Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest is a special multimedia folk music show
researched and performed by England’s Brian Peters and Jeff Davis, of the USA.
Their presentation is devoted to the astounding collection of songs and music made by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in the Southern Appalachians over three summers in 1916, 1917 and 1918. The English folklorists had ventured into the heart of the mountains to seek out old British ballads still being sung in remote mountain settlements, and their haul of over sixteen hundred pieces is one of the greatest folk song collections ever made.
In their presentation, Jeff and Brian, two highly respected performers and researchers of traditional song and music, sing and play some of the musical highlights of Sharp’s harvest, accompanied by readings from his diaries describing vividly the hardships and triumphs of song collecting, and a display of his evocative photographs of the singers and of mountain life. The music ranges from old ballads to American breakdowns, dance tunes, children’s songs and gospel, performed by Jeff and Brian on banjo, fiddle, guitar, and a variety of other instruments.
"Brian Peters and Jeff Davis’s presentation on Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest was a highlight of our concert season. The duo’s ability to play a wide range of instruments, sing in both British and American styles, and breathe life into the witty words of Cecil Sharp added up to a delightfully varied performance, as entertaining as any concert and as fascinating as any history book."
Stephen Winick, American Folklife Center, The Library of Congress
“A magnificent presentation”
Heather Wood, Program Chair, Folk Music Society of New York
“The best presentation of this kind that I’ve heard in years”
Roy Palmer, folklorist
“A fascinating musical journey… one of the highlights of the festival”
The Old Time News (UK)
The Library of Congress, Washington DC
Folk Music Society of New York
Folksong Society of Greater Boston, MA
Branford Folk Music Society, CT
Williamsburg Historic Site, VA
Barns of Rose Hill, VA
The Sage, Gateshead
The Square Chapel, Halifax
Gainsborough Old-Time Music Festival
Cheltenham Folk Festival
Derby Folk Festival
Chippenham Folk Festival
Chester Folk Festival
Lewes Folk Festival
Milkmaid, Bury St Edmunds
Brian and Jeff have recorded many of the songs and tunes from Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest on CD.
Go here for details, samples and reviews.
Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest onstage at the Library of Congress, Washington DC
Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles noting down songs in Kentucky