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The Early Years

In celebration of Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith's 20 year anniversary of playing music together, they released The Early Years. This recording is a special edition double album CD that includes selections from the duo's first two recordings, Aeolus, and Music of the Rolling World.


"Their entire approach is very artistic, refined and aesthetically elegant. In a world in which traditional notions of beauty are constantly being maligned, the music of Barrett and Smith is undeniably and unapologetically beautiful. This is lovely music, lovingly performed and presented." 

~ Folk Scene Magazine


About These Recordings:


Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith described their 1981 debut recording as an "inward, winter album." The contemplative pace leads the listener to feel as though she is hearing these songs -- tales really -- around a winter's fire. This album is a collection of traditional British Isles ballads, songs and instrumental pieces, including original songs set to traditional folk melodies. So compelling is the vision of this album, that Music Connection Magazine says, "if you've ever wondered how time travel would feel, listen to the music of Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith."


Music of the Rolling World

Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith's second release is a timeless collection of original and traditional British Isles folk songs celebrating Spring and Midsummer. The title song reminds us of our connection with the Earth, and our transformations within the cycles of the seasons. This recording is filled with songs of celebration and playful love.


For Physical CDs

click here 

For Digital Downloads

of this CD and other recordings by Ruth Barrett



Bird on the Briar, Never Weather Beaten Saile, The Mermaid, Lullaby for Amanda, Every Woman Born, King of the Faeries, Aeolus the Wind, As I Roved Out, Lesson for Two Lutes, Blow the Candles Out, Pastime with Good Company, The Rolling of the Stones, The Weary Cutters, Unicorns, Sovay, I Live Not Where I Love, Three French Dances, Faerie's Love Song, The Rolling World, The Broomfield Hill, Pavan No. 1, The Weaver and the Factory Maid, Planxty Irwin/Loch Lovan Castle, The Cuckoo, Lovers of the Moon, Cambridge May Song. Two pieces from these original albums are on the Deepening CD.



Fretted dulcimer, concertina, flute, cello, recorders, Renaissance side drum, Celtic harp, fiddle, string bass, and guitar.


More Reviews:

 "With their first album these two talented women step forth and establish a strong musical identity. Drawing on Medieval and Renaissance music of the British Isles for materials and inspiration, they have created a musical tapestry women from their voices, dulcimer and their striking arrangements." 
~Walnut Valley Occasional (review of Aeolus)


"This is one of the most beautiful records ever made." 
~George Winston, Windham Hill Artist


“Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith produce music which faithfully recreates eras so far bygone that it reaches into our psychic depths of myth and imagination, emotionally transporting us in ways nothing on the radio can." 

~Music Connection Magazine


"Few mountain dulcimer players can make the dulcimer sound as classic as can Ruth Barrett and Cyntia Smith. An additional bonus is the superb vocal quality of Ruth and Cyntia. The overall effect is one of classic beauty. Anyone with a love of music should thoroughly enjoy this album.

~The Walnut Valley Occasional (review of Music of the Rolling World)

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