Seven Times Salt Recordings

C&C Square
Courtiers & Costermongers

Early 17th-century London was a beehive of musical activity, from the refined music of the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts to country dancing on the green to the broadside ballads sold on every street corner. In our first studio album after 14 years together, we explore this spectrum with music for broken consort from Morley’s Consort Lessons and the Cambridge Consort Books, as well as ballads and dance tunes from the Pepys and Roxburghe ballad collections and Playford’s Dancing Master.  The genteel sounds of the English consort are paired with lively original arrangements of songs about epic battles, the timeless knack of musicians for getting into trouble, and that most perennial of all subjects, beer. 

Michael Barrett, tenor & recorder, Nathaniel Cox, bandora and Mark Rimple, cittern
Released 2017


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Fortune My Foe

Some of the finest composers of 17th-century England spent most of their career in other countries. For some, this was a professional consideration, while others were avoiding religious discrimination or the long arm of the law! The most famous is John Dowland, the melancholy lutenist who became England’s foremost musical ambassador to northern Europe, but there were many others such as violinist Thomas Simpson and viol player/mercenary soldier Tobias Hume. Their work informed a whole generation of Continental composers. Our program features music of these talented English expatriates, including works by Peter Phillips and original arrangements of keyboard pieces by John Bull.

With Michael Barrett, tenor & recorder
Live concert recording 2006

 Pepys CD cover A Brave Barrel of Oysters

Perhaps the English language’s most famous diarist, Samuel Pepys was a prosperous civil servant and bon vivant in Restoration London. The diaries he kept from 1660-1668 provide a fascinating glimpse of life under the reign of the “merry monarch” Charles II. An enthusiastic amateur musician who sang and played the lute, viol, and flageolet, Pepys chronicled his experience making music with the best and worst musicians in town! STS brings this bustling, bewigged, and bawdy London to life with readings from the diaries and musical works by Hume, Blagrave, Young, and Locke, all of whom were friends of Pepys.

With Michael Barrett, tenor & recorder, and Kyle Parrish, narrator
Live concert recording 2008

 Scots CD front
Rantin’ Pipe and Tremblin’ String

The music of 17th- and 18th-century Scotland fuses homespun folk music with refined classical features. English music lovers, homesick Scots, and Italian composers all found themselves bewitched by these simple melodies. Seven Times Salt explores this unique crossroads with works by Purcell, Matteis, and Barsanti; traditional tunes for fiddle and pipes; and selections from early Scots manuscripts. In Scottish drawing rooms and dance halls, the only difference between a fiddler and a violinist was the music in front of him!

With Shari Alise Wilson, soprano, and Alastair Thompson, harpsichord
Live concert recording 2010

Feast CD cover 1 The Founder of the Feast

As the nights grew longer, farmers completed their harvest and turned their thoughts towards the many delights of Fall. Our program features a warming mix of songs about Martinmas and Guy Fawkes, autumnal tunes by Dowland, Peerson, Byrd and Bull; plus rousing ballads of hunting, harvest, and beer!

With Gerrod Pagenkopf, voice
Live concert recording 2015