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As one of the USA's foremost performers/interpreters of traditional music, Jeff's songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountain tops connect 21st Century audiences with the everyday lives - and artistry - of 19th Century Americans. Singing a capella or accompanying himself on concertina, banjo, guitar, bones or spoons, he brings the songs alive in a way which few people can achieve. His parents were folk songs collectors in rural America, and Jeff grew up listening to the traditional singers they met, many of them born in Victorian times, and so represents an unbroken tradition from pre-industrial times. As a well-respected reviewer recently said, "Quite simply, he's one of the most charismatic, enthusiastic and genuinely versatile performers on the whole scene, with a warm and approachable personality to match his encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional song." A one-off, certainly!
Supporting Jeff Warner in this concert will be Alice Wylde, born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia, moving here at the age of forty-three, and now living in Hampshire. Songs were just part of normal life as she grew up, learnt from her mother, other relatives and friends, or even in church, where traditional hymns were sung a capella in glorious harmony. Friends recently persuaded her to record some of her songs, and 'Songs from Old Appalachia' has received praise from the knowledgeable: "absolutely enchanting down-home music-making"; "a delightful release"; and "a sheer pleasure to listen to".