Sandy and Caroline Paton have travelled throughout the United States, Canada and the British Isles in search of folk songs and old ballads. Their vast repertoire derives from the traditional ballad and song lore of the entire English-speaking world. Behind almost every song is a fascinating story relating how, from whom, and where that song was discovered. One may be a lively banjo tune from an ex-rodeo rider in Oklahoma, another a plaintive lament obtained from a North Carolina mountain farmer, or a rare ballad collected from an Irish grandmother in the Adirondacks, a stone cutter in the Catskills, or a travelling "tinker" with whom they once camped in the beautiful Sottish Highlands.
In 1961, together with Lee B. Haggerty, Sandy and Caroline founded Folk-Legacy Records, Inc., a company devoted to making our traditional music, and the contemporary music that reflects its values, available to the general public. To date, they have produced over one hundred and twenty albums, CDs and casettes of folk music and tales and are currently working on several more. These highly respected recordings are distributed nationally and many are used in classes at colleges offering courses in folklore. The Patons operate the company from their home, a large, remodeled barn on a rural hillside in Sharon, Connecticut, which also serves as Folk-Legacy's recording studio.
Accompanying themselves on guitar, 12-string guitar, Appalachian dulcimer and autoharp, Sandy and Caroline have presented concerts at many colleges and universities throughout the country, from the University of Maine to the Universities of California. They have performed in hundreds of public and private schools, libraries, coffeehouses and community centers. Their enthusiasm, their obvious love for the songs they sing, and their easy rapport with audiences of all ages are key factors in their success. Their music is gentle, their style informal, but their scholarship is precise. The material used in each of their programs is carefully selected to illustrate the various types of songs that make up our rich musical heritage.
In recognition of their work as singers, folk song collectors and folklorists, the Patons were selected by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts to be Connecticut's Official State Troubadours in 1993. They also have been honored by the California Traditional Music Society, the Memphis Dulcimer Festival in Tennessee, and the Eisteddfod Folk Festival at the University of Massachusetts in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
For booking information, please write to Box 1148, Sharon, CT 06069. To
place an order, all (800) 836-0901.