Following the success of last year’s event, we’re delighted to welcome back workshop co-ordinator, singer and multi-instrumentalist Brian Peters and friends to host a second weekend packed with workshops on the theme of American traditional music and its links with the old country.
We’ve assembled a great team of tutors including Sara Grey and Kieron Means, a mother & son duo who play real-deal American traditional music. Sara is an unparalleled ballad singer and banjo player as well as an authority on song migration from the UK to the US. Kieron, an excellent guitarist and singer is continuing in the family trade. They are joined by regular co-musician Ben Paley, one of the finest Old Time fiddle players on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, Kerry Fletcher will be dropping by to teach some Appalachian percussive dance.
The tutors will offer a wide range of participatory workshops. We’ll explore the American ballad tradition, old-time and blues songs, we’ll offer classes in frailing banjo, fiddle and guitar – plus song accompaniment on all three – and you’ll have the chance to learn new material as well as improve your singing technique. We’re bringing back our presentation of classic archive recordings, and once again rounding off the weekend with our popular gospel sing. There will also be a Saturday night concert, and plenty of opportunities to sing and jam with our tutors.
Who’s it For?
The weekend is aimed at singers and singer / instrumentalists with an interest in Appalachian song and music and their links with the British Folk traditions, who wish to learn both technique and a new repertoire. Singers of all levels of experience are welcome, musicians will need to have a good grasp of their instrument to make the most of the workshops (not recommended for beginners). There will also be some dancing suitable for beginners.
We’ll publish a programme soon showing workshop options to give you a clearer idea of what to expect.
Brian Peters is an expert on traditional songs from both sides of the Atlantic, a fine singer and player of guitar, fiddle and banjo. He’s worked with leading American musicians Sara Grey and Jeff Davis, and performed the acclaimed ‘Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest’ at US festivals, concerts and The Library of Congress, Washington D.C. He’s also tutored at Appalachian summer schools including Augusta Heritage Center and The Swanannoa Gathering.
Sara Grey is one of North America’s most respected ballad singers, with a powerful and sweet voice, a wealth of material, and a particular interest in the musical journey between Scotland – where she lived for many years – and North America. She’s also a fine banjo frailer. Sara will be sharing her 60-year love affair with traditional songs and her expertise in their evolution.
Kieron Means is a soulful singer and an excellent guitarist with a unique style, who performs traditional and contemporary American folk song and also has a deep affinity with the blues. As well as a solo artist, Kieron is the son and long-time accompanist of Sara Grey.
Ben Paley is possibly the best American old-time fiddler in the UK. Ben was steeped in traditional music from birth, his father Tom Paley having been one of the great figures of the American folk revival, and his mother Claudia Gould a well-known singer. He’s toured the US, UK and Europe, is a member of the Long Hill Ramblers, and has played regularly with Sara and Kieron.
Kerry Fletcher teaches English, European and American traditional dance, both percussive and social, and is Co-Artistic Director of Folk Dance Remixed. She has learnt from the likes of Ira Bernstein and Penny Allen and is a former member of Penny’s legendary Broken Ankles clogging team. She brings energy and fun as well as expertise to her classes