Folksongs of Illinois: Volume 1

Folksongs of Illinois: Volume 1

by Paul Tyler
     
 

A lively and enlightening slice of Illinois's rich musical heritage

Although few are aware of it, the state of Illinois has some of the richest and most varied musical traditions in the country. As a major agricultural producer bordering the South and situated on the nation's major waterways, Illinois became home to styles now called folk, country,

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Overview

A lively and enlightening slice of Illinois's rich musical heritage

Although few are aware of it, the state of Illinois has some of the richest and most varied musical traditions in the country. As a major agricultural producer bordering the South and situated on the nation's major waterways, Illinois became home to styles now called folk, country, country blues, bluegrass, gospel, and string band. At the same time, as an industrial center, Illinois attracted workers from all over the United States, Europe, and Mexico. These migrants brought their music with them, and the state also became home to Irish reels, Scandinavian waltzes, Serbo-Croatian kolos, Polish polkas, country western ballads, labor anthems, Mexican corridos, and ethnic comedy skits. The recordings chosen for these volumes are all performed by Illinois musicians, and include selections drawn from new studio recordings, archival collections, 78s, LPs, and CDs, as well as field and home recordings made by folklorists, amateur scholars, and family members.

Volume 1 offers a selection of Illinois's best folk music. Its artists include Carl Sandburg and the Staples Singers, the 1930s WLS National Barn Dance artists, the Girls of the Golden West, and 1920s country-bluesman Henry Spaulding from Cairo. There are also tracks from well-known alt-country stars like Jon Langford from the Mekons, Janet Bean from Eleventh Dream Day, and Kelly Hogan. Added to that are songs from folk legend Art Thieme, Decatur's Deacon James Biggs and the St. John Missionary Choir, labor songster Bucky Halker, and Tejano balladeers Silvano Ramos and Daniel Ramirez.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The CDs and accompanying booklets of Folksongs of Illinois provide a valuable and well-executed resource that would augment any folklorist's, ethnomusicologist's, or music lover's collection. . . . These CDs provide a spark to ignite further musical and intellectual investigation."—Journal of Folklore Research

"These two discs embody the best of the idiomatic array that's previously been recorded in Illinois."—(Nashville) City Paper

"While at first glance it might seem like devoting an entire CD (and this is just the first volume) to Illinois folk songs might be stretching the concept, in fact this turns out to be a surprisingly eclectic and satisfyingly quality listen. . . . (It's) programmed and annotated (with a 24-page booklet) by the Illinois Humanites Council with as much professionalism and scholarship as releases on Smithsonian Folkways. If others are spurred by the liner notes' 'hope that other states will be inspired to follow our path and issue similar recordings highlighting their musical heritage,' they'd do well to use this series as a fine model to follow."—Allmusic.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252032424
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
03/01/2007
Edition description:
1
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Paul Tyler is a folklorist and musician who teaches at National-Louis University and Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. Clark “Bucky” Halker is a songwriter, performer, and labor historian, as well as senior program officer of the Illinois Humanities Council.

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