Like their highly-prized crafts, their music was the outward expression of their faith, celebrating their ideals of simplicity and love. These are melodies born directly of the Shakers' spiritual life, yet deeply rooted in the Anglo-American folk tradition—music to cheer the heart and lift the spirit.
Simple Gifts

Barry Phillips and William Coulter, along with guest artists Shelley Phillips, Mike Marshall, Robin Petrie and others, create exquisite blends of guitar, cello, fiddle, mandolin, flute, harp and dulcimers. From the title track (made famous by Aaron Copland in Appalachian Spring to little-known gems from the Shakers' vast treasury of song, these are melodies born directly of the Shakers' spiritual life, yet deeply rooted in the Anglo-American folk tradition - music to cheer the heart and lift the spirit.

Simple Gifts Liner Notes, Song List, and Artist Biographies

Click to hear a clip of Simple Gifts.
Click to hear a clip of Quick Dance.
Click to hear a clip of Back Manner Tunes.
Tree of Life

If you love Simple Gifts, you'll be delighted with this companion album. The Shakers believed that music and dance were gifts received from blessed spirits, and celebrated their innermost spiritual revelations with song. Once more, Barry Phillips, William Coulter and company join forces to revive the Shakers' stirring and joyful music.

Here again is an anthology to cherish: a perfectly choreographed sequence of lovely melodies, upbeat dance tunes and heartfelt hymns. Both albums offer informative liner notes on each song, essays on the Shaker movement, and suggest reading to provide listeners with background information and sources on this fascinating material.

Tree of Life Liner Notes, Song List, and Artist Biographies

Click to hear a clip of The Rolling Deep.
Click to hear a clip of Pleasant Walk.
Click to hear a clip of Love is Little.
Click to hear a clip of Come Life, Shaker Life.
Click to hear a clip of Music on the Mountains.
Click to hear a clip of Good Evening My Friends.
Music on the Mountain

Completing the trilogy begun with Simple Gifts and Tree of Life here is another collection of the dances, hymns and marches which were part of the Shakers' everyday lives and worship. Barry Phillips and William Coulter, once again join forces with longtime musical friends Shelley Phillips, Mike Marshall, Robin Petrie, Lars Johannesson, Laurie Hart, Neal Hellman and others in these lovingly arranged melodies.

The moods on Music on the Mountain, as on its predecessors, range from solemn to joyous; from exuberant to profoundly peaceful -- and underlying all are the fundamental Shaker ideals of simplicity and reverent humility. Like its companion albums, Music on the Mountain is filled with music to cheer the heart and lift the spirit.

Music on the Mountain Liner Notes, Song List, and Artist Biographies

Simple Gifts Collection

This collection containes all three Shaker CDs (over 64 shaker compositions) and features the talents of:William Coulter (guitars)Barry Phillips (cello, psaltry, mandola, harmonium, and percussion) Mike Marshall (mandolin & fiddle)Shelley Phillips (oboe, English horn & harp)Robin Petrie (hammered dulcimer) Kaila Flexer (violin) Esther Landau (flute) Lars Johannesson (wooden & silver flute) Neal Hellman (mountain dulcimer) Laurie Hart (fiddle) Deby Benton Grosjean (fiddle).

Simple Gifts
Tree of Life
Music on the Mountain