
Performers: Barry Phillips, Esther Landau, Kaila Flexer, Mike Marshal, Neal Hellman, Robin Petrie, Shelley Phillips, William Coulter
William Coulter, guitar
Barry Phillips, cello, wooden clapper spoons
Esther Landau, flute, alto flute
Robin Petrie, hammered dulcimer
Kaila Flexer, violin
Mike Marshal, violin, mandolin, viola, mandocello
Shelley Phillips, English horn, Irish harp
Neal Hellman, mountain dulcimer
Exhuberant dance tunes, lively marches and reverent hymns were part of the daily lives and worship of the Shakers, who flourished in mid-19th century America. Like their highly-prized crafts, the Shakers' music was an outward expression of their faith and celebrated their ideals of simplicity and love.
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.
Barry Phillips (cello, mandolins, harpsichord and psaltry) received his M.M. in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has been active in film composition, orchestration and conducting and is a woodworking fanatic as time allows. He has served in various capacities including performer, arranger and producer for numerous Gourd recordings including Wondrous Love, Pavane, The Fairie Round, The World Turned Upside Down, Tree Of Lifeand Autumn in the Valley.
Guitarist William Coulter has been recording and performing traditional music since 1981. His current passion is arranging and singing songs from the Irish Gaelic song tradition. He performs solo and in ensembles, and is preparing two books of guitar arrangements for Mel Bay. William is featured on several Gourd recordings including Celtic Crossing, Tree of Life and Orison. He received his MM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and his MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.