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American Roots Music [Box Set]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
If roots music is a genre, then this set presents the roots of roots. This 68-track, four-CD set serves as a companion to the PBS television series available on DVD and VHS, too, presenting the complete performances of songs excerpted or used as background music in the episodes. It's a savvy mix of essential classics reaching back to the 1920s, performances from archival film sources, and new recordings, journeying through country, blues, gospel, folk, Cajun/zydeco, Tejano, and Native American styles. Well annotated with an informative 58-page book, American Roots Music is both a history lesson and a compelling listen. The country disc includes originators Jimmie ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
If roots music is a genre, then this set presents the roots of roots. This 68-track, four-CD set serves as a companion to the PBS television series available on DVD and VHS, too, presenting the complete performances of songs excerpted or used as background music in the episodes. It's a savvy mix of essential classics reaching back to the 1920s, performances from archival film sources, and new recordings, journeying through country, blues, gospel, folk, Cajun/zydeco, Tejano, and Native American styles. Well annotated with an informative 58-page book, American Roots Music is both a history lesson and a compelling listen. The country disc includes originators Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, with western swing from Gene Autry and Bob Wills, bluegrass from Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley, honky-tonk from Kitty Wells, Lefty Frizzell, and Hank Williams, and still-dexterous picking from living legends Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs. The set moves to the blues for the second disc, beginning in the '20s with spiritual sisters Mamie Smith and Bessie Smith. There's classic Delta blues from Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, and Son House in an amazing, scary 1967 archival film performance of "Death Letter Blues", Chicago blues from Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, and B. B. King's soulful classic "The Thrill Is Gone." Disc 3 is half gospel, half folk; although both could merit CDs of their own, the choices are astute. Amid stiff competition from the Golden Gate Quartet, the Staple Singers, and Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe's searing "Down by the Riverside" steals the show. Folk mainstays Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan are here, as are Leadbelly and Peter, Paul and Mary. Disc 4 contains the most radical selections, focusing on mostly contemporary recordings of regional music, with six picks each of Cajun/zydeco, Tejano, and Native American musics. It makes a strong case for including Clifton Chenier, Lydia Mendoza, Flaco Jimenez, and R. Carlos Nakai in the roots pantheon. For scholars and casual fans alike, American Roots Music is required, essential listening.
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 four-CD box set soundtrack with a 48-page booklet covering the styles covered during the show. Much like a broadened version of the amazing Washington Square Memoirs: The Great Urban Folk Boom, 1950-1970 CD set, American Roots Music has pulled together an impressive list of performers, including the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe, B.B. King, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Son House, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, the Staple Singers, Clifton Chenier, Flaco Jimenez, and Bob Dylan. The depth of the track selection is impressive, as is the breadth of the performers chosen. The producers have chosen to include some studio recordings, and some audio tracks taken from the film archives, making for a somewhat uneven sound quality. While the previously unreleased nature of these select tracks will appeal to collectors and die-hard fans, those just exploring these styles might be turned off by the rough quality of these performances. The discs span more than eight decades of music, acting as a good overview of these genres for new listeners, while Americana enthusiasts will view it as another great collection of the most influential American roots artists in music history. [Also available from Palm is a 19-song CD sampler entitled American Roots Music: Highlights and a video collection containing the entire television series on DVD and VHS.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2001
  • Label: Palm Pictures (Audio
  • UPC: 660200207526
  • Catalog Number: 2075
  • Sales rank: 33,531

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 American Roots Music Theme
  2. 2 Waiting for a Train
  3. 3 Wildwood Flower
  4. 4 Take Me Back to My Old Carolina Home
  5. 5 Wabash Cannonball
  6. 6 That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine
  7. 7 Sitting on Top of the World
  8. 8 Uncle Pen
  9. 9 Salty Dog Blues
  10. 10 Nine Pound Hammer
  11. 11 Walking the Floor over You
  12. 12 If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time
  13. 13 It Wasn't God Who Made Honkey Tonk Angels
  14. 14 Black Mountain Rag
  15. 15 Earl's Breakdown
  16. 16 Little Maggie
  17. 17 Where Shades of Love Lie Deep
  18. 18 Stomping Grounds
Disc 2
  1. 1 The King Biscuit Time Theme
  2. 2 Crazy Blues @@Mamie Smith
  3. 3 ST. Louis Blues @@Bessie Smith
  4. 4 Black Snake Moan
  5. 5 Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues
  6. 6 Cross Road Blues
  7. 7 Death Letter Blues
  8. 8 Another Night to Cry
  9. 9 Foldin' Bed
  10. 10 Boogie Woogie Dream
  11. 11 Bye Bye Bird
  12. 12 Shake for Me
  13. 13 Got My Mojo Working
  14. 14 The Thrill Is Gone
  15. 15 Take a Little Walk With Me
  16. 16 Henry
Disc 3
  1. 1 Joshua Fit de Battle
  2. 2 Precious Lord, Take My Hand
  3. 3 Blind Barnabus
  4. 4 Down by the Riverside
  5. 5 Move on up a Little Higher
  6. 6 Sit Down Servant
  7. 7 Jesus Gave Me Water
  8. 8 Oh Happy Day
  9. 9 This Land Is Your Land
  10. 10 Goodnight Irene
  11. 11 So Long Been Good to Know Yuh
  12. 12 The Soldier and the Lady
  13. 13 John Henry
  14. 14 If I Had a Hammer ( the Hammer Song)
  15. 15 We Shall Overcome @@SNCC Freedom Singers
  16. 16 The Times They Are A-Changin' @@Bob Dylan
Disc 4
  1. 1 Allons a Lafayette
  2. 2 Madame Atchen
  3. 3 Port Arthur Blues
  4. 4 I'm a Hog for You
  5. 5 Dans la Louisianne
  6. 6 Ossun Two
  7. 7 Mal Hombre
  8. 8 Muchacha Bonita
  9. 9 Rosalito
  10. 10 Las Nubes
  11. 11 Ring of Fire
  12. 12 Sorry Boy
  13. 13 Yeibichei Song
  14. 14 Traditional Powwow @@Renzel Last Horse
  15. 15 Jesus Loves Me @@Everette Red Bear
  16. 16 Wounded Knee
  17. 17 Enchantment Song
  18. 18 The Dance
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mississippi John Hurt Track Performer
Blind Lemon Jefferson Track Performer
Lonnie Johnson Track Performer
Bessie Smith Track Performer
Mamie Smith Track Performer
Flatt & Scruggs Track Performer
Earl Scruggs Track Performer
Ricky Skaggs Track Performer
Ralph Stanley Track Performer
Dewey Balfa Track Performer
Clifton Chenier Track Performer
Marc Savoy Track Performer
Roy Acuff Track Performer
Gene Autry Track Performer
The Carter Family Track Performer
Lefty Frizzell Track Performer
Uncle Dave Macon Track Performer
Lydia Mendoza Track Performer
Jimmie Rodgers Track Performer
Merle Travis Track Performer
Kitty Wells Track Performer
Woody Guthrie Track Performer
The New Lost City Ramblers Track Performer
Peter, Paul and Mary Track Performer
Pete Seeger Track Performer
The Weavers Track Performer
Golden Gate Quartet Track Performer
Mahalia Jackson Track Performer
R. Carlos Nakai Track Performer
Bob Dylan Track Performer
The Staple Singers Track Performer
Albert Ammons Track Performer
Pete Johnson Track Performer
Ernest Tubb Track Performer
Robert Lockwood Jr. Track Performer
Dennis McGee Track Performer
Cleoma Breaux Track Performer
Howlin' Wolf Track Performer
Son House Track Performer
Robert Johnson Track Performer
B.B. King Track Performer
Robert Mirabal Track Performer
Muddy Waters Track Performer
Sister Rosetta Tharpe Track Performer
Hank Williams Track Performer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Track Performer
Bob Wills Track Performer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey Track Performer
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Track Performer
Floyd Red Crow Westerman Track Performer
Fisk University Jubilee Singers Track Performer
Mark & Ann Savoy Track Performer
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer
Mississippi John Hurt Composer
Lead Belly Composer
Bill Monroe Composer
Lefty Frizzell Composer
Merle Travis Composer
Doc Watson Arranger
Woody Guthrie Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
Walter Vinson Composer
Jimmy Beck Composer
Jim Ed Brown Director, Producer, Executive Producer
A.P. Carter Composer
June Carter Cash Composer
Lonnie Chatmon Composer
Edwin Hawkins Arranger, Composer
Lee Hays Composer
John A. Lomax Composer
Jeff Rosen Producer
Alan Silverman Mastering
Hank Williams Composer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Composer
Charles K. Wolfe Writer, Liner Notes
Holly George-Warren Liner Notes
John Swenson Liner Notes
Merle Kilgore Composer
Wiley Morris Composer
Zeke Morris Composer
Beth Middleworth Cover Design
Manuel Pena Liner Notes
Mark Weinberg Art Direction
Richard Bauer Executive Producer
Traditional Composer
Robert Santelli Liner Notes
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