Brian Peters Traditional Songs and Music from England
Biography
Brian Peters is, according to the UK’s Living Tradition magazine “a top-notch singer and player, also one of the best-researched performers currently doing the rounds, and master of several crafts” while the US folk music magazine Dirty Linen described him as “one of the very best performers in the field of English traditional song and music”.

Brian is a true all-rounder, on the one hand a passionate singer able to tackle big songs, and on the other a multi-instrumentalist acknowledged as one of England’s leading exponents of the anglo concertina and melodeon (button accordion) and a skilled guitarist as well. Having begun his career in the folk clubs of England, he’s taken his music to stages all over the world, touring regularly in America, Europe and Australia, but always retaining a deep commitment to the musical traditions of his native country.
Brian believes strongly in the power and relevance of the old songs, specializing particularly in the great ballads of the British Isles, rivetting stories set in music: “Brian Peters plunges deep into the ancient songs, finds their power, mystery, evil, drollery and courage, and brings them to us fresh”, declared one American writer. His accompaniments on three instruments give a wide range of musical textures to his songs, and his live presentation, Songs of Trial & Triumph, focusing on ballads from the Child collection, has been well-received at many festivals.  Though in performance he’s not a traditional diehard, including songs from unexpected sources, and never forgetting that folk music is meant to be accessible, and fun.

On the instrumental side, Brian has for many years played and researched old Northern English country dance music, unearthing tunes from centuries-old manuscripts, at the same time composing new tunes in traditional style, many of which were published in his book Rattle and Roll.  He’s also known for forays into ragtime, blues and rock’n’roll on his squeezeboxes, making for a repertoire of sometimes startling variety.

Brian is experienced as a teacher and workshop leader, having tutored classes at North American summer schools and English folk festivals on ballads and singing style, and led workshop groups on concertina, melodeon and guitar at countless tutorial sessions.  He’s taught at the ‘Hands-on Music’ concertina and melodeon weekends at Witney more often than any other tutor.

Brian has made many recordings, from the concertina-centred Anglophilia to the ballad-themed Songs of Trial and Triumph, all of which have received a warm reception from reviewers.  He’s also the accordion player heard regularly on the TV cartoon Spongebob Squarepants!

For a listing of some of Brian’s past appearances at festivals, clubs and workshop events, go here.