American Roots Music [Highlights]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
This single-disc collection -- a distillation of the same-named four-CD box set, itself a companion to the PBS series -- surveys the sounds of America's heartland, spanning country, blues, folk, gospel, Cajun, Tejano, and Native American music. While no one could expect a comprehensive survey of such diverse and long-lived styles in 19 tracks or even in the 75 of the box, for that matter, the choices here are astute and remarkably coherent, with a few rarities to boot. The journey begins with the country roots of Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, and Bob Wills with a stirring version of "Sittin' on Top of the World" taken from an archival film. The transition from Hank...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
This single-disc collection -- a distillation of the same-named four-CD box set, itself a companion to the PBS series -- surveys the sounds of America's heartland, spanning country, blues, folk, gospel, Cajun, Tejano, and Native American music. While no one could expect a comprehensive survey of such diverse and long-lived styles in 19 tracks or even in the 75 of the box, for that matter, the choices here are astute and remarkably coherent, with a few rarities to boot. The journey begins with the country roots of Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, and Bob Wills with a stirring version of "Sittin' on Top of the World" taken from an archival film. The transition from Hank Williams's "Cold, Cold Heart" to Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" reveals the two icons' similar intensity, which may even be trumped by Son House's harrowing "Death Letter Blues" also from a film source. The set then moves from the gospel of Mahalia Jackson and the Edwin Hawkins Singers to folk anthems from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan to regional roots music from Clifton Chenier and Flaco Jimenez. It's an all-star tour, and by setting the styles side-by-side, it reveals the raw emotion that typifies the best of American music. This Cliff's Notes abbreviation of the history of American roots music is accurate and insightful; best of all, it's full of powerful, classic performances that are as thrilling in the 21st century as they were in the 20th.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
The successes of the breakthrough soundtrack from the film O Brother Where Art Thou? and the in-depth PBS television series Ken Burns' Jazz seem to have combined in the 2001 production of Palm Pictures' four-part TV series American Roots Music. The series touches on the development of the distinctly American styles of traditional folk, country, blues, gospel, Western swing, bluegrass, Cajun, zydeco, Tejano, and Native American music. Corresponding with the television event, Palm has released a 19-song CD sampler offering prime examples of the styles covered during the show. American Roots Music has pulled together an impressive list of performers, this time including the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, B.B. King, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Son House, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Mahalia Jackson, Flaco Jimenez, and Bob Dylan. Viewers who have seen the series as a newfound education into these time-honored styles will be overjoyed at this sampler, featuring a perfect introduction to American roots music. As good as the sampler is, the four-CD box set soundtrack (with accompanying 48-page booklet) is almost too good to pass up. While some of the box set's tracks are a little rougher, they also go more in-depth, digging deeper into each of the styles covered on the highlights disc. Those who have seen and enjoyed the series would be advised to invest in the box set, while those curious about exploring these genres could comfortably start with the highlights disc. [Also available from Palm is a video collection containing the entire television series on DVD and VHS.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/16/2001
  • Label: Palm Pictures (Audio
  • UPC: 660200207427
  • Catalog Number: 2074
  • Sales rank: 73,654

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 American Roots Music Theme - Ann Savoy (2:15)
  2. 2 Waiting for a Train - Jimmie Rodgers (2:46)
  3. 3 Wildwood Flower (3:16)
  4. 4 Sitting on Top of the World (3:16)
  5. 5 Uncle Pen - Bill Monroe (2:45)
  6. 6 Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams (2:44)
  7. 7 Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson (2:40)
  8. 8 Death Letter Blues (5:00)
  9. 9 Got My Mojo Working (2:51)
  10. 10 The Thrill Is Gone (5:24)
  11. 11 Move on Up a Little Higher (5:27)
  12. 12 Oh Happy Day (4:37)
  13. 13 This Land Is Your Land (2:45)
  14. 14 Goodnight Irene (1:52)
  15. 15 The Times They Are A-Changin' (3:14)
  16. 16 I'm a Hog for You (3:41)
  17. 17 Ossun Two Step - Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys (2:26)
  18. 18 Sorry Boy (3:19)
  19. 19 Enchantment Song (2:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
James Cotton Track Performer
Lead Belly Track Performer
Bill Monroe Track Performer
Earl Scruggs Track Performer
Ricky Skaggs Track Performer
Clifton Chenier Track Performer
Marc Savoy Track Performer
The Carter Family Track Performer
Jimmie Rodgers Track Performer
Woody Guthrie Track Performer
Mahalia Jackson Track Performer
R. Carlos Nakai Track Performer
Bob Dylan Track Performer
Mamou Playboys Track Performer
Edwin Hawkins Track Performer
Flaco Jiménez Track Performer
Son House Track Performer
Robert Johnson Track Performer
B.B. King Track Performer
Muddy Waters Track Performer
Steve Riley Track Performer
Ann Savoy Track Performer
Hank Williams Track Performer
Bob Wills Track Performer
Technical Credits
Jim Ed Brown Director, Producer, Executive Producer
Lew Brown Composer
Ray Henderson Composer
Son House Composer
Muddy Waters Composer
Jeff Rosen Producer
Alan Silverman Engineer, Mastering
Charles K. Wolfe Writer
Beth Middleworth Cover Design
Mark Weinberg Art Direction
Richard Bauer Executive Producer
Kevin Yatarola Producer
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
Anna Mae Jackson Producer
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