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Welcome As the Flowers in May

by Deborah Payne & Sam Gleaves

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD with 4-panel wallet and notes.
    13 songs, total playing time 38 minutes.
    Cover photo by Liz Terry, Liz Terry Photography.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Welcome As the Flowers in May via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Garden Hymn 02:05
Pretty Saro 03:56
Blessing 03:54
Jubilee 03:00


This recording includes old time Appalachian songs, fiddle-and-banjo tunes, hymns, and contemporary songs written by Kate Wolf, Sam Gleaves, and Deborah Payne. Deborah and Sam are joined by a stellar group of musicians and singers including Michael Cleveland, Tim Lancaster, and Ruth McLain.


A shared love of traditional music brought Deborah and Sam together. Deborah was born and raised in Berea, Kentucky, a small town at the foothills of the Cumberland mountains. Sam grew up in Wytheville, Virginia, a small town at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. Deborah and Sam were immersed in folk music and dance communities and began playing music early in life. Both studied at Berea College and performed with the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, directed by Al White. The Berea music community gave the central threads of Deborah and Sam’s musical partnership, and much of the repertoire on this recording was gathered in Berea. Deborah and Sam began performing together in 2013. Separately, they have performed all over the globe and together, they have played concerts and festivals throughout the U.S.A. In 2016, Deborah and Sam collaborated with acclaimed writer Silas House as part of the folk opera IN THESE FIELDS, commissioned by the Southern Foodways Alliance. This is their first recording as a duo. For more info., please visit www.SamGleaves.com and www.DeborahPayneMusic.com.


“Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” is from the singing of Sparky and Rhonda Rucker.

Deborah learned "Hawk’s Got a Chicken and Gone” from Belle Jackson, who learned the tune from Lily May Ledford.

"Blessing” is part of the folk opera IN THESE FIELDS, a collaboration with writer Silas House that was commissioned by the Southern Foodways Alliance.

“Rachel’s Song” was written for Rachel Garringer in honor of Country Queers, her ongoing oral history project.

Our version of "Sweet Rivers of Redeeming Love" comes from the McLain Family Band. We are overjoyed that Ruth McLain sings and plays on this recording.

“She Rang the Bells” was written in memory of Deborah’s mother, Marlene Payne.

“Jubilee” is a play-party game song from the singing of Jean Ritchie and the Ritchie family.

“Welcome as the Flowers in May” is dedicated to Sheila Kay Adams, Bobby McMillon, and Larah Helayne.

"Churchill's" was written for Mary Ann and Bill West in celebration of the Churchill Weavers building in Berea, Kentucky.


released December 13, 2019


Deborah Payne (fiddle and vocals)

Sam Gleaves (guitar, banjo and vocals)

Ruth McLain (upright bass, harmony vocals on tracks 3, 4, 9, 10, and 12)

Tim Lancaster plays bones on track 3.

Michael Cleveland plays fiddle on track 13.


"Across The Great Divide" written by Kate Wolf,
published by BMG Bumblebee OBO Another Sundown Pub. Co.

"Blessing," "Rachel's Song," "She Rang the Bells," and "Welcome as the Flowers in May" written by Sam Gleaves,
published by Fabulachian Music, ASCAP, 2019

"Jubilee" written by Jean Ritchie,
published by the Estate of Jean Ritchie Pickow

"Churchill's" written by Deborah Payne, Deborah Payne Music, BMI, 2019

Recorded and mixed by Rick Wasson at Rick's Main Street Studio
Mastering by Randy Leroy at Tonal Park
Cover image by Liz Terry, Liz Terry Photography
Graphic design by Deborah Payne and Sam Gleaves


all rights reserved



Sam Gleaves Wytheville, Virginia

Born and raised in Wythe County, Virginia, Sam Gleaves performs innovative mountain music with a sense of history. Sam carries on the ballads, dance music & storytelling he learned from mentors in the Appalachian tradition and writes poignant new songs that tell the region’s contemporary stories. Lee Smith calls Sam “the best young songwriter around -courageous as hell and country to the bone.” ... more

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