HANDS IN HARMONY
TRADITIONAL CRAFTS AND MUSIC IN APPALACHIA
Hands in Harmony is an exploration of folk music and traditional handcrafts. Eighty evocative black and white portraits are combined with biographies and oral history interviews with each subject, along with a music CD, to celebrate those involved in the music and craft communities in and around the southern Appalachian region.
Drawn from a thirty-year photographic career, Mr. Barnwell's portraits speak to the beauty and uniqueness of the handmade object, and their creators, and the musical heritage carried forward by those performing the original folk songs of this region. These traditions, handed down through generations, connect the subjects to their cultural roots and provide a unique regional identity. Portrayed here are craftsmen making pottery, blacksmithing, weaving, and other timeless crafts. They share the spotlight with musicians playing all manner of traditional instruments from the Dobro guitar to the fiddle. Musicians featured include Doc Watson, David Holt, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Jerry Douglas, along with Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger, and Mike Seeger.
The book also features biographies for each person as well as oral history interviews that provide an even more personal glimpse into the lives and minds of those involved in these traditions. The accompanying music CD, coproduced by musician and radio host Don Pedi and Mr. Barnwell, includes twenty-two old-time fiddle and banjo tunes, a cappella ballads, blues, shape-note singing, bluegrass and folk songs, showcasing the talents of many of the musicians portrayed including Laura Boosinger, Clyde Davenport, Mary Jane Queen, Bruce Greene, Sheila Kay Adams, Charlie Acuff, Ralph Blizzard, Benton Flippen, Etta Baker, Mike Seeger, Lee Sexton, and Peggy Seeger. This collection of images, text, and music brings into focus a world of tradition and culture that continues to exist outside of mainstream commercial media.
The 192 page book (ISBN 978-0-393-06815-3) includes a Foreword by Jan Davidson, Director, John C. Campbell Folk School. It is available in 3 editions: Trade Hardback, Limited Edition, and Special Edition. Signed copies of the regular edition are available through Barnwell Photography. A traveling exhibit, containing thirty images and accompanying text panels from this book, is available to galleries, schools, and museums.
"Music is healing and the one thing I do that I feel the freest. It seems to be the easiest form of intimate communication. That's what it was like at church. That's where you would express your joy. When you sang, it was an easy way to express emotion and emotion was not expressed that much at my home. There was not a lot of happy, good feelings. A fellow, Lyda Brown, would come over to Davis Chapel and conduct singing schools once or twice a year during the summer. They would be in the evenings, go on for a week at a time, and all you did was shape-note singing, which is a lot like ballad singing. He said, "I don't care if you can sing at all, but I want you to sing as loud as you can," so we just sung absolutely as loud as we could. You could hear these poor people sing-the only thing that they had was Jesus and the hereafter and man, they would show it." -Steve Rice (Oral History excerpt)