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Album Review

Simple Gifts is a collection of instrumental versions of the songs of the Shakers, a charismatic Christian sect that flourished in the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Guitarist William Coulter and cellist Barry Phillips are both members of the acoustic group Orison, and they draw on a pool of fellow Gourd-label musicians to support them, as well as Windham Hill artist Mike Marshall who appears on nearly all the tracks playing mandolin, mandocello, violin or viola. From the very familiar to the relatively obscure, this is a charming album that mixes the simplicity and liveliness of American folk music with the elegant reverence of hymns. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Rainy and Cool Days Live in this Recording

This is fog music -- the music of the past played in the present like a time machine. A slower paced world of simpler times and easier pleasures. I own music from almost every genre, in many languages, and from many eras -- yet this is one I listen to that takes me to a quieter place and time. It's hypnotic, reminiscent of places I never lived and people I never knew -- but still they seem familiar. A near perfect listening experience.

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts is a simple pleasure. Melodic and relaxing, it is authentic recreation of familiar Shaker songs. I like it as bacground music for reading, drawing, cleaning or conversation over a cup of coffee.

Glad it's on I-tunes

I first heard this collection when I purchased it on cassette at the recommendation of a store clerk (which I still have, and still am able to play in my car since it's an older model with a cassette player...). As a previous reviewer said, it's a wonderful collection of delightful music from a bygone era. I recently tried to find it on CD so I could get it on my i-pod and was told it's no longer in print. Thank you, I-Tunes, for including this great collection of tunes I could listen to over and over and over again.

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Simple Gifts, Barry Phillips
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Customer Ratings