As summer rushes past and autumn rapidly approaches, we're looking forward to a busy and exciting season of music at Cecil Sharp House.
On this day one hundred years ago, Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles noted down their first Appalachian song, beginning a musical journey that would span three years, and the effects of which continue to greatly impact the Appalachian folk song tradition and its study today.
Five people who have made key contributions to the folk arts are the latest recipients of Gold Badge awards from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).
Dom Flemons has accrued a remarkable CV over the course of his career. A founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, with whom he whom he won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2011, Flemons is a skilled performer on a wide range of instruments including banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills. Before playing music full-time, he produced 25 albums and even spent time pursuing slam poetry.
Cecil Sharp had been collecting English folk songs in earnest since 1903. By 1909 his collecting activities in Somerset had resulted in the publication of five volumes of songs from that area, including 130 songs (a small fraction of his total yield). While he was by no means the first person to go around collecting English folk songs, he was certainly the catalyst for an incredibly fruitful period of collecting in the 1900s.