Chris Barnabei, Charles Thompson, Margaret Folkemer, her parents Stephen and Beth Folkemer, and Chuck Krepley are the musicians in Dearest Home.
Dearest Home plays authentic Civil War Era and traditional Appalachian music, from unaccompan-ied singing to arrangements featuring com-binations of fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, guitar, tin whistle, concertina, keyboard, flugelhorn and percussion.
Authenticity and Originality in Perfect Harmony
Expressive vocals with rich, next-of-kin harmonies interweave with sprightly dance tunes, as Dearest Home recreates traditional American music, especially from the US Civil War era (in period costume), and Appalachian music, especially from the Samuel Bayard Folk Song Collection (PA and WV), and including songs from Jean Ritchie, the Carter Family and others. Additionally, they perform related traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and England. Their passion for these traditions shines in every note! They enthusiastically present a wide variety of workshops, and they delight in playing for dances too!
Si Kahn, 2010 Folk Alliance Triple Crown winner (#1 Artist, #1 CD, #1 Song) writes about their new album:
If ‘home is where the heart is,’ then the singers and musicians who together make up Dearest Home have clearly poured their hearts into their new self-titled album. Deeply steeped in the traditional music of Pennsylvania, my own home state, they have chosen wisely from their wide repertoire of Civil War songs, Appalachian ballads and fiddle tunes. Singing with passion, skill and the resonant matching of voices that seems born in the blood of next-of-kin, Dearest Home presents us with close harmony in many senses of the phrase, on stage and on CD. In their voices, you can hear the peaks and valleys of the landscape, feel the past and future marching together, and sense the shadows of the mountains.
Music and Programming
Like the band’s membership, Dearest Home’s music unites generations! It features rich vocals, fiddle, concertina, guitar, banjo, bass, piano, mountain dulcimer, pennywhistle, flugelhorn, jaw harp, jawbone, bones and tambourine.
Tailoring programs to each venue, Dearest Home is known for performing authentic Civil War Era music (in period costume), presenting songs and tunes from the Samuel Bayard Collection (PA and WV), playing a variety of Appalachian music including selections from the Ritchie and Carter Families and other sources, or offering a mix of their varied styles. Additionally, they perform related traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and England. They are enthusiastic and supportive teachers, offering a wide range of workshops, and they love to accompany dances too!
Dearest Home is available for concerts, festivals, historical events, reenactments, dances, workshops, weddings, conferences, libraries, schools, restaurants, retirement villages and other venues.
Click on the blue button below, left, for a downloadable information sheet, to learn more about the band and to read a detailed biography for each performer.
Donna Chestnut, chair of the Fine Arts Series at First Lutheran Church, Carlisle, comments:
Our audience really enjoyed participating in the singing.… We applaud you for your attention to historical detail, your excellent musicianship, and your interaction with the audience…. Your concert was a real gift to our church and the community.
Dearest Home was recently featured on WITF Radio’s Center Stage. Their music is the background for an installation at Gettysburg’s new Seminary Ridge Museum (“Faith and Freedom”). Since forming in 2011, Dearest Home has played and offered workshops for venues including; the Grand Opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum, Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Gettysburg 150th Civil War Events, Greenwood Furnace Folk Gathering, Music, Gettysburg!, Common Ground on Seminary Ridge, Songs and Stories of a Civil War Hospital, Heart of the Arts Festival, Waterford Fair, St. Michael’s Soiree, Seminary Ridge Civil War Symposium, Gettysburg College Library, the Midtown Scholar, Hauser Estate Winery, The Occupation of Mechanicsburg, Fine Arts at First, and other concert series in MD, NY, PA and VA. They are excited about their upcoming 2015 appearance at the Warwick Folk Festival in England!
Listen to Dearest Home
Listen to Dearest Home by clicking on "Music" or "Download/Order Music at the top of this page. Visit Dearest Home at ReverbNation, to listen to music, view more information, see photos and sign up for updates. The band's EP Songs from Laurel Hill, Northern Appalachian songs and ballads from the unpublished Samuel Bayard Folk Song Collection, and their album Dearest Home, featuring authentic Civil War era music plus three bonus tracks from the Bayard collection, are available by mail through email, and by online purchase and download at CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Amazon Digital Music, and Emusic. Just click on the shopping carts below to download the albums or individual tracks! A second full album of Appalachia and old time music, Back to Laurel Hill: Bayard Folk Song Collection Vol. 1, will be released later in 2015. A second EP of Appalachian and old time songs not from the Bayard Collection will follow.
Back to Laurel Hill was recorded at AMP Studios, McSherrystown, Pennsylvania, by Paul Chiacchierini assisted by Greg Rocca, and mastered at AMP studios by Dave Bowden.
Keep in Touch
Find music and photos and stay in touch with the band on FaceBook and Twitter too! Contact us directly through email or by clicking Contact and Booking. Please join our email list through the box below.