NEW GLOUCESTER – Two-hundred-year-old American sacred songbooks might not be the obvious place to look for guidance on how to find balance in today’s fast-paced, multicultural, high-tech, war-torn, money-driven, political world.

But Kindling Stone members Chris Moore and Mark Wingate found just that in a bounty of wise words and powerful melodies from two early-American musical traditions: the sacred harp and The United Society of Shakers.

These traditions, which blossomed during the 18th and 19th centuries and both continue today, respond to some of the same questions that Kindling Stone explores in its own compositions – questions about community, aging and death, love, family, peace, discipline, nature, prayer and meditation.

The Nashville duo will return to Shaker Village Saturday, July 26, for an evening of unusual spiritual music. Both provide vocals, with Moore playing mandolins and reed organ and Wingate playing fiddle.

Kindling Stone’s musical influences are decidedly eclectic: bluegrass, folk, old-time, country, rock, sacred and several world music traditions. Added to the mix are Wingate’s collection and interest in early American hymnals, along with Moore’s study of Buddhist and Quaker teaching and practice.

Live concerts in the Shaker Meeting House are a rare occasion. Last year’s Kindling Stone concert was sold out, so early reservations are recommended.

Moore grew up in Gorham and relocated to Nashville in 2003. He was known in New England for his work with the Maine bluegrass band The Fogg Brothers and with Rust Farm, his band with Boston master guitarist John McGann. He has also performed as soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and was awarded a Maine Artist Fellowship in 2001. His songs have been recorded and performed by Adrienne Young, Mark Erelli, Rani Arbo, Carol Noonan, Northern Lights and Dennis Brennan.

Wingate, who grew up in Charlotte, N.C., toured for several years on the coffeehouse circuit with his band Chicken Hot Rod, traveling from New York to Minnesota to Louisiana to South Carolina and points in between. He moved to Nashville in 1996 with his wife, Sally, an accomplished banjo player. They still play as much music as they can, which includes performing regularly with their band The Contrarian Ensemble for a Nashville contradance group.

Go and do

WHO: Kindling Stone, made up of Chris Moore and Mark Wingate

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 26

WHERE: Meeting House, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village; on Shaker Road just off Route 26 in New Gloucester

TICKETS: $15, reservations required; call 926-4597


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