(802) 254-8684

NOWELL SING WE CLEAR
109 Washington St
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Telephone: (802)
-254-8684

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  Biographies

Known for their lively and entertaining presentations of English folk songs, John Roberts and Tony Barrand have performed at important festivals, colleges, and coffee houses throughout the United States, Canada, and their native England.  Accomplished self-taught folklorists, they typically sing ballads and songs of the sea, of drinking situations, of industrial strife and much more, arranging the material thematically to illustrate the social history and the lives of the people who made up the songs.  Performing in unaccompanied two-part harmony, they regularly draw upon a variety of instruments including Anglo-German and English concertinas, button accordion, banjo, guitar, and a variety of rhythm instruments such as bones and spoons.  They met at Cornell University in 1968 while stud Bedford and  ying for Ph.Ds in Psychology.  After a number of years teaching at Marlboro College in southern Vermont, John Roberts is a music engraver specializing in guitar tablature; Dr. Tony Barrand teaches psychology and folklore through The University Professors at Boston University, recently co-edited a revised and expanded fourth edition of the shape-note hymnal Northern Harmony: Plain Tunes, Fuging Tunes and Anthems from the Early and Contemporary New England Singing Tradition and authored a major book on seasonal dance customs, Six Fools and a Dancer: The Timeless Way of the Morris and a compilation ofsword dance notations, Longsword Dances...as Compiled by Ivor Allsop. (All available from Carriage House Books)

In forty-three years as a professional team, they have recorded with a number of companies, including Front Hall, Folk Legacy, Swallowtail, and National Geographic.nt, NY.  They now record with Golden Hind Music. Their most recent production is Twiddlum Twaddlum, recorded live in New Bedford and Altamo. They recently presented a concert of songs inspired by an exhibit of Thomas Gainsborough's painting, The Cottage Door, at Yale's Center for British Art. They have also performed settings of Rudyard Kiplingís verse at his restored house, Naulakha, in Dummerston, VT. It is recorded as Naulakha Redux: Songs of Rudyard Kipling. Available from Golden Hind Music. Both John and Tony were founding members of the celebrated Marlboro Morris and Sword dance teams which perform the seasonal display dances in communities in Windham County, Vermont. John lives in Schenectady, NY, and Tony in Brattleboro, VT.

Fred Breunig began his career as a fiddler and caller in 1970 and was an influential leader of the revival of interest in New England contra dance and English country dance. He has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada and his solid dance fiddling and warm, welcoming calling style are legendary. He has recorded with John and Tony on Front Hall, Folk Legacy, and Golden Hind, and was a contributing musician to the influential Canterbury Orchestra and F&W String Band albums of New England contra dance tunes. He now makes his home in Brattleboro, VT, sings with a variety of ensembles, and works as the print publications coordinator for World Learning.

Andy Davis  is known nationally as one of the finest piano accompanists for contra dance music and is an outstanding performer on piano accordion and banjo. He teaches music in schools in the Brattleboro area where he makes his home and runs the successful operation of New England Dancing Masters, with recordings and publications which make New England dance forms available for use in schools. Andy is a much-loved music teacher in local elementary schools and a leader of popular community dances. In addition to the Nowell recordings, he and guitarist, Sandy Bradley were the accompanists on Laurie Andres' widely praised accordion album, Fantastic Hornpipe.

Dr. Tony Barrand

John Roberts anglo@nycap.rr.com
Andy Davis andy@dancingmasters.com
Fred Breunig fmbreunig@comcast.ne